Proverbs 14:34 - Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.
The important process of governing a democratic nation—with its many promises and challenges—is a concern shared by all its citizens.
When the campaigning and slogan shouting have subsided, God's message for the upbuilding of our nation must be proclaimed with bold determination. For national blessing depends not upon political parties or some charismatic leader—be they altruistic or self-serving—but upon God Almighty. Without Him, sooner or later, a nation's cracks and fissures will appear; divisions will widen, and the nation will greatly suffer on account of it.
But by what means, then—and this is the crisis question of the hour—can we secure for ourselves and for our nation this exalting, uplifting righteousness? How can we curb sin and selfishness when the present scene resembles nothing more than a jungle desperate with snarling, snapping creatures, slinking in suspicious circles, ready to spring at each other's throats?
We survey the best of what our nation's leaders have to offer and what they lack is glaringly obvious. They possess no divine power to penetrate the soul, to purify our corrupt nature, or to defeat the dominion of sin that saturates our entire being. And where that leaves us is the message you will hear in one form or another, week after week, through the mission and outreach of Lutheran Hour Ministries.
To overcome sin for you and me, to break the curse of death in our lives, to free us from the horrors of hell, our Heavenly Father did not simply overlook our sin. Instead, our all-loving, all-compassionate God sent His only Son, the divine Christ, to live His life of mercy among men that hated Him, to bless those who cursed Him, to bleed for those who crucified Him, and to bear on the cross the weight of my sins and yours.
This is the most vital message in all of mankind's long history. In this is life; in this is hope; in this is heaven and our eternal blessing. Receive it, believe it, cherish it, though the earth quake around you and the skies above collapse. This is the endless grace God calls His "gift." It is available to each of us—not as a thing for us to earn and not attainable at any price. "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).
This is what our country needs above every program or proposed panacea. This is what God has done for us through Jesus Christ.
WE PRAY: O Heavenly Father, as the One who makes and breaks the nations of history, be with us in these trying times. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.
From "Building a Better Nation," a sermon excerpt from Rev. Dr. Walter A. Maier, the first Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
1. Have you ever ran for public office? What was the position and how did that go?
2. How can righteousness exalt a nation?
3. Why is it important to pray for those who work in government?
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