Prosperity and an easy life can breed contempt. In the United States, our focus is too much on leisure, “what’s in it for me” and just taking so much for granted. Our country suffers from this badly. Our children have so much beyond what they need: cell phones, video games, their own computers, closets full of clothes, air-conditioned schools that have windows, and the list could go on.
A mission trip to Honduras was very eye-opening for my son and a friend this summer about how blessed we are.
Is any of this bad in and of itself? Of course not — but forgetting how blessed we are should be a crime! In the Bible, God warned Israel about taking prosperity for granted (Deuteronomy 8:17-20). Forget the one true God, and there will be consequences.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the United States, put it this way: “We cannot read the history of our rise and development as a nation, without reckoning with the place the Bible has occupied in shaping the advances of the republic.” He wrote this on the 400th anniversary of the printing of the English Bible, on Oct. 6, 1935.
In my 50 years, I have watched anti-Christian forces tear at the Bible and its place in the making of our republic. The God of the Christian Bible is not just taken for granted — rather, he has been kicked out by a small, very vocal minority. As a result, our country is suffering. Has anyone noticed what a mess California is right now?
Please be reminded not to take all the blessings around you for granted. Rather than kick God out, I would encourage you to invite him into your life (Revelation 3:19-22). The empty tomb of Jesus is our guarantee that more blessings can be ours. We are so blessed in too many ways to count, neighbor. Remembering that might even help us treat one another with a bit more grace.
See you around Patterson.
•The Rev. Ken Hasekamp is minister of Patterson Christian Fellowship. Sermon Notes is a column by ministers of the Patterson Ministerial Association.