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Famine for the Word of God?

Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper. (Jeremiah 29:7, NIV)

As I go around speaking to churches about Eastern European Mission, especially when I talk about how we are invited to place Bibles into public schools in Russia and Ukraine, people respond, “Why can’t we do that here?”

We all know something is missing in our nation today. That something is a sense of the presence of God and His influence as exerted through His Word, the Bible.

I tell people that there was a time, not so long ago, when we did not dare dream we would be doing what we are presently doing in Russia, Ukraine, and the rest of Eastern Europe. Eastern European Mission began as a Bible-smuggling organization. We smuggled Bibles for 28 years – before God broke down the walls of opposition to His Word. Now, we are not only allowed to provide Bibles, we are actually invited to put them into public schools, libraries, and the very camps that were built to indoctrinate children in the dogmas of atheistic Communism.

When we see what God has done in those nations, we know there is hope for our nation. Our hope, though, is not in our political power but in God’s sovereign rule in the nations and affairs of men. Our role is to be faithful and loving in living and proclaiming His divine will – and in prayer.

Without prayer, we will not be vessels fit for the Master’s use. With prayer and faithful living, we can influence those around us – and the course of our nation. Our prayers are more powerful than our ballots – though we should not discount the power of the ballot either.

It is only when the people of our nation speak out about the moral issues that face us daily – and hold our leaders accountable to standards higher than the law of the land – that our nation will prosper as it should. 

Jeremiah told Judah when she was in Babylon to pray for the prosperity of the city where God had sent them into exile. As citizens of Heaven, we are presently “in exile.” We also are to seek the prosperity of our nation and the states and cities where we live.

We need to realize, though, that “prosperity” in this context is not a matter of finances. It is a matter of the true riches of wisdom, understanding, and knowledge that we can find only in the Christ (see Colossians 2:1-3).

Let us begin with the resolution that we will examine ourselves and renew our determination to live lives worthy of the calling to which God has called us. Let us pray that His Spirit may lead and guide us as He grants us wisdom and strength to live for Him. Let us speak boldly, yet lovingly, of God’s truths that should guide all of our relationships as we live in this world.

I recently received this from the principal of the Elementary School at Christian Home & Bible School. It is a reminder of from whence we have fallen as a nation and as a culture. In Revelation 2, Jesus, in His letter to the church of the Ephesians, charged them to remember from when they had fallen – and to return to their first love.

Let us also return to our first love – not first of all to the love of country, but to the love of God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength – and to the love of neighbor as we love ourselves.

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