Summary: What is the path to blessing for us personally and as a nation? That path is listed in scripture. 1- We must receive God’s correction 2- We must have God’s friendship 3- We must trust God’s wisdom
INTRO.- We prefer blessing over cursing. We prefer to be blessed by God than to be cursed by the devil or by anything that is evil, evil people included. And there are times we wonder about our country. We wonder if God has withdrawn His blessing from America. And we may wonder the same thing about our own lives.
Life’s difficulties make some people wonder, “Where is God?”
ILL.- Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt (President from 1901 to 1909) once said, “The times are evil; that is, there is much that is evil in them. It would be to our shame and discredit if we failed to recognize that evil; if we wrapped ourselves in a foolish optimism and failed to war with heart and strength against the evil. It would be equally to our discredit if we declined to strive for good because we feared the strength of evil. There is much evil. There is much good, too.” Amen.
His words go well with the truth of scripture.
Ephesians 5:15-17 “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”
The days are evil. Why? Because the evil one still exists and lives on planet earth. It’s like the 1972 book by Hal Lindsey, “Satan is alive and well on planet earth.” He is but only because God allows him to be here and do his evil deeds.
Evil exists because the devils exists, but this doesn’t mean we have to contribute to that evil. This is why Paul said, “Be very careful how you live...” Make the most of your time on planet earth and don’t contribute to evil. Live for the Lord. Understand the Lord’s will and do His will.
We who are in Christ should never contribute to the evil in this world or in America! Instead, we should, we must live for Christ in every way and in every area of life: at home, at work, while we’re socializing, vacationing, etc.
I love it whenever I hear people in every day life take a stand for the Lord and speak up for Him. And speaking up for Him is the pathway to personal blessings and for our country.
ILL.- Sir Edmund Burke (an Irish statesman, author, orator, and philosopher who moved to England in the 1700’s) said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
Job 1:10 “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.”
Who is speaking in this text? It’s Satan, the evil one and he recognizes what God has done to bless Job. People take note of those who are blessed by God. Don’t you want God’s blessing on your life and our country as well? Here’s how!
Psalm 72:17 “May his name endure forever; may it continue as long as the sun. All nations will be blessed through him, and they will call him blessed.”
PROP.- What is the path to blessing for us personally and as a nation? That path is listed in scripture.
1- We must receive God’s correction
2- We must have God’s friendship
3- We must trust God’s wisdom
I. WE MUST RECEIVE GOD’S CORRECTION
ILL.- Someone said that the handwriting on the wall usually means someone is going to get a spanking.
We all know about those days. We were either the one who did the handwriting on the wall or the one who did the spanking. And maybe both. Correction is a part of life and it’s definitely a part of the Christian life.
Job 5:17 “Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.”
Blessed we are if God loves us enough to correct us. Parents who just let their kids do anything they want and run wild are not doing them a favor. In fact, it’s almost like they are cursing that child. Parents who love their children will make the effort to discipline and correct them. AND SO WITH GOD.
Psalm 94:12 “Blessed is the man you discipline, O LORD, the man you teach from your law.”
Proverbs 3:11-12 “My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.”
The scripture tells us that as God’s children we must receive His discipline and correction in this life. And who doesn’t need it at times? Even the best of God’s people need correction occasionally. Even the Billy Graham’s of our world.