Our Lord knows how much we need his mercy for our sins are great!
It would not be hard to mistake our current sinful nation for Israel in the book of Joshua. Constantly sinning and falling short of a God who is with them and saves them, expecting obedience but not getting it. The penalty was severe for them as it will be for us
Today in America we find ourselves not living much better than the Israelites of Joshua's day.
Our priorities in life are grossly misplaced. We as Christians have succumbed to cheap grace, tribalism, spiritual laziness, and the secular gospel of self-absorption. In general we often spend more time on sports than reading the Bible, more time on social media than meeting others’ needs. We pray very little and when we do it is shallow and quick, a shopping list for God. Many seniors plan their retirement around laziness and inactivity. We would rather invest more free time and income in mundane entertainment than in the kingdom of God.
The Doctrine of Weaned Affections
The Puritans spoke of weaning our affections from the world.
This doctrine states that individuals must learn to wean themselves from earthly attachments/affections and instead make their spiritual life the priority. As we well know earthly attachments include material possessions: your home, furniture, clothing, and valuables etc. Yet the doctrine of weaned affections also reminds us of the things around us that we do not usually think of as unspiritual like the love of natural beauty, secular learning & knowledge, or intense devotion to one's spouse, children, or grandchildren. Orthodox Puritan theology points out that even relationships with family members must be secondary to God.
This should be a wakeup call for all of us as Christians in our coddled and biblically illiterate age!
Loosing Our Witness to the World
I am well aware of the argument by many Christians today that we must "stop being nice" and become fighters for the faith & America (The Black Robe Regiment, etc.) We should pick up our guns and go get those Marxist Liberals who are ruining our nation.
Yet knowing what sinners we really are I am concerned the cure may be worse than the disease.
But the fact that what many Christians profess and what we do and say go counter to their professions of faith. The secularists wonder if we really we believe what we say. If WE don’t believe it and practice it why should or would anybody else? Perhaps church is not worth all the time they require as there are better ways to live out our life than spending time every week in institutions that give a vague and faint representation of who Christ is and what he has done for us.
Immaturity in Christ
It does not take great powers of observation to realize that most Christians today are not maturing in their faith.
I can find very few Christians I know with whom I can even carry on a basic conversation regarding our Lord and the Bible.
Just to busy, don't know and don't care!
We live in a time, at least in America in which we have more Bibles and spiritual information available than any time in human history yet we INSIST on being ignorant of life and of God's Holy Word!
Reflect for a moment on your personal relationship with Christ. DO YOU HAVE ONE?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said:
“When all is said and done, the life of faith is nothing if not an unending struggle of the spirit with every available weapon against the flesh.”
“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
Have you really died with Christ? Have you abandoned the affections of this world?
Today is the day you can commit your life fully to Christ and not the idols of our world and culture.
Put away your shallow obsessions and focus on Christ. Pray, confess your sins and then actually repent of your thinking and behavior. Speak to your Lord as he walks beside you everyday! Christ is waiting for you, he loves you beyond your ability to comprehend!
Pick up your Bible and get down on your knees!
Christ himself said in the Gospel according to Matthew:
If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. (Matt. 16:24–27)