"Somebody once asked a child what one must do before receiving forgiveness of sin. The candid reply was, “Sin!” There could not have been a better answer." - Richard Wurmbrand (1909-2001)
"A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children" - Pr. 13:22
"...to ourselves and our posterity" - from the Preamble to the Constitution
The founding fathers of our once great country had envisioned the discovery, formation and establishment of a distinct people, a nation among the nations of the world, where they and their posterity would be able to live apart from suffocating influence of tyranny and to flourish in liberty, peace and the pursuit of their own happiness. The undaunting faith of our Pilgrim ancestors, with a determination and relentless devotion rarely seen today, drove them to carve out of the wilderness of a then untamed America, a sense of purpose and place, a home for their families. By the grace of God, the hard European stock of the English, Irish, Welsh and Scot men were eventually, through much blood, sweat and tears, able to fulfill their vision in the founding of a new nation.
These noble men of another era clearly understood what it meant for a good man leave an inheritance to his children's children. With each thrust of a shovel into the ground, swing of an axe or hammering of a nail into the hardwood lumber hewn from their newly discovered land, he looked forward, to the future, to what he was leaving his beloved family, to the next generation and many generations beyond.
Those today who regard these honorable men as their paternal forefathers owe them our utmost diligence to continue in their work. May we not let our country be given over to some other vision, another faith or some other people. As we have been given such a blessed inheritance from these devoted men, may we look forward to what we leave our posterity and to the future of our nation. God has shed His grace upon us in the past. May He do so once again. But let us be faithful to what has been entrusted to our care. And, as in the words of Goethe, "What we have as heritage, let us now take as task, for thus we will make it our own".
"[L]et the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us" - Psalm 90:17
We sell ourselves short if we fail to regularly consider the beauty of God. The Lord God is a beautiful God. His glorious being and character are all in and of themsleves most beautiful. His holiness is beautiful holiness. His love is a beautiful love. God defines beauty and in Him, and of Him, and by Him should we define beauty. All created things derive their reflected beauty from the beauty of God. May the Lord's beauty be upon us.
“Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord" - 2 Cor. 6:17
When the Word calls Christians out from the world, it does not mean we are to abandon our homes, churches and jobs to join a secluded monastery or go live on some remote cave. This passage has been used in the past as a pretext for such behavior, but in reality, this intepretation completely misses the point the apostle is trying to make.
Rather than advocating for some kind of literal escape from the world, Paul is actually appealing to the believer to seperate themselves in a much more significant manner - in a spiritual separation. For example, the believer's thinking should be separate from the unbeliever's thinking. As one who has experienced the 'renewing of their mind' (Rom. 12:1-2), the Christian's mind should dwell upon God and His will and purpose for us. Additionally, our speech should be separate from the world's speech. The way we talk should be edifying to the hearer, seasoned with the savor of Christ (Col. 4:6) so that God's people are known by how we speak with those around us. Finally, our actions should most certainly be separate. The course of the Christian's life should be constrained by the principals and precepts of Holy Scripture (2 Tim 3:17-18). We should refuse to engage in any activity that might mar our witness and testimony for Christ. Others should be able to look to the true disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ as an example of uncompromising moral character.
The believer's separation from the world is not seen in trying to disengage from the world around them, but rather to come out from among it by raising our own standard of holy living so that others might see our dedication in living and serving the Lord and be drawn to come out and separate themselves as well.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” – Hebrews 13:8
The old saying goes, “If there’s one certain thing in this world, it is that things change”. And this is only to be expected as the world is fallen; it has been corrupted from its once pristine and pure form. Change comes because sin has entered into the created order. In fact one of the most dramatic changes that have entered into the history of man is the reality of death (Rom. 5:12). Cultures change. People change. Values change. In this realm, the one sure thing is change. That is why the redemption of mankind from his fallen and sinful estate has to come from above. Jesus Christ was born from above and sent into this word to redeem and restore that which was lost. Where this world is constantly changing, the Bible says, He is the same yesterday, today and forever. There is sureness about Christ that fails in man. There is a steadfastness in His person, character and conduct which escapes the best of humanity. In Christ there is hope for there is no change. He is a Rock and Pillar upon which weak and weary man may rest, today and forever more.
"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" - Romans 12:2
If you have spent anytime following my ministry, you have heard me use the term, "Biblical worldview". Since I have grown accustom to using this phrase so frequently, I sometimes take it for granted people understand what I mean by it. But I realize this is not the case and I need to carefully define my terms so that what I want to convey comes across as I intend.
A Biblical Worldview is the "lens" through which Christians ought to understand and approach the world around them. It is a unique perspective. Our thoughts, words, and actions should be guided and informed by Scriptural precepts and principles. We should be willing to alter and/or change any area of our life when we find it is out of accord with the Word of God. This continual process of molding & shaping our Biblical worldview means rethinking & adjusting just about everything we might have once held on too as unbelievers.
Paul states it this way, he says to stop conforming yourself to the world (it's ideas, beliefs and influence) and begin transforming your mind (your thinking, your beliefs, your life) to God's Holy Word. As Christians do this, we should begin to look, speak, & act differently than those who don't know Christ. We are being formed into His image and that image should reflect upon the manner we live our lives. Everybody has a worldview. We all view the world around us with certain opinions, biases and suppositions. Yet for the Christian, we are called to cultivate a Biblical worldview, no longer conforming to the pattern of this world, but having the mind of Christ.
"Oh, how I love Your law!" - Ps. 119:97
Have you ever been in a art gallery or a museum, looking at some painting or artifact, and not really know what you're looking at? If you're not familiar with the artist or the artwork on display, it can come across as somewhat foreign, distant, and uninteresting.
This is how many believers look at the Law of God today. For far too many contemporary Christians, the commandments of the Lord are remote images of a time and place long since lost and forgotten. The Law of God must have had its purpose somewhere - back there - in history, but to try to find its relevance for us today is as difficult as understanding and appreciating a fine piece of artwork from an artist we simply are not familiar with.
If Christians are going to restore their admiration of God's law, they have to first restore their admiration for its Author. The Law of God reflects the character of the Lord. It is a window in the heart and mind of God, revealing those things which our Lord values most. It shows us what is important to Him, and therefore ought to convict us as to what should be important to us. May Christ's Church return to God's law, as a means of grace, a way of life. And may we become like the Psalmist of old - loving God in and by loving His law!
"Faithful are the wounds of a friend" - Proverbs 27:6
This Proverb is talking about the times when our friend or friends come to us and say things to us which - at first - may sting a little (or a lot) but ultimately serve our greater good. Notice it says "faithful" are the wound of a friend. When we confront someone with sin in their lives, when someone we know or love has veered off the straight and narrow, it is a faithful thing to try to bring them back towards the Lord.
But sometimes those words our friends bring to us in the form or rebuke or admonishion hurt - they are like a wound. Our carnal flesh, our sinful flesh will recoil at others who lovingly try to show us where we have gone wrong. Often, we take out our frustrations on them - attacking the messenger rather than dealing with the message. Wounds can hurt, but when viewed with a repentant heart, they are seen for what they really are.
This is what true friendship is all about, it's about helping one another remain faithful to God. Through our prayers, words and concerns we are to act as "our brother's keeper" in the sense of having each other's spiritual well-being in mind. True Christian friendship is sometimes best seen in this way - leading a fellow believer back into a plain and righteous path. If you are the one on the receiving end of this - remember faithful are the wounds of a true and godly friend.
Dr. R.J. Rushdoony offers some important thoughts on the rise of Humanism in our culture...