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God Bless America. We certainly hear and see this statement a lot more these days. What does it mean? A prayer for safety? A prayer for financial prosperity? A prayer for victory over our enemies? Who is God anyway, that He could or should do any of these things? And, by the way, who is the god that the terrorists were paying to as they carried out their acts on 9/11? They thought they were serving their god. Yet we want God to defend us. Are they one and the same? Or are they different?

God Bless America. Are we as a nation using this phrase as a 'good luck' charm? Is God like a genie in a bottle waiting to do according to each and every one of our desires? What do you suppose He will do when one of us asks Him to do one thing and another one asks Him to do something different? Who will He listen to? Does he take orders from anybody? Or even suggestions?

God Bless America. Who is God, anyway, that He could fulfill this request we are asking of Him? Yes, somewhere deep in our sub-conscience we know that there is a God, a Supreme Being, the King of the universe. We also know that ultimately, He will punish evil and reward good. But who is to say what is good and what is evil? You? Me? Osama bin Ladin? I,guess we had better not have a man say what is good and what is evil lest we end up with confusion.

Maybe we should look at what God Himself says about what is good and what is evil. That way we will get an unbiased opinion. After all, if He indeed is the Judge of the universe; He has the right and the authority to write the law books. And if indeed we will each one stand before Him who is our Judge, we will be wise to know what His Laws are. Can you imagine standing before a judge in a courtroom not knowing what laws you have broken and why you are being charged.

The essence of Gods law is found in the Ten Commandments. Let us take a look and see what they are.

  1. I. You shall have no other gods before Me. What do you live for? Money? Prestige? The praise of men?
  2. II. You shall not make for yourself an idol. What do you give yourself to? Your time and money? Job? House? Hobbies?
  3. III. You shall not take God's name in vain. (God pronounces a special judgement on this one) This includes cursing and swearing.
  4. IV. Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy. God gives us six days to work and one day to honor Him.
  5. V. Honor your parents. This comes with a blessing.
  6. VI. You shall not murder. (Jesus said this includes hate)
  7. VII. You shall not commit adultery. (Jesus said this includes lust)
  8. VIII. You shall not steal. (No matter how small the value)
  9. IX. You shall not lie
  10. X. You shall not covet (this means wanting what someone else has)

God does not compare you to your neighbor or to Osama bin Ladin or to anyone else. He will compare you to the Ten Commandments listed above. How would you answer a bank robber or murderer or terrorist that said he wasnít really such a bad fellow? After all, he didnít rob banks or kill someone or crash airliners into buildings or send anthrax in the mail every day: just once in a while. In between times he was really quite good. Would that make him any less guilty? No. All it takes is once.

It is the same with us. All it takes is once. It doesnít even matter if everybody else is doing it. God doesnít compare us with them. He compares us to the Ten Commandments. And to break one is to be guilty. And to be guilty is to be sentenced to God's judgement, which is eternal fire.

God is willing and ready to forgive, but only when we seek forgiveness His way. He knows that we cannot keep the Ten Commandments. We know it too. This is why two thousand years ago He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to this earth. Jesus never sinned. But He died anyway. He died to pay the penalty for your sin and for mine. Now we have a decision to make. Will you and I agree with God that we have disobeyed His law? Will we repent of our sin and trust the payment Jesus made in our place? Or will we just try our own way and hope for the best?

It wonít work if we try to figure it out ourselves and do it our own way. God is the Judge, and we must play by His rules.

Think of it this way, would you tell a policeman who has stopped you for speeding that the speed limit is wrong? That the sign should have said 55 instead of 35 and that you really werenít speeding at all? No, you and I donít have the authority to change the speed limit to suit ourselves on the spot. Neither do we have the authority to tell God what His laws should be.

God Bless America? I pray that He will. But it must start with each one of us as individualís. Each one of us is accountable to Him. We must first individually turn from our sin. Only when we as individuals turn from our sin to Godís ways will we be able to turn our nation from her sin to Godís ways.

For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. James 2:10

Jesus said to him, ďI am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through Me.Ē John 14:6

He who believes in the Son has eternal life, but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. John 3:36

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