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Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance. Psalm 33:12 (NASB)

It’s been said, “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

During Old Testament times God repeatedly warned his people that judgment would come if they refused to heed him as the one and only true God.

As they entered the Promised Land they were warned not to engage themselves in the rituals and customs of the people who lived there. They were to remain true to the teachings of Moses, remain true to the covenant of Abraham.

They didn’t learn, of course. Throughout the ages history has proven that when a nation followed the principles laid out in the Holy Bible, God blessed them. When that nation strayed from those principles, decay began. People began to question the harsh expectations of God, or even doubt his existence. People looked to government for provision instead of relying on and trusting in God. They trusted their own consciences over the teachings of God’s Word.

There is a positive side, however, to dwelling in a land where the government refuses to acknowledge God. The church of Jesus Christ tends to thrive. Throughout history godless dictators and leaders have tried to squash the church. The early Jewish leaders tried it through persecution; Nero tried it with horrific slaughter of those who followed ‘The Way’.

God isn’t as concerned about the spiritual condition of government systems as he is the faithfulness of his people. The churches most famous persecutor, the Apostle Paul, tells us, Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.” Timothy 2:23-26 (NLT)

Do followers of Christ have a responsibility to involve themselves in political and social activity in order to show Christ’s love and share his grace and forgiveness? Certainly. But our main focus should be to bring our hearts, minds and passions into conformity with Christ.

Recently I’ve been reading “Throw Me Another Brick” by Charles Swindoll. The most important nugget I’ve taken thus far from his study of Nehemiah is that God changes leaders through prayer more than protests and outspoken criticism. A nation that refuses to acknowledge the God of the Holy Bible will fall, but the churches responsibility is to pray for its leaders (regardless of their religious affiliation) and show the world the love of Jesus Christ.

PRAYER: Most gracious and powerful Heavenly Father. I remind myself today that you are the supreme commander-in-chief of my life. No earthly power will change my allegiance to you. I pray for our leaders that they may follow your precepts, but more importantly I pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ, that we may show your love and grace daily to those around us, especially those we disagree with. Amen.

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