Daily Devotional for Wednesday August 2, 2006
What Can I Do
Sunday evening after I put the final touches on Monday's difficult Devotional, "The spiritual state of the United States," a Devotional that was written over the course of 6 days, I sat down with my wife to catch up on the news and try to find something interesting we could watch on television. I am always in awe how God chooses to confirm His word to us, often in very strange ways. Sunday night was one of those occasions when God used a very unique way of confirming this powerful word He led me to share on the spiritual state of our nation.
After watching a bit of the news, I began surfing through the stations. In case you didn't know, men are experts at surfing. We can blitz through the entire 900 channels of a satellite package in less than 4 minutes! Of course, about the third time we are going through the channels our wife finally has enough and not so gently tells us to find a station and leave it there! Being the obedient husband that I am (well, most of the time), I stopped on AMC (American Movie Classics) just in time for the start of "Tammy and the Bachelor," a 1957 classic starring Debbie Reynolds. After it was over we went out to eat some dinner, came back, and watched the 1963 movie, "Tammy and the Doctor" starring Sandra Dee and Peter Fonda.
No doubt you are probably a bit confused what possible confirmation from God could have come from watching two "Tammy" movies. To be frank with you, God could not have confirmed His word to me that I shared with you Monday on the spiritual state of this nation today any more clear than the way He did through those two movies. The "Tammy" movies had very simple plot lines, very simple characters, but the beauty of those movies was in the wholesome story they told.
There could have been no greater contrast for me than the goodness and values in the "Tammy" movies and the unadulterated evil and gross wickedness in the movies made today. Most telling of all was the natural use of Biblical references and a scene in "Tammy and the Doctor" where Tammy is kneeling by the ocean and...PRAYING!!! The key point being that in our nation just 5 decades ago, we had no probem with Biblical references or scenes of people praying. They were accepted as a normal part of most people's lives. Today, scenes like that unless they were mocking the Christian faith or casting it in a negative light would end up on the cutting room floor! In reality, a classic like "Tammy" would never even be made today!
In the span of a generation, we have gone from the innocent and purity of "Tammy," to the depravity and indecency of the year 2006. Biblical values which were accepted and embraced by our culture are now rejected and scoffed at. A nation that once knew the difference between right and wrong now denies there are such things. The heroes of that day were those who represented righteousness. The heroes of today are those who represent depravity. I could not have found better confirmation last Sunday night that the soul of this nation has been lost, than in watching those two "Tammy" movies.
After reading the powerful word on the spiritual state of our nation Monday, you can't read a message like that and not end up asking yourself, "What can I do?" The challenge in that message Monday was to be faithful, just like those who followed Christ before us were faithful. Let me break down for you today exactly what that means, how you can be faithful in these last days despite the evil and sin- infested world we are living in.
You see my friend, God has called ALL of His children to serve Him. Serving the Lord is not something we do if we feel like it, but it is something we are required to do. When you gave your heart and life to Jesus, you gave Him your very life. Your purpose in this life is to SERVE and glorify God with your life. Jesus spoke in parable after parable about being faithful. Faithful in your stewardship over the things God entrusts into your care during this life. Faithful in using the gifts and talents God blessed you with to serve Him. Faithful in using your time and energy to be about your Father's business.
***THE GREATEST PROBLEM IN THE LIVES OF MOST CHRISTIANS IS THE TIME THEY INVEST IN THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD VERSUS THE TIME THEY INVEST IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD!!!
Please, take a moment and make sure your mind is not wandering, since this is one of the most important and profound statements I have ever made to you. Listen to it clearly with your heart. The greatest problem in the lives of most Christians is the time they invest in the kingdoms of this world versus the time they invest in the Kingdom of God!!
So ask yourself, how much of your time, talent, and treasure do you invest in the things of this world verse the things of God? This is a very simple and straightforward question and the answer is one only you and God know for certain. Take a moment right now and honestly answer that question. How much of your time, talent, and treasure do you invest in the things of this world verses the things of God?
I love you and care about you so much. When we talk about the deteriorating spiritual condition of our nation today, we are faced with the legitimate question, "What can I do?" The answer to that question lies in the answer to the question in the paragraph above. For most, it is simply a matter of
investing more of your time, talent, and treasure into the things of God. Again, our purpose in this life is to serve and glorify Him with our lives. God calls us all to do that in unique ways. We all have different talents, different passions and things we are concerned about, and specific things God calls us to do in our life.
I am not saying that we are to ignore our spouse, our children, our careers, or even the things in this world that we enjoy. What I am saying is that our number one priority has to be our relationship with the Lord and how we are using our lives to serve Him. Again, service is not an option, it is a commandment for all of God's children. If more of God's people would get as passionate about their service to Christ as they are about the things of this temporal world we live in, we could see an immediate change in our culture and world almost overnight.
Jesus said in Luke 12:34, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." I would expand on that verse to also say where you spend your time, there your heart will be. Where you use your God-given talents, there your heart will be. Where is your time, talent, and treasure being spent today? In the things of this world, or the things of God?
What can you do about the declining spiritual state of this nation? Make a commitment today to start spending more of your time, more of your talent, and more of your treasure in serving the Lord. After all, it is what God has called all of His children to do and what anyone who has accepted the Lord has already agreed to do. When you asked Christ into your heart and life, you were literally giving Him your life. All of it. 100%! All of your time, all of your talent, and all of your treasure. It is no longer yours, it is all His If only those who know Jesus as their Savior would fully surrender their lives to Him, the spiritual state of this nation and world would be very different overnight.
I will be praying for you today to spend some time alone with the Lord, just you and Jesus. If you didn't know before what God expected of you, now you do. God is calling today to a deeper level of commitment, a deeper level of sacrificing your life, all of your life, for the Gospel. He wants your life fully surrendered to Him in these last days so that He can use you as an instrument of righteousness. Despite the spiritual state of our nation today, there are literally millions of hurting and lost souls Christ died for who are looking for the hope that is only found in Jesus. You are God's agent to bring those hurting and lost souls that hope they are desperately seeking.
The question is,' What can I do?" The answer is found in Romans Chapter 12 Verse 1, " Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship."