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Taking inventory, having impact
By Tim Wildmon
AFA Journal, February, 2003 edition
About every day, at some point, I think about my life and ask myself what God thinks of it. Perhaps you do this as well. Sometimes its an honest self-examination, and then sometimes its a dishonest self-justification. Sometimes I end the day with a peace that I have pleased God and other times I end the day by calling myself a spiritual bum. But I often wonder if what I have done, said or believed on that particular day was good or bad in the eyes of the Lord.
And, just to be clear, I am a believer in the God of the Holy Bible; I believe that Jesus Christ is who He claimed to be in the New Testament; and I know my salvation is not dependent on my actions or attitudes on a given day, but rather on the atoning blood sacrifice of Christ. But I am talking about my day-to-day walk with the Lord. Am I honoring Him with it?
God has never spoken to me in an audible voice. Ive never looked up in the sky and seen a thumbs up or a thumbs down on my day. Really, one must ask, how do we really know what the Lord expects of us? Where do we look for specific guidelines we can use as a measuring stick to see how weve done?
Now I have always been a big St. Louis Cardinals fan. Ive concluded that God is as well, but I cant prove it. In fact, I travel to St. Louis at least once a summer with my boys to see the Cardinals play. During the 1980s they had a manager named Whitey Herzog. He was one of the most successful managers in professional baseball during that decade, having taken the Cardinals to three World Series. In his autobiography he talks about the demands he placed on his players, demands which led to their success. He says he liked to keep things simple and had only two rules. The first rule was to be on time. The second rule was to give 100%. Thats it. Be on time and give it all you have.
Now I dont want to oversimplify the Christian walk, yet I look over in the book of Micah and see that the Lord has given us three seemingly simple requirements if we are to please Him in our everyday life. Allow me to quote Micah 6:8, where God is speaking to His people, the Israelites.
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
However simple these three requirements may seem, they obviously encompass a lot. And they are completely consistent with the words of Jesus in Matthew 22:37-40 where He is asked which is the greatest commandment, to which He replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.
The way I figure it, as long as I am checking my life against these biblical requirements and ask God for forgiveness when I fail, I am on the right path.
In addition to asking myself if how I am living my life pleases God, as president of American Family Association and American Family Radio, I also have to ask myself this question on a ministry level. Is what we are doing and how we are going about it Christ-honoring?
Speaking of simple, here is the mission statement of AFA as found each month in the front of the Journal. AFA is a Christian organization promoting the Biblical ethic of decency in American society with primary emphasis on TV and other media.
I believe the message AFA conveys the cause we fight for is one that God cares very much about. Although it may seem so to some, our work is not in the abstract. When AFA battles against pornography and the proliferation of sex and violence in the media, we are going against a very powerful satanic force, a force that often destroys lives. Men and boys get addicted. Trust in marriages is broken. Women and children are sexually violated because of what pornography does to a persons mind and behavior. These are real cause-and-effect consequences of this sin.
By the same token, when we encourage media that edifies and uplifts biblical values, I believe we are also pleasing the Lord and fulfilling His commandments.
The question we at AFA have to ask ourselves often is, How do we most effectively do what God has called us to do? This is where we covet your prayers most.
Obviously, you are with us or you would not be reading my column. You give money, you support the actions we ask you to take. You trust us. But we really need your prayers daily, if possible that AFAs efforts have a real impact in American society, as we say in our mission statement.
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