Proverbs 14.34: "Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people." George Washington our 1st President said regarding patriotism: "While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion." The love of country is noble and healthy but the higher duties Washington writes of are outlined in our personal convictions living for Christ in a time where standing for truths that our nation were founded on is now passé. David, a righteous king who reigned fearing God & His Word wrote in Psalm 11.3: "If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?" Many Christians today are disoriented to what their duty is in a nation that is sinking in its morals. The best thing we can do for our country today is walk with God personally & share the Gospel with our neighbor
"Facebook introduced me to world of internet social networking. I was in an orchestral board meeting and I mentioned "the rolodex." I got real laughter. "You use a rolodex?" I was bewildered. I had not heard that rolodex was out. "People use facebook now." Well, I didn't know that facebook had replaced the rolodex, but the one telling me was a high level manager in a large Bay Area company. I figured he must be right. "Rolodex" was truly funny to several people in that meeting.
I had joined facebook without really thinking about what I was doing. Sometimes I make picks for the games of the NCAA basketball tournament. I decided to make them on the CBS sportsline website. I liked the way that my choices looked in their proper place on the bracket on the computer screen. To use their bracket I had to join this "facebook" thing I had vaguely heard of. This was several years ago. After I signed up, I started getting requests in my email box, asking me to be a friend. I always said, "no," and deleted them. I hadn't even looked at my facebook site. About six months ago, I decided to become more active at facebook because it was something my son was going to be involved with and I wanted him to have accountability.
I learned a little about facebook. There were many aspects about it that I never liked. I was always uncomfortable there. Everyone in our family has now deleted his facebook account. I'm going to tell my problems with facebook. This will give someone reasons why to delete a facebook account. I'm not expecting that any one of these reasons will be enough to persuade someone to drop it like I did, but all of them combined should at least get you thinking. Once I deleted my account, I have not only not missed it, but it has been wonderful to lose it.
1. Facebook hinders scriptural values.
Facebook wasn't around when David Wells wrote No Place for Truth, but if it was, I think he would have written about it in that book.
Having turned inward in a search for meaning, we turn outward in a search for direction, scanning others for the social signals they emit regarding what is in and what is out, what is desirable and what is not. . . . This person is oriented not to inner values but to other people. It is in the peer group that acceptance is found and outcasts are named. . . . Where once people took pride in accomplishments and in their character, [they] think only of how they stand with others. . . . Once people worked to achieve tangible ends, to accomplish things. Now, such accomplishments are of far less significance than one's "image." Once people worked; now they manipulate. Once people sweated; now they seduce. Once people wished to be respected, to have their accomplishments recognized; now they wish to be envied, regardless of whether they are envied for anything they have actually accomplished. This characteristic of modernity does not orient itself toward God, but toward people. It influences away from judging based on scriptural values and toward judging based upon a societal norm.
2. Facebook alters the biblical understanding of friendship.
To be a friend at facebook, just click. Normally I'm careful with whom I choose as friends. I might be able to be a friend to someone, but someone can't be a friend to me without fulfilling certain characteristics. James tells us (4:4) that friendship with the world is enmity with God. I can't have enmity with God, so I can restrain myself in my choice of friends. I'm to have no company with certain people and mark and avoid others. People in your "friends" list at facebook might be people that would never join my church. We don't believe or practice the same. I don't want to call them my friends. In so doing, I believe I'm just dumbing down what the Bible says about a friend. Here's something else that Dr. Carl Trueman said about it:
The way of connecting with people on Facebook is, apparently, to `friend' somebody. That the noun has become a verb is scarcely cause for concern; but the cheapening of the word surely is. Simply to be linked to someone on the internet is not true friendship; yet the use of the word creates the image that such is the case, or at least blurs the difference between casual internet acquaintance and somebody for whom one might have real affinity, affection, and concern. . . . Further, as the language of friendship is hijacked and cheapened by these internet social networks, this cheapening itself is part and parcel of a redefining of intimacy based upon the erosion of the boundaries between the public and private.
3. Facebook sets wicked things before your eyes.
I can't control the content of what I look at on my facebook page. I not only look at things I don't want to see, but I invite others to look at them when they look at my facebook page. Pictures, advertisements, and statements show up that I don't want to see or have others see either.
4. Facebook causes people to stumble.
I might be able to handle some of what my "friends" believe and practice, but not everyone can. I'd rather not introduce people to other people that I'd rather they didn't meet.
5. Facebook hinders real discernment.
If you were to judge each of your friends based upon a scriptural standard, you would probably lose a large number of them. But you don't. Why? You want to be sociable. It encourages you to make decisions based upon how you feel instead of what the Bible says.
6. Facebook wastes time.
I know you could argue with me on this one by pointing out other ways I waste time. You may think that I'm doing that by writing this blog. Fine. I think it's different but I'm not going to take the time to defend my blog writing right now. Here's how facebook uniquely wastes time. You open yourself up to social activity that you wouldn't choose as a good use of your minutes. You have a friend who isn't much of a friend. That friend writes on your wall. Now what do you have to do? You have to write something back to him. Don't you want to keep your choices about communication under control? You have created new things to take away time from something productive. If you have facebook, you've got to maintain it. Is it worth maintaining?
7. Facebook encourages busybodying.
I've had people ask to be my friend whom I know don't care about me. I know they don't really want to be my friend. What is it that people want? They want to find out what you're doing. I'm not ashamed of what I'm doing, but I believe that this kind of voyeurism fits the biblical criteria of the busybody. It influences others toward being one. "Why did so and so become his friend and not mine?" "I wonder why he has so many friends or who those people are."
8. Facebook hinders real relationships.
Do you think that a real relationship is sitting in front of a computer screen at 11:00 at night? When you could be talking to a real person either in person or by phone, you are constructing your facebook persona.
9. Facebook doesn't like bold, biblical Christianity.
Watch your "friends" list shrink when you confront people about something sinful on their wall, in a photo, or in a comment. Facebook isn't designed for confrontational Christianity, the kind we see Jesus do in the Bible. Typical facebook brings up something essentially secular, earthly, or temporal. You then interact on the same level, training yourself to do more of it. It is a bastion of compromise.
10. Facebook redefines biblical community.
In a real community people do things for each other. Facebook isn't about doing anything to help anyone. I'm not saying that nothing can be done, but it doesn't encourage that. It encourages a fake community. You can join a cause, but what does the cause really do? When you're asked to join a cause, for instance, against internet pornography. That is good. That's a wonderful thing to be against. I'm even for being in a group that is against it. It might even make me think more about being against it. But how are you helping get rid of pornography? What you could do is talk to someone that has an immodest picture up and ask him to take it down. And I really am part of a group that is already against it---my church.
11. Facebook offers way too much acceptance.
Much of what is on facebook should be rejected. However, facebook is all about affirming. You affirm people that really need confrontation. Since very often you can't really know the person you're talking to, you could easily be reaffirming someone with a lukewarm, worldly brand of Christianity that isn't honoring to Christ.
12. Facebook is too public.
Yes, too public. What do I mean? It offers people an opportunity to snoop around and get information. I recognize that you have means on facebook to control that, but it still is a place for trolling perverts. I don't want to be on the same playing field with them or encourage others to be there with me....and him.
13. Facebook preys on fleshly tendencies of man's nature.
Facebook makes you think too much about yourself. Your status shouldn't matter. Someone shouldn't have to return a comment just because you've made one. Facebook fits the narcissism of our day in which men have become lovers of their own selves. What difference does it make how many friends you have as long as you have the friend of sinners Himself, the Lord Jesus.
14. Facebook breaks down decent language.
You can talk right on facebook, but it doesn't encourage it. What it encourages is drivel. We should want to elevate one another, to bring up the level of discourse. That doesn't occur when these abbreviations and slang are used. Young people even feel pressured to bow to talking like this. It attacks spelling, grammar, syntax, and cogent thought. It's lazy speech and many times gutter language.
15. Facebook spawns fraudulence and hypocrisy.
You don't have to be who you are on facebook. You can create a whole different persona of yourself that is a lie. It spawns this kind of activity. Here's what Trueman wrote on this:
On Facebook, I can be anybody I want to be: an eighteen year old Californian with a six-pack, good teeth, a sun tan and a pilot's license; or even a 25 year old blonde beauty queen from North Carolina with a degree in astrophysics. I can become the ultimate in self-created beings - a factor which, I am sure, also partially explains the massive, if little noted, popularity of role-playing video games in the modern world. In virtual world, be it Facebook or the undersea city portrayed in Bioshock, I can be anyone I choose to be. I am the Creator; or at least, I have the potential to think I am. Even if you sort of know who you're talking to, the person can take advantage of the anonymity of it.
16. Facebook tempts toward infidelity.
I've seen married women talking to younger men on facebook, legitimizing this kind of relationship and giving a false boost to the boy's ego. Her picture might be the most inviting, even a little risque, putting thoughts in his mind that he shouldn't have. Men like to hear someone boast on them, and perhaps they're not getting enough of that at home. These places and others stimulate that kind of activity. Men and women mix in unhealthy ways that would be discouraged in a different setting. Her husband may not be talking to her like she is talked to. She doesn't have to work at it. She can just go to her facebook to get what she needs.
17. Facebook makes you a consumer in a day when we need more producers.
Facebook is a company. They sell ads. They make money off of you. You may not buy anything, but you are another statistic for them to use to sell ads. In other words, facebook is using you. You may think that you are using facebook, but I would say that the owners think otherwise, especially as they laugh all the way to the bank.
18. Facebook is an easy temptation when you need to be getting something done---really done.
You need to write. Go to facebook instead. Homework not done. Gotta do facebook. Need to memorize some Scripture. Facebook is there. Haven't exercised. Oh well, let's facebook. Trueman again writes:
Well, the virtual world is new but it is here to stay; and it will no doubt continue to shape human behavior and self-understanding. We cannot ignore it but neither should we simply allow it to dictate to us who we are and how we think. Thus, we must teach people by precept and example that real life is lived primarily in real time in real places by real bodies. Pale and pimply bloggers who spend most of their spare time onanistically opining about themselves and their issues and in befriending pals made up of pixels are not living life to the full; nor are those whose lives revolve around videogames; rather they are human amoebas, subsisting in a bizarre non-world which involves no risk to themselves, no giving of themselves to others, no true vulnerability, no commitment, no self-sacrifice, no real meaning or value. To borrow a phrase from Thoreau, the tragedy of such is that, when they come to die, they may well discover that they have never actually lived.
For myself, I rejoice that I grew up before the web and the videogame supplanted the real world of real friendships, real discussions, real lives. I did not spend my youth growing obese and developing Vitamin D deficiency in front of an illuminated screen, living my life through the medium of pixels.
19. Facebook causes more facebook.
Very few people could handle facebook in a scriptural manner. It offers so many temptations. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
Nineteen might seem like a lot. I could have named more." - Kent Brandenburg
Original post: http://kentbrandenburg.blogspot.com/2009/02/why-to-delete-facebook-account.html
When the Enemy comes in like a tsunami flood; 9 times out of 10 we get subjective, self-conscious, and sink into our little limited world of hurt, sorrow and fear. Then our perception of life and those around us becomes un-objective subject to our own private interpretation and not from God's Word of Promise. That's because we stop looking at our Victor Jesus Christ who beat sin & death at the Cross. Much of the time we slip into this downward spiral because of not the great mountain but the little things that cause us to panic. Elijah that great courageous prophet fled not from the voice of a king or an army but from the threat of a woman. Satan is a liar and his lies are purposed to stun us from manifesting the Glorious Gospel of Grace & to live in self pity. Let's learn to lay hold of the promise & live in our place in the Body & not our feelings.
I read this recently and it spoke to me about STILLNESS. Here is an excerpt from Fenelon's Book:
"It is certain from the Holy Scriptures (Rom. viii.; John xiv.,) that the Spirit of God dwells within us, acts there, prays without ceasing, groans, desires, asks for us what we know not how to ask for ourselves, urges us on, animates us, speaks to us when we are silent, suggests to us all truth, and so unites us to Him that we become one spirit. (1 Cor. vi. 17.) This is the teaching of faith, and even those instructors who are farthest removed from the interior life, cannot avoid acknowledging so much. Still, notwithstanding these theoretical principles, they always strive to maintain that in practice the external law, or at least a certain light of learning and reason, illuminates us within, and that then our understanding acts of itself from that instruction. They do not rely sufficiently upon the interior teacher, the Holy Spirit, who does everything in us. He is the soul of our soul; we could not form a thought or a desire without Him. Alas! what blindness is ours! We reckon ourselves alone in the interior sanctuary, when God is much more intimately present there than we are ourselves.
What, then! you will say, are we all inspired? Yes, doubtless; but not as were the prophets and apostles. Without the actual inspiration of the Spirit of grace, we could neither do, nor will, nor believe any good thing. We are, then, always inspired, but we incessantly stifle the inspiration. God does not cease to speak, but the noise of the creatures without, and of our passions within, confines us and prevents our hearing. We must silence every creature, including self, that in the deep stillness of the soul we may perceive the ineffable voice of the Bridegroom. We must lend an attentive ear, for his voice is soft and still, and is only heard of those who hear nothing else!
Ah, how rare is it to find a soul still enough to hear God speak! The slightest murmur of our vain desires, or of a love fixed upon self, confounds all the words of the Spirit of God. We hear well enough that he is speaking, and that he is asking for something, but we cannot distinguish what is said, and are often glad enough that we cannot. The least reserve, the slightest self-reflective act, the most imperceptible fear of hearing too clearly what God demands, interferes with the interior voice. Need we be astonished, then, if so many people, pious indeed, but full of amusements, vain desires, false wisdom, and confidence in their own virtues, cannot hear it, and consider its existence as a dream of fanatics? Alas! what would they with their proud reasonings? Of what efficacy would be the exterior word of pastors, or even of the Scriptures themselves, if we had not within, the word of the Holy Spirit giving to the others all their vitality? The outward word, even of the Gospel, without the fecundating, vivifying, interior word would be but an empty sound. It is the letter that alone killeth (2 Cor. iii. 6), and the Spirit alone can give us life.
O! eternal and omnipotent word of the Father, it is thou that speakest in the depth of our souls! The word that proceeded from the mouth of the Saviour, during the days of his mortal life, has only had energy to produce such wonderous fruits, because it has been animated by that Spirit of life which is The Word itself. Hence it is that St. Peter says: Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. (John vi. 68.)
It is not, then, the outward law of the Gospel alone which God shows us internally, by the light of reason and faith; it is his Spirit that speaks, touches, operates in and animates us; so that it is the Spirit which does in us and with us whatever we do that is good, as it is our soul that gives life to our body, and regulates all its movements.
It is, then, true, that we are continually inspired, and that we do not lead a gracious life, except so far as we act under this interior inspiration. But O God! how few Christians feel it! how few are they, who do not annihilate it by their voluntary distractions, or by their resistance!
I thank thee, O my God with Jesus Christ, that Thou hast hid thine ineffable secrets from these great and wise ones, whilst Thou takest pleasure in revealing them to feeble and humble souls! It is with babes alone that Thou art wholly unreserved; the others Thou treatest in their own way; they desire knowledge and great virtues, and Thou givest them dazzling illuminations, and convertest them into heroes. But this is not the better part; there is something more hidden for thy dearest children; they lie with John on thy breast. As for these great ones who are constantly afraid of stooping and becoming lowly, Thou leavest them in all their greatness; they shall never share thy caresses and thy familiarity, for to deserve these, they must become as little children, and play upon thy knees.
I have often observed that a rude, ignorant sinner, just beginning to be touched by a lively sense of the love of God, is much more disposed to listen to this inward language of the Spirit of Grace, than those enlightened and learned persons who have grown old in their own wisdom. God, whose sole desire is to communicate Himself, cannot, so to speak, find where to set his foot in souls so full of themselves, who have grown fat upon their own wisdom and virtues; but, as says the Scripture, "his secret is with the simple." (Prov. iii. 32. vulg.)
I was once as wise as any; thinking I saw everything, I saw nothing; I crept along feeling my way by a succession of reasonings, but there was no ray to enlighten my darkness; I was content to reason. But when we have silenced everything within, that we may listen to God, we know all things without knowing anything, and then perceive that, until then, we were utterly ignorant of all that we thought we understood. We lose all that we once had, and care not for it; we have then no more that belongs to self; all things are lost, and we with them. There is something within that joins with the spouse in the Canticles in saying; "Let me see thy countenance, let he hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice and thy countenance is comely." (Sol. Song, ii. 14.) Ah! how sweet is that voice, it makes me all tremulous within! Speak, O beloved, and let none other dare to speak but Thee! Be still, my soul; speak, Love!
Then it is that we know all things without knowing anything. Not that we have the presumption to suppose that we possess in ourselves all truth. No! on the contrary, we feel that we see nothing, can do nothing, and are nothing: we feel it and are delighted at it. But in this unreserved abandonment, we find everything we need from moment to moment, in the infinity of God. There we find the daily bread of knowledge, as of everything else, without lying up; then the unction from above teaches us all truth, while it takes away our own wisdom, glory, interest, yea, our own will; it makes us content with our powerlessness, and with a position below every creature; we are ready to yield to the merest worms of the dust, and to confess our most secret miseries before the whole world, fearing unfaithfulness more than punishment and confusion of face.
Here it is, I say, that the Spirit teaches us all truth; for all truth is eminently contained in this sacrifice of love, where the soul strips itself of everything to present it to God."
When I think of great Mom's I think first of my Mother who is now with the Lord. My Mom was much like Hannah of 1 Samuel 1 who when I was born prayed over me on the diaper changer and committed me, her unexpected newborn, to the Lord to serve the Lord full-time. Her prayers brought me to Christ & to His service. Often when I woke early I could find her with her Bible open at the kitchen table praying. Like Hannah, mother's pray and their prayers are deep and effectual to the moving of nations and people for the Gospel. Hannah was embarrassed, fruitless, misunderstood and pitied. She prayed earnestly with words that could not be uttered. The Lord heard her plea and gave her a son whom she committed to God. Nothing to me illustrates better the groanings of the Spirit in Romans 8 than the fervent prayers of a Godly mother.
Here is Hannah's prayer & praise of victory: "My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation. 2 There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God. 3 Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. 4 The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength. 5 They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble. 6 The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. 7 The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. 8 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD's, and he hath set the world upon them. 9 He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail. 10 The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed".
Our salvation and our position in Christ is Rich as well as Unchangeable. People have asked me what are the benefits and accomplishments of our Salvation and where are they listed.
This list may record similar concepts but they are not synonymous. Each item on the list identifies a separate aspect of our salvation in Christ. These events and doctrines are intertwined and overlapping but they are each individual features of salvation’s enrollment package provided to each believer in Jesus Christ. A list of thirty-three “stupendous works of God which together comprise the salvation of a soul” was presented by Lewis Sperry Chafer in volume three, Soteriology, of his eight volume set entitled Systematic Theology in 1948. The following list is an adaptation of Chafer’s work:
Imputed righteousness – The righteousness of God is imputed to us (1 Cor. 1:30; 6;11; Heb. 10:14; Eph. 1:6; Col. 1:12). “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
Justification – Because of our possessing the righteousness of God we are declared righteous and are justified before God. “For all . . . are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23, 24
Children of God (regeneration) – We are regenerated or born again through the power of the Holy Spirit (John 3:1-12; Titus 3:5; Rom. 8:16; 1 Cor. 2:14). “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” John 1:12, 13
Communication with the Holy Spirit – With our new life our spirit has communication with the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:14). “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” Romans 8:16
Imputed everlasting life – We receive the everlasting life of God (1 Cor. 15:22) “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does no have the Son of God does not have life.” 1 John 5:11-12
Baptism into Christ by the Holy Spirit – We are placed into Christ or into union with Jesus Christ by being baptized into Christ by the Holy Spirit (Romans 6:4; Gal.3:27) “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body.” 1 Corinthians 12:13
Propitiation – God has been satisfied or appeased because his holiness has pacified with the death of Jesus paying the penalty for sin (Rom. 3:25; 1 John 4:10; 1 John 2:2; Hebrews 2:17). “God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement through faith in his blood.” Romans 3:25
Reconciliation – God no longer has enmity against the believer. The believer has access to God and is considered by God to be a friend and an ally (2 Cor.5:18-19). “For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Romans 5:10
Redemption – God has purchased the believer from the slave market of sin (Rom. 3:24; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Gal. 5:1). “With your blood you purchased men for God.” Revelation 5:9
Forgiveness – We are totally forgiven of our past sins by God the Father. Forgiveness stands ready and available to the believer for present and future sins by returning to God with confession of those sins (Is. 43:25; Is. 44:22; Ep. 1:7; Col. 1:14; 1 John 1:9). “He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code.” Colossians 2:13
Removal of condemnation – At the moment of salvation, the sentence of condemnation is removed. The believer is free form the condemnation and wrath of God’s justice. The believer will no longer share in Satan’s final destiny, the Lake of Fire (Rom. 8:1-3) “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever dies not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3:18
Removal of the dominion of the sin nature – The sin nature does not leave the believer but its authority is replaced with the indwelling Holy Spirit who now has jurisdiction (Romans 6:6-12). “Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.” Romans 6:11, 12
Removal of Satan’s power – The believer is freed from the Satan’s kingdom of evil (1 John 5:19; Eph. 6:11-12; Eph. 2:1; Gal. 5:1). “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves.” Colossians 1:12-13
Freedom from the penalty of the Mosaic Law – The believer is delivered from the curse of the Law of Moses that is guaranteed to all who attempt salvation by works (Rom. 6:4; 7:4, 6; 8:2; 13:8). “All who rely on observing the law are under a curse . . . Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.” Galatians 3:10-13
Identification with Jesus Christ – The believer is permanently and forever identified with Christ in his death, burial, resurrection and ascension (Rom. 6:3-12). “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” Galatians 2:20
Indwelling of God the Father – The believer is indwelt by God the Father (John 14:23). “One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:6
Indwelling of God the Son – The believer is indwelt by Jesus Christ (Romans 8:10). “To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27
Indwelling of God the Holy Spirit – The believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:11; John 14:17; Rom. 5:5; 8:9; Gal. 3:2). “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Salvation is sealed – God has sealed your salvation making it permanent and guaranteed by providing his stamp of ownership which is the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13; 2 Tim. 2:19). “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30
Soul is circumcised – The believer is separated from his past and unhindered ready to respond to God. His soul is ready to receive from God the new instruction and the new plan for his new life. (Jer. 4:4; Deut. 10:16-17). “No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code.” Romans 2:29
Angelic protection and service – Angels were created to serve God. Our position in Christ places us inline to receive angelic assistance in life (Heb.2:7; 1 Co. 6:3). “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? Hebrews 1:14
Sins judged – Our sins received the full penalty of judgment on the cross. Christ was not punished for his sins, but ours. Our sins were judged and the penalty was given to Christ to pay. (Lev. 5:6, 7; Job 8:4; Heb.9:26, 28). “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree.” 1 Peter 2:24
Adopted – We were adopted into the family of God and given full rights and privileges as Sons of God (Romans 8:15; 23; 1 John 3:1-3). “He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 1:5
Eternal relationship with God – Because of Jesus presence at the right hand of God we have eternal access and eternal relationship with God the Father (James 4:8). “Now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:13; John 17:24-26)
Placed on the rock of Jesus Christ – Our salvation is based on Jesus who is the eternal rock that can never be shaken or moved. Unless that rock, Jesus Christ, is shaken our salvation is not going to move, let alone, go anywhere. (2 Corinthians 1:21; Ephesians 2:20) “No one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:11
A gift to Christ – The believer is a gift given to Jesus Christ by God the Father. This is not a gift that will be taken away (John 17:5; 17:20). “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” (John 10:29)
Member of the royal priesthood – Each believer becomes a priest before God. Since each of these priests is also a member of the family of God they are called a royal priesthood. Each believer represents themselves before God. (1 Peter 2:5; Rev. 1:6) “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. “ 1 Peter 2:9
A chosen Generation – The word generation can speak of a literal forty year generation or it can refer to a people, a stock, a species or a kind. Believers are a special species or stock of people. Believers are a unique species of people because they are “chosen” which means they are chosen for privilege and opportunity. (1 Peter 2:9; 2 Cor. 5:17) “Who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” Titus 2:14
Gain access to God – Believers have gained access to God because our eternal high priest, Jesus, is at his right hand (Heb. 4:14, 16; 10:19-20; Rom. 5:2) “For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.” Ephesians 2:18
Placed in the “much more” care of God – Believers are objects of his love (Ep.2:4; 5:2), objects of his grace for keeping (Rom. 5:2,3), objects of his grace for service (Eph. 4:7), and objects of his grace for instruction (Titus 2:12-13). We are the recipients of God’s constant and special care (Ep. 1:9; Phil. 1:6; 2:13; Heb. 13:5) “Since we have been justified by his blood how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath.” Romans 5:9
Partners with Christ – The believers association in partnership with Christ occurs in several areas: In life – Colossians 1:27 In position – Colossians 3:1 In service – 1 Corinthians 1:9 In suffering – 2 Timothy 2:12 In prayer – John 14:12-14 In marriage – 2 Cor. 11:2; Ep. 5;25-27 In anticipating his return – Titus 2:13; Heb. 10:13 We inherit Christ’s eternal future – Instead of participating in Satan’s future we inherit Christ’s future (1 Peter 1:4; Col. 3:24). “For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance.” Hebrews 9:15
Citizens of the heavenly city – Believers are citizens (politeuma) of heaven and our names are listed with full rights and recognized legal standing in this eternal city even while we live on earth (Ep. 2:19) “Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there.” Philippians 3:20
Members of the royal family of God – Jesus is titled “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev.19:16). Believers make up that coalition of “kings” and “lords” that Jesus has assembled as his family members. The family of God is a family of royalty. “The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses nd dressed infine linen, white and clean . . . On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: ‘King of Kings and Lord of Lords.’ ” Revelation 19:14, 16
Fellowship with believers – Believers are placed in a state of union with every other believer in time through the family ties associated with being in the family of God and with being in the body of Christ (John 17:11, 21-23). “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another.” 1 John 1:7
Light in the Lord – The verse “God is light” means he is transparently holy with no moral darkness. The believer is this same light by their position in Christ. In life the believer is to let this light shine in how they live their lives in this dark world. (Matt. 5:14-16; 1 John 1:7) “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.” Ephesians 5:8
United to the Trinity – Believers are intimately united with the Trinity: Believers are in God the Father (1 Thess. 1:1) God the Father is in believers (Ep. 4:6) Believers are in God the Son (Ep. 1:4; Jn. 15:5) God the Son is in believers (Col. 1:27; Jn. 15:5) Believers are in the Holy Spirit (Mt. 3:11; Mk. 1:8; Lk. 3:16; maybe-1 Co.12:13) God the Holy Spirit is in believers (1 Cor. 2:12; Ep. 2:2; Rom. 8:9; 1 John 4:13) Glorified – At the point of salvation God sees us as glorified in heaven and already in the final state of complete salvation. This will become an experiential reality when Jesus Christ returns. “Those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” Romans 8:30
“We know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:2
Fullness – Each believer is full and complete in Christ even to the state of being in a position above every spiritual power and authority. “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.” Colossians 2:9, 10
Spiritual blessings – At the moment of salvation every spiritual blessing in Christ is bestowed on us. Many of them are listed here but there are surely more. Understanding and accessing these blessings comes through understanding the word of God and maturing in our lives as believers.
Senator James Harlan of Iowa, whose daughter later married President Lincoln's son Robert, introduced this Resolution in the Senate on March 2, 1863. The Resolution asked President Lincoln to proclaim a national day of prayer and fasting. The Resolution was adopted on March 3, and signed by Lincoln on March 30, one month before the fast day was observed.
By the President of the United States of America.
Whereas, the Senate of the United States, devoutly recognizing the Supreme Authority and just Government of Almighty God, in all the affairs of men and of nations, has, by a resolution, requested the President to designate and set apart a day for National prayer and humiliation.
And whereas it is the duty of nations as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.
And, insomuch as we know that, by His divine law, nations like individuals are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment, inflicted upon us, for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole People? We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!
It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.
Now, therefore, in compliance with the request, and fully concurring in the views of the Senate, I do, by this my proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th. day of April, 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer. And I do hereby request all the People to abstain, on that day, from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite, at their several places of public worship and their respective homes, in keeping the day holy to the Lord, and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion.
All this being done, in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of the Nation will be heard on high, and answered with blessings, no less than the pardon of our national sins, and the restoration of our now divided and suffering Country, to its former happy condition of unity and peace.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this thirtieth day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty seventh.
By the President: Abraham Lincoln William H. Seward, Secretary of State.
Source: Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, edited by Roy P. Basler.
For this National Day of Prayer I was stirred to read Power through Prayer. Here are some paragraphs that strike the chord of prayer and wake the sleepless from their slumber. The problems of our nation go far beyond the economic issues, deeper than social disorder, and higher than political change. The problem lies in prayerlessness:
"If I shut up heaven so no rain falls, or if I command locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, if My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer offered in this place." 2 Chronicles 7:13-15
History is not made nor countries changed by mere activities of the political machine or the campaign of great armies, but history is made and mountains are moved in the quiet prayer closet of the weak saint moved by the Spirit in prayer.
Enjoy these quotes...
An eminent historian has said that the accidents of personal character have more to do with the revolutions of nations than either philosophic historians or politicians will admit. This truth applies to the gospel of Christ; the character and conduct of the followers of Christ can Christianize the world, transfigure nations and individuals.” (E.M.Bounds, 1989. Page 15.)
“Real ministry is made in the closet of prayer; God's men and women are made in secret. Their lives and their profoundest convictions are born in their secret communion with God. The burdened and tearful agony of their spirits, their weightiest and sweetest messages come form time alone with God. “The church today is weak in praying. The pride of learning is against the dependent humility of prayer. Prayer is with the church too often only official—a performance for the routine of service.” (E.M.Bounds, 1989. Page 17.)
“Ministry which kills is prayerless ministry. Without prayer we create death, and not life... Professional praying in the worship service will always exist, but professional praying helps the dead word do its deadly work. Professional praying chills and kills both the word and true prayer.” (E.M.Bounds, 1989. Page 29.)
“No learning can make up for the failure to pray. No earnestness, no diligence, no study will supply its lack... Talking to others for God is a great thing. But talking to God for others is greater still. We will never speak to people for God with real success until we have learned how to speak to God for people.” (E.M.Bounds, 1989. Page 36.)
“True praying engages and sets fire every high element of the Christian's being. Prayer is born out of vital oneness with Christ and the fullness of the Holy Ghost. It springs from the deep, overflowing fountains of tender compassion and concern for humanity's eternal good. True prayer is a consuming zeal for the glory of God; it involves a thorough conviction of the difficult and delicate work of the ministry and the imperative need of God's help....only ministry backed by such praying sow the seeds of eternal life in human hearts and builds others up for heaven.” “We may excuse our spiritual poverty in many ways, but the reason will be found in the lack of urgent prayer for God's presence in the power of the Spirit.” (E.M.Bounds, 1989. Pages 40-41.)
“...perhaps little praying is worse than no praying. Little praying is a kind of make-believe, a salve for the conscience, a farce, and a delusion.” (E.M.Bounds, 1989. Page 42.)
“Christians who gain lasting results for God are those who have prevailed in their pleadings with God before venturing to plead with others.” (E.M.Bounds, 1989. Page 41.)
“A ministry may be a very thoughtful ministry without prayer; we may secure fame and popularity without prayer; our lives may be run with the oil of prayer or with scarcely enough to grease a single cog. But no ministry can be a spiritual one, resulting in holiness, without prayer as an evident and controlling force.” (E.M.Bounds, 1989. Page 45.)
“A prepared heart is better than a prepared teaching, for a prepared heart will result in a prepared teaching. ...we do not meditate on God and his Word and watch and fast and pray enough.” (E.M.Bounds, 1989. Page 74.)
“He who has prayed well has studied well.” (Martin Luther quoted in E.M.Bounds, 1989. Page 76.)
“While the channel of ministry is the mind, its fountain is the heart.” (E.M.Bounds, 1989. Page 76.)
“Anointing comes not to the study but to the closet. It is heaven's answer to prayer… The anointing is not the gift of genius. It is not found in the halls of learning. No eloquence can woo it. No industry can win it. No hands can confer it. It is the gift of God—the royal signet given to the King's own messengers. It is heaven's knighthood offered to the chosen true and brave ones who have sought this honor through many an hour of tearful, wrestling prayer.” (E.M.Bounds, 1989. Pages 86-87.)
“Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on earth. God does nothing but in answer to prayer.” (John Wesley quoted in E.M.Bounds, 1989. Page 97.)
“If some Christians that have been complaining of their ministers had... risen and stormed heaven with their humble, fervent, and incessant prayers for them, they would have been much more in the way of success.” (Jonathan Edwards quoted in E.M.Bounds, 1989. Page 103.)
“Prayer is one of the primary characteristics of strong spiritual leadership. People of powerful prayer are people who mold history. Their power with God has the conquering tread.
... “A prayerless ministry is the undertaker for God's truth and for God's church. We may have the most costly casket and the most beautiful flowers, but it is a funeral nevertheless. Ages of millennial glory have been lost by prayerlessness; the coming of our Lord has been postponed indefinitely by lack of prayer, and hell has enlarged and filled its dire caves in the presence of the dead service of a prayerless church.” (E.M.Bounds, 1989. Page 100.)
“Prayer to the pastor or preacher, is not simply the duty of his profession, a privilege; it is a necessity, like air to the lungs. It is absolutely necessary for the spiritual leader to pray. And it is equally necessary that the leader be prayed for. The two propositions are wedded into a union which ought never to know any divorce: the leader must pray; the leader must be prayed for.” (E.M.Bounds, 1989. Page 103.)
“Paul, with his clear and full apprehension of spiritual dynamics, determined to make his ministry as impressive, as eternal, as irresistible as the ocean. Paul's pre-eminence in labor and results, in influence on the church and the world, is found in the fact that he was able to center himself and his ministry on the prayers of others.” (E.M.Bounds, 1989. Pages 104-105. See: Romans 15:30, Ephesians 6:18-19, Colosians 4:3, 1Thessalonians 5:25, 2Corinthians 1:11, 2Thessalonians 3:1-2, Phillipians 1:19, Philemon 22.)
“The praying ones are to the leader as Aaron and Hur were to Moses––they hold up the hands that decide the outcome of the battle raging around them (Exodus 17:11-13). (E.M.Bounds, 1989. Page 106.)
“Spiritual work is taxing work. Praying, true praying, costs an outlay of serious attention and of time, which flesh and blood do not relish. Few persons are made of such strong fiber that they willingly give their all when a surface effort will do. We can accustom ourselves to mediocre praying until it looks acceptable to us. At least it keeps up a decent form and quiets the conscience. But such a habit is a deadly opiate; we can neglect prayer and not notice the danger until the foundations are gone.” (E.M.Bounds, 1989. Page 110.)
“Our ability to stay with God in the closet measures our ability to stay with him out of the closet...
“To pray is the greatest thing we can do; and to do it well we must have calmness, time and deliberation.” (E.M.Bounds, 1989. Page 111.)
“Non-praying is lawlessness, discord, anarchy. Prayer, in the moral government of God, is as strong and far-reaching as the law of gravitation in the material world, and it is as necessary as gravitation to hold things in their proper sphere and in life.” (E.M.Bounds, 1980.)