Friday, January 23, 2015

Written by Pastor Stuppy

January 14, 2015
The State of the Union

It will only be a short time now. On Tuesday, January 20th, President Obama will deliver this year’s State of the Union address. This speech usually does three things. It looks at what has been accomplished during the last year. It reports on where we are as a nation. Third, it lays out an agenda on what the administration and President would like to do in the year ahead.

I am sure that the President will report on the many accomplishments of his administration. He will likely refer to the creation of new jobs, the drop in the unemployment rate, the improving economy, low inflation, etc. The President will also, I'm sure, say that much more needs to be done. Here he may point to, education, the infrastructure needs, and immigration reform. With recent events that have taken place in France and Iraq, with nuclear threats coming from Iran, political tensions in the Middle East, many serious concerns face our nation and the world.

As a citizen, I have an interest in and concerns about all these political issues and more. Anyone who cares about the country will want to be informed on these issues and do what they can to address them.

The issue that won’t be raised and yet is the most important is the spiritual state of our nation. I wouldn’t expect the President to address this. This is not his job. This belongs to the church and to those who make it up. Only God can give faith, make it grow and become stronger. Only God can give us the desire to do that which is right and pleasing to him. God tells us this in Philippians 2:13, "for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose."

The spiritual ‘State of the Union’ is in much need of improvement. Now, I believe that could be said any and every year. But who can make a case that things are getting better spiritually. Church attendance is down. How seldom do people talk about what the Good Book says. Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings are filled with sports practices, games, and other activities.

Morality is a subject that is taboo lest one be charged with intolerance of others. Yet is morality that brings blessing to a nation. We read this in Proverbs 14:34 (NIV) –"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people."

What we dare not overlook is that a nation is made up of people, of individuals. Spiritual renewal begins in the heart. It is worked in us by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God. It takes place one person at a time.

To just sit back and complain how terrible things are makes us no better than the self righteous Pharisee who pats himself on the back as he prays to God. Our job politically is to get involved, to vote, to connect our representatives. Our job spiritually is to make faithful use of God’s Word. Our job is to share that Word with others. Only then can the Holy Spirit do his part. Only then will God’s blessing rest on our nation.