Thursday, February 23, 2017

Fw: the greatest nation

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <>
To: Rob Smith <>
Sent: Thursday, February 23, 2017 7:40 AM
Subject: the greatest nation

What is it that makes a nation great?  Is it riches, education, military strength?  Is it cultural quality from the arts and music?  Is it a form of government?  Is it about a dominant religion?  It's interesting that over the course of civilization no nation has survived indefinitely.  Consider Greece and Rome...Babylon and Assyria...the British Empire.  They all seem to rise and fall.  Ultimately they have been focused on building themselves...trying to make themselves great by conquering and colonizing others.  There have been two exceptions to this pattern that I can think of: Israel and the USA.  Israel was founded on a promise by God, Himself, and despite stumbling in their obedience over time, Israel remains a nation.  It isn't a nation that seeks to be great...but a nation that seeks to "be".  The USA was founded as a reaction to all the other nations failed attempts at greatness.  Rather than relying on dominance and conquest, America said that a nation should be rethought to be all about individual freedom and helping people find the greatest lives rather than nations.  But there is still another approach that is best of all.  Rather than becoming the dominant world power, or exalting the individual, the best way is to seek to be a nation that follows the way of the Lord.  
Proverbs 14:34 puts it this way: "Righteousness exalts a nation,
    but sin is a reproach to any people."
The interesting thing is that this kind of nation can emerge from anyplace on earth...within any existing nation...despite previous track records of behavior.  It probably will never happen through a Constitutional change or overthrow of a king, or some kind of vote.  But as a significant number of people exercise their God given freedom to think, to repent and to align with the ways of the Lord..."rightness" or being in harmony with the true and living God is possible.
This seems a worthy goal as we seek to express the love of the Lord through the fires of daily living in the midst of a world bent on serving itself.
Rob Smith 

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