Wake up America!

 

 

Dr. John Ed Mathison

By John Ed Mathison

Last year I traveled to Chennai, India – 33 hours from Montgomery.  I arrived on Saturday night.  My purpose for going was to preach and teach.  I would preach on Sunday morning at The New Life Church (which averages over 45,000 each Sunday), and then teach 1,500 pastors for three days.

   I had a ten and half hour time change.  I knew that waking up on Sunday morning could be a challenge, but it would be extremely important. I needed a wakeup call.   I set my alarm.  It went off, I heard it, I got up, and I was at church on time.

    A wake up call is important.  Paul writes, “Knowing the time, it is already the hour for you to wake up from sleep.” (Romans 13:11)  He warned them – he gave a clear call to WAKE UP.  I believe that God’s call to America this July 2018 is to know the time –  and to WAKE UP.

1.      WAKE UP to our HERITAGE.  The Western world was discovered by Columbus who sailed where no one had sailed before.  He made it clear that he was directed, not by maps or mathematics, but by the guiding hand of God. 

   The current TIME Magazine Special Edition cover shows the pictures of our Founding Fathers – Washington, Jefferson and Franklin.  It also lists Adams, and Madison.  I finished a book last year titled, Where is America Headed?  Read pages 4-9 to see how these five men stated clearly the dominant role that God, the Bible and religion played in the establishment of this nation.  You can obtain it for $5 from our ministry office.  Our phone number and mailing address can be found on the website: www.johnedmathison.org .

2.      WAKE UP to our HEROES.  We enjoy our freedoms today because of a lot of heroes.  You can go out to any military cemetery and see endless rows of white crosses.  Each of them represents someone who gave his/her life that we might enjoy our freedoms.  Please don’t ever take that lightly.

Many of our kids are fans of heroes like Superman and Spiderman.  Real heroes are not those who display courage without weakness – but rather a hero is one who displays courage despite his/her weaknesses.  Heroes are people who stand at times of courage, controversy, challenge and justice. 

   Col. Bill Lawley was given the Congressional Medal of Honor because of his heroism in saving the lives of many aboard his B17 aircraft in 1944.  He was buried with military honors.  Bill Lawley told his friends, “I don’t consider myself as having won the Medal of Honor.  It’s not a competition.  I was just doing my duty.”

   WAKE UP to the thousands of people who are “just doing my duty”.  We are the recipients of that duty.

3.      WAKE UP to our HOPE.  It’s easy to be lulled to sleep in today’s culture by thinking our hope for the future is in military might or money or political correctness or superior intelligence or education – the list goes on and on.   But we must wake up to know that our ultimate hope is in God and God alone. 

   David writes, “Unless the Lord guards a city, guarding it with soldiers will do no good.” (Psalm 127:1)  “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…the best equipped army cannot save a king – for great strength is not enough to save anyone…A war horse is a poor risk for winning victories – it is strong but it cannot save…We depend upon the Lord alone to save us.  Only he can help us.  He protects us like a shield.”  (Psalm 33:12-21)

   Jeremiah writes, “Lord, You alone are our hope.” (17:17)  “There is hope for your future says the Lord.” (31:17)

   What time is it?  Time to WAKE UP!

What did you say?

 

 

Dr. John Ed Mathison

By John Ed Mathison

The soccer World Cup is described as the planet’s biggest sporting festival.  This year it is being played in Russia.  Because the Russian team lost some games late in the regular season, the Russian people were very critical and said ugly things about their team.

   Guess what?  A politician launched a bill that would make it a criminal offense to criticize the country’s national soccer team.  That’s right.  Vitaly Milonov is behind a bill that will set fines of $160 on anyone found guilty of “verbally tormenting” the team.  His reason is that such criticism lowers national moral.  He says, “Our players are ours regardless of how good they are.”  He told the Pravda Newspaper, “Here, some idiots make fun of them and spoil their pregame moods.  Therefore when our team loses, we should blame those who insulted our players.”

   Soccer is the biggest sport in the world.  Each soccer game is important, but not as important as the game of life.  Words in the game of life influence whether people win or lose.  I believe we’re living at a critical point in history, where as an American, each of us needs to examine carefully how we use our words.  In the game of life, are our words helping lead people to victory or defeat? 

   Remember reciting sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me?  That is not the truth.  Words have the power to hurt or to heal.  Words have the power to build up or tear down.  Words have the power to guide or to leave astray.  Words can encourage or discourage.  Words can bring joy or sorrow, laughter or tears.  Words can hurt us, and words can hurt others.

   The French are taking a step forward.  They recently passed a new French law under which men can be fined up to $880 if they whistle at or make offensive comments to a woman on the street. 

   With the wide use of social media, things are written that should never be written.  I believe that we are at a point in our history now where we must guard our words and be encouraging.  If we offer a critical word, it must be constructive criticism.  Years ago, Benjamin Franklin said, “If all printers were determined not to print anything until they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.”  Ben Franklin’s words may be more important today than when he said them.

   The wise man Solomon said, “Some people like to make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise soothe and heal.” (Proverbs 12:18)  “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words cause conflicts.”  (Proverbs 15:1)  “Any story sounds true until someone tells the other side and sets the record straight.”  (Proverbs 18:17)  “Those who love to talk will suffer the consequences.  Many have died because the wrong thing was said.”  (Proverbs 18:21)

   You have immense power with your words.  Please choose them carefully.  Representative, Diana McCarthy offered the following prayer in the Arizona House of Representatives, “Lord, make all our words gracious and tender today for tomorrow we may have to eat them.”

   Let’s revive civility!!!  Offer words of praise and encouragement.  It doesn’t do any harm to smile and say, “Good morning” even if it is raining.  Pay a compliment.  Say something good about America, sports teams, the company you work for, politicians at all levels of government, your family, your church, etc.

   Russia and France are taking biblical concepts and turning them into new rules.  I propose for America an old rule – “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)

What did you say?

Join Jeremiah!

 

 

Dr. John Ed Mathison

By John Ed Mathison

The prophet Jeremiah begins his book with a personal witness for why he was doing what he was doing. It’s not just his witness – it can be your witness and my witness. Jeremiah 1:4 – 8 reveals God’s relationship to Jeremiah. Here are four ingredients of that relationship:

1. God’s eternal love – God loved us and knew us even before we were formed in our mother’s womb. (v.5) His love is not something that occurs when we do good or right – it’s an everlasting love forever and ever and ever.

It’s humbling to think how much God has loves you and me – His love is not based on our performance, but rather on His eternal affirmation of us. It began before we were born and will never end. He loves us, and He loves every person that has yet to be born. If God has a refrigerator today, our pictures are on it!

2. God’s divine purpose – Jeremiah testified that he had appointed him as a spokesman to the world. (v.5) He was created for a divine purpose.

God has a plan and purpose for everyone He creates. The quality of life we enjoy depends on whether or not we find ourselves in the middle of God’s purpose. God has a plan for your life and mine. He’s created a niche for you to fill. He has designed a task for you to accomplish.

Many people just run around in circles and never get anywhere because they haven’t submitted to God’s purpose. For many people life is just a merry-go-round of meaningless activity. It’s so easy to substitute activity for purpose. Life without purpose is like an octopus on roller skates – you see a lot of activity, but he’s not going anywhere!

3. Our human response – The natural response to God’s purpose is seen in verse 6 when Jeremiah said, “I can’t do that.” When God calls us to do something, our natural response is to think that we can’t do it. But God never calls us to any purpose that we can’t fulfill. He never makes a mistake in His call to us.

Jeremiah even had an excuse. He said he was too young. It’s easy for us to make excuses when God places His hand on our shoulder. God did not create us for excuses – He created us for the execution of His plan in our lives. Making excuses only delays what God has planned for us.

4. God’s success promise – God counters Jeremiah’s human response with a promise that “I will be with you and see you through.” (v.8) If we try to live life thinking that we have to be able to do everything, we will be a miserable failure. If we live life knowing that God will be with us and see us through it, we will be successful. God never calls us to a task that, with His strength, we can’t accomplish.

   Modern culture teaches us to be “self-made” people. We hear about “pulling ourselves up by our boot straps.” We don’t even have any boots – much less straps! What we do have is a God who can redefine what is possible. Our strength and power comes when we surrender to His will. Trying to accomplish things on our own strength, intelligence, ability and money is futile. Approaching anything in life in God’s strength is a guaranteed success!

   Jeremiah’s description of his relationship with God can be our relationship to God. We must recognize and respond to His eternal love and His divine purpose. We can’t settle down in the human response of what we can’t do. We must be always moving forward on His promise that He is with us and will see us through!

   I’m joining Jeremiah!