• Pastor Bowler

Happy Canada Day!

Up until 1983, July 1 was called “Dominion Day” which was a recognition of the sovereignty of God. With only twelve Members of Parliament present, the private members bill that proposed changing “Dominion Day” to “Canada Day” was passed. The Canadian Parliament changed the name to “Canada Day” within five minutes and without debate. On October 27, 1982 with the granting of Royal Assent it became official. So although we have this rich religious heritage, what is this “Blessed Nation” whose God is the Lord? Or where can this nation be found?

In Canada, we do not live in a theocracy; God does not rule and reign in our land. We call our government a democracy. We are represented by elected people. As Christians, we prefer that those people know and love the Lord and want to honour the Word of God. But with each passing day, it appears Canada becomes more and more a secular society and less a nation that honours God. Though we do have many evils in our land, if I could choose to be a part of any nation in the world, I would still choose Canada. It is my prayer that we will witness a great turning to God in our nation.

The Bible says in Psalm 33:12, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” God will bless the nation whose God is the Lord. We often think that there are other prerequisites to God’s blessing. But God says, “I will bless the nation makes the true and living God their Lord.”

As we consider our country, where do we start? Our nation consists of more than 35 million people. Are we to start with the home? The home certainly needs help. Are we to start with churches? What about the schools in this country? Canada’s education system has become so secularized that it is anti-God. How can we help our country? We can help by being the best Christians we can possibly be.

The Lord calls our attention to these things in Psalm 33:10-11, “The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect. The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.” God calls the unbelieving heathen. We have a choice to make. Either follow the counsel of the heathen or follow the counsel of the Lord. How do we do this?

1. Praise Him

The Bible says in verse one, “Rejoice in the LORD.” If God is our Lord, then we should praise Him. We have allowed the conditions of the world to steal our praise; we think we have nothing to praise God for any longer. Though our nation may be changing, God is not changing. Our relationship and fellowship with God does not have to be changed. In fact, our walk with God becomes more precious as the world grows darker.

What a difference it would make on a daily basis if we went to our place of employment, into our homes, and into our schools praising the Lord. People would know that He has made a difference in our lives.

The Bible says, “Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.” The word “comely” means “beautiful.” It is beautiful to praise the Lord. “Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings” (verse 2). It is interesting that God mentions exactly how many strings. He is saying that we should play every string. Every string in our human instrument should be used to praise God because He deserves the praise of our full being.

The best way to praise the Lord is to obey Him. Most people are busy trying to find a better way than simply accepting and obeying God’s way. The Bible says in 1 Samuel 15:22, “And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD?” He said, “What does God want most? Does He want all these burnt offerings and sacrifices, or does God want us obey Him?”

2. Believe Him

If God is our God, let us believe Him. Notice verses 4-7, “For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth. He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD. By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses.”

God spoke this world into existence. His Word is right. If we could not know what is right, if we could not know which way is God’s way, how miserable we would be. We must stand and say, “This is what the Bible says, and I will obey it.”

God breathed the world into existence. He says in Hebrews 11:3, “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Our young are being bombarded with evolutionary theory, with books and movies that deny God and His Word. If God is our Lord, we must believe exactly what the Bible says—God spoke the world into existence. Through faith we understand.

3. Fear Him

2 Timothy 1:7 reads, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” He has not givens a fear of man, or of terrible calamity. Psalm 33:8 says, “Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.”

We are to know that God is God, and that beside Him there is none else. We are not here simply for social or intellectual exercise. We are here to worship the true and living God. He spoke everything into existence, yet He has come to live in our hearts. He sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross for our sins. When I say that I fear God, it means I hold God in reverence and respect. The fear of God releases us from all lesser fears. Romans 3:18 tells us that the world has no fear of God. Though He has pronounced the whole world guilty, there is no fear of God before their eyes.

4. Seek His Mercy

Psalm 33:13 says, “The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men. From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth. He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considerate all their works.”

In God’s eyes, everyone is alike. We all have the need for salvation. Psalm 33:16-18 indicates, “There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength. Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy.”

We are to seek God’s mercy. The world’s attitude is, “I am self-sufficient. I can do this myself. I’ve got a good mind. If I can get an education, I’m can make it on my own.”

God said that His people need to see their condition as it is and seek His mercy. “God be merciful to me, a sinner!” “It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” It is not how great I am; it is how great He is. If God is our God, we will seek His mercy.

5. Love His Appearing

If God is our Lord, we will love His appearing, His coming. The Bible says in verse 20, “Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield.” This word “waiteth” references the second coming of Christ. “For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.” What hope do we have? Seeing the Lord Jesus is our hope! We are going to see Him. The Person of Jesus Christ is our hope. What is our hope? What are we waiting for? We are to love the appearing of Jesus Christ.

How, then, could the psalmist write, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance”? Who is this nation? Who has the Lord chosen as His own inheritance?

That nation is the people of God, the body of Christ, the family of God, those of all the ages who are being redeemed from the wrath of God by His blood, and who will rule and reign with Him in the New Heavens and New Earth for eternity.

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:9-11).

God’s people are a minority in the midst of a majority of people who do not fear Him, do not love Him, and will not follow Him. God has given us the opportunity to make a difference for Christ in people's lives, but only as we are willing to allow God to be the Lord of our lives.

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