Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The USA (01/08/09)
TITLE: By the Grace of God
By David F. Palmieri Sr.
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We have it made believers! First, we are children of God, forgiven, redeemed and given eternal life by the blood of Christ. Secondly, we live in the greatest country on earth. Perhaps, being a veteran I am a bit more patriotic than some, but I know for a fact that God has blessed the USA, often in spite of us.
Everyone is familiar with our current financial crisis. We all probably know someone who has lost their job, possibly their homes. We have a high rate of homeless men, women and children that is growing every day. Yesterday I heard on the radio that one in six children in the United States live at or below poverty level. All one has to do is turn on the evening news to hear enough to send us running to the shelter of our beds so we can cry silently beneath the covers.
However, tell me, where could we live that would offer the freedom that we have here in the good old USA? I often feel unworthy that God selected me to live in America. Probably some distorted sort of survivor’s guilt. We are so blessed as a country I repeatedly wonder, “why me, Lord”? I am thankful that He gave my forefathers the courage to leave their native lands in search of a better life in a foreign country.
Yes, we have our problems, poverty, perversion and politics just to name a few. We are a land of many diverse people, we will never agree on everything so there will always be conflict of some sort. We are also a land full of sinners…”For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23. That takes care of the unbelievers, but what about us Christians? How often are our lives and actions a mirror image of what the unsaved are doing? How easy it is to let sin permeate our lives especially when we get caught up in the day-to-day problems of living in these trying times.
I said all that just to say the following: this article, as UN-politically correct as it is, will be posted on a World Wide Web site when it is finished. I am planning to attend worship service at my church tomorrow. I am able to tell my co-workers, family, neighbors and anyone else I meet the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. I can do all of these things, without fear of retribution, because I live in the USA. In how many countries could I have that freedom as well as the many other blessings I receive because I am an American?
I answered an E-mail, from a dear friend, the other day. Maddie lost her eight-year-old son to cancer years ago, and subsequently went through a hideous divorce. All this took place shortly after she was saved. Five years ago the Lord blessed her with the most loving, believing husband, Don. Don went home suddenly several months ago at the age of fifty-nine. Maddie mentioned in her E-mail that she was doing ok. She said that she was only crying once a day, usually. She also mentioned that she was eating ok and sleeping ok, “So I guess I’m ok.”
Knowing Maddie’s strong faith was what was getting her through this ordeal, I thought about everything going on in our world today. I wrote her that I couldn't imagine how anyone could get through this life and its trials without God to hold on to, as we do. This led me to thinking about the current situation in our country and how unbelievers deal with it without the hope of salvation. Something suddenly groaned deep within me, "They are afraid, you have what they need.”
Living in the freest country on earth what is my problem with sharing the Gospel with everyone I meet? What is our problem, Church? I can’t be the only one out here who is afraid I might offend someone by, “speaking the truth in love.” We know the end of the story. I believe most of us realize, in our hearts, the day is soon coming when we will face the same persecution believers around the world face today. We need to carry out the great commission with the utmost expediency while the USA is still the free country that it is, by the grace of God.
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