Attitude Check

2014-01-03 Human Nature

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

January 4, 2014

Apologies to the 210 friends who are receiving a 2nd posting. I failed to remove attachments from a previous mailing to PAG students and froze my Outlook app.

This is a mail-merge letter to our friends –

Human Nature

“The whole life of the Christian, from the beginning to the end,

is a conflict with the world and the powers of darkness,

a conflict within and without … .”

[Memorials of a Christian Life by August Neander]

Yesterday, a dear friend phoned. She was distressed over the future of our country. No doubt those reading these words share her concerns.

Human nature seems to focus upon the problem. News commentators are prospering by seeking, enhancing, and reporting ever more sensational examples of the problem(s). When we seek to stay informed, we are overwhelmed with negative events. Then, in conversation with friends, we do the same thing!

What does that produce? Awe at the size of the problem, a sense of helplessness & hopelessness, perhaps anger and frustration, often irrational actions that are counterproductive!

I would ask, “Excuse me, how big is your God?” Were God to drop by for an attitude check, I would not want to be found overwhelmed by the problem(s)! I want to be found excited about the things the Hand of God is doing in the midst of the “darkness”. I want to be found winning the “conflict within and without!”

How does one do that? By focusing upon the One who can overwhelm the problem as David and God overwhelmed Goliath. The glass is never empty. Focus upon what is left in the glass!

Will American civil-government degenerate into lawless chaos, marshal law, and tyranny? It is truly a reasonable possibility. One we would do well to consider and prepare for. Who can deny that it would illustrate the justice of God? Some Christians appear to welcome it as giving us what we deserve.

I am in another camp. Human history demonstrates that God prefers mercy over justice, when He can justify it. Would a wise judge release an unrepentant murderer? In a society, there must be corporate quality character to govern human nature. Not everyone, not even a majority, is necessary to qualify for God’s mercy over justice.

I want the world to see God’s mercy demonstrated to the world. Human nature understands justice. Justice produces bondage and death. Mercy produces liberty and faith.

Throughout this year, you are invited to join me in humbly praying, seeking God’s will over human nature, and turning from our selfish (i.e. sinful) ways. Then – Let us be informed, not only about the problems, but the Godly principles we may apply to overcome them.

Nothing confuses the enemy so much as a group of Christians rejoicing over the victory before the battle begins! Let us shun those who would join us in the battle while vigorously waving a white flag!

The Joy of the Lord is My Strength

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The time for grieving over the November 6th body blow is past! The politicized tragedies all around us are being used as diversions. Corruption, scandal, and evermore blatant evil have cast a pall across America as we enter what is traditionally the happiest, most joyful time of the year.

Pause and consider –

What would “evil” want us focused upon?

What is the last thing “evil” wants upon our thoughts?

It is time for an “attitude check”! I am rebuking “gloom” for the rest of December.

Jesus is the reason for the season!

I will smile and say, “MERRY CHRISTMAS” to everyone I meet – telemarketers, shop clerks, total strangers on the sidewalk. I will seek to stay focused upon the celebration of our Lord’s birthday. That involves loving fellowship, hospitality, giving, — even eating!

Here is my paraphrase of the Bible story in the 8th chapter of Nehemiah. –

The leading civic and church leaders gathered with all the townsfolk and Ezra the priest opened the Bible and read it to everyone. (This was in July – but it is my paraphrase, so I’ll pretend it was in December!)

Ezra stood on a platform and read. He blessed all the people. They raised their hands, bowed their heads and worshipped the God of the Bible. The gifted teachers helped the people understand the scriptures.

Nehemiah, the “Tirshatha” (i.e. Shaw), and the other leaders said, “This day is holy unto the Lord your God, mourn not, nor weep.” (All the people wept when they heard the law.)

The Shaw told them, “Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared – for this day is holy unto the Lord: neither be ye sorry, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

The birth of the Savior of the world is certainly more significant and joyful than all the bad stuff His enemies can muster. They know in their hearts – as do we!!! –

God wins the war.

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