As I look back over my life, I can't help but wonder how our American society has so drastically changed over that time. Furthermore, it's not just America, but all of the nations who considered their people to be children of God. Violence has run amok like the incident shown above in Baltimore just a few years ago. When hate replaces goodness, people do bad things to one another. Many people have lost their self-control and patience, expecting everyone to accept bad behavior as normal. Selfishness has often become the rule and not the exception and putting faith in God has been removed to be replaced by faith in politicians and others who have no capability to do what they say they will.
Oh, there are still many good and devout followers of God in our land, but to say today that America is a nation of God is just not a reality anymore. The nation that was founded under the guiding hand of Providence by a group of patriots who understood the importance of Him, has now given way to a philosophy which basically says "if it feel good, do it," no matter what that means, the results be damned. And as each new generation begets further generations, the preponderance of the new naturally moves farther from God due to the example of their elders that they witness.
So what is the evidence today of what I say is a deeply divided nation?. People won't speak to others or even in some cases stay married to a spouse over minor issues, using them as reasons to justify what they do. Riots erupt, foul mouthed mobs threaten and we just so often look the other way for fear of being a victim of the carnage. This division between the lawful and good versus those who think any means to an outcome is acceptable has now reached a boiling point. If we don't figure out a way to correct it, our society and nation will be lost because as the passage from Matthew says, "A house divided against itself shall not stand."
What caused the change and, in recent years, put it on steroids and moved so fast that it's hard to grasp? The answer is simple, yet it's one that many won't accept and it is that we have replaced God in our hearts with our own desire for money, material things and the acceptance of lifestyles that curse rather than praise God. The Bible isn't just a story, it's God's word for how our lives should be lived and it's what He who made us in His image expects of us. And once we grasp that and realize that it's never too late to change our way of living and belief in Him by faith, our future again becomes bright and promising, not just for the individual but for a people who realize they were meant to be a nation of God.
Can the change to a positive moral outlook be accomplished? Yes, but it's not easy. Those of us who maintain our Christian faith and values are expected to set the example by loving others, even though they may hate us. Now that doesn't mean that we go stand in the middle of a riot and preach, but it does mean that we live for God with love in our hearts and forgive those who want to change their ways. We will never know how effective that can be on lost hearts until we try. After all, if God gave His Son up to die for us so that we might have the opportunity to live forever, He certainly has the power to use us as His representative with others on earth. It's what the Holy Spirit within us can do if we decide to use His grace to its fullest. And the result will be not only be a life of hope and promise but a nation that offers the same.
Dear Lord, We thank you for giving us the tools that we need, including your love and grace, the sacrifice of your son and the Holy Spirit within us to guide us and keep us on the right track of life in this world. Strengthen us, protect us and love us as we try to be living missionaries for your Kingdom as long as we live on earth. We ask in Jesus' name, Amen.