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Fight the good fight of faith, the Bible says in 1st Timothy, chapter 6.
Did you know that the reason for the Civil War was not entirely about slavery, as some schools teach? Most of our school children (in general) have been taught that the Civil War was about President Lincoln freeing the slaves of the south with the Emancipation Proclamation. The Emancipation Proclamation did occur during that time, but the precursor to the war was disputes over free trade between the north and the south. The north was practicing unfair trade with the south by increasing the tariffs on southern goods, making southern products more expensive than northern, which slowed the south’s economy.
What does this history lesson have to do with preaching? Motive.
When we look at the motives for historical events all the way from many years ago up to today, we can learn from them and not repeat the same mistakes, hopefully. From the Believer’s point of view, which is established in God’s word, it is plain to see that the motive for unfair trade, slavery, and other corrupt practices during the days that lead up to the Civil War – whether they realized it or not-, was a lack of trust in God to provide.
I am thankful to God, that our nation has grown beyond the sin of treating people as livestock, and I stand against slavery of any kind, unless it is being a slave to Christ (He purchased every person back with his blood, so He owns you whether you accept it or not).
That time in the nation’s history can be like looking back on your own past, having once been a slave of sin and not trusting Jesus to provide for all of your needs, living lives you may rather forget and having done things that were not pleasing to God. But God’s response is the same today as it was during the Civil War- turn from trying to do it on your own, and trust Jesus to care for you, because you can do nothing to change the past, but you can choose to trust Him today.
Every sin throughout history stems from a lack of trust in Jesus. This lack of trust happens when a person is unaware of how much God loves them – literally and personally.
The heavens and earth were created and all the things in it for God’s pleasure, and it gave God pleasure to create you! Each detail of your frame is personally known to God, your innermost thoughts are known to God, and He has written a letter to you over the ages so that you will know He loves you and desires the very best for your life. It gives God pleasure to share His life with you, and He did that literally by breathing His life into you. You are breathing now because God has breathed His life into you. God loves you so much that He has also provided a Comforter to help you know Jesus.
In John chapter 16, Jesus is telling His disciples about the Comforter, also known as the Holy Spirit, and how one of the Comforter’s roles is to convince us that we are not believing on Jesus when we commit sin, (verse 9), and that is the only sin that the Comforter will reprove us of, because that part of the Comforter’s role is to point you to Jesus. Jesus loves you and wants you to lean on Him and learn from Him for your own good.
We lean on Jesus by having faith in God, and by doing what He says. Believers are to fight the good fight of faith, and those who followed the column last week learned that faith is the substance (Heb 11) of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Jesus said in Mark ch 11, …”have faith in God”. “Ask, seek, knock, (Luke 11) and the door shall be opened to you.
Could Believers have done something more to prevent the Civil War? Sure. But just like the sins of our own past, we are powerless to change that time in history.
The Good News is that Jesus has provided a way for us to change now, today, if we just listen to the Comforter and learn to trust and believe on Jesus, learn of God’s promises and ask, seek and knock!
Until next time, God bless you and your loved ones.