Keep Calm and Carry On!

It was 1939. The Ministry of Information of the Government of the United Kingdom had created a series of posters to boost the morale of her people in the event of wartime disaster. From 1935-39 there had been three or four coups in Japan and the United States was gravely concerned for Americans who were living over there. From the early 1900’s, under the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, we have had a presence in the Pacific. Germany’s Adolf Hitler was pronounced to be the Fuhrer, the Supreme Leader of the German people. War was about to ensue and it was not just going to be between one nation against another. It was World War II and involved most of Europe, Russia, Japan and the United States.

And The Ministry of Information of the United Kingdom printed over 2,000,000 copies of this poster along with two other posters that were part of the set. The two other posters said, “Freedom Is In Peril. Defend It With All Your Might” and “Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolution Will Bring Us Victory.” The “Freedom” poster was printed 400,000 times while the “Courage” poster was printed 800,000. Some civil servant created the lot in order to encourage his people. The creator? No one knows who created these posters but it was an encouragement to the people of the United Kingdom all throughout World War II.

Today you can purchase coffee mugs, t-shirts, door mats and a slew of other products donning these infamous words.

Just the other day, I saw a young man wearing a t-shirt that used some of these words but changed a couple of the words. His shirt said, “Keep Calm and Trust God.” The shirt was light blue with white lettering. It still donned the crown that you see on this poster.

“In God We Trust” has been emblazoned on United States coins since 1864 and on paper currency since 1957. But it seems that we are living in a culture that is trying to dissuade us from the very things that are part of the fabric and founding of this great Nation. President Barack Obama delivered a speech on June 28, 2006 saying, “Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation – at least, not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.” The prepared statement said, “Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.”

Whether one believes that the President had a gaffe or truly believes that we are no longer a Christian Nation, the fact of the matter is that it appears that our great Nation is slipping away from the founding fathers Judeo-Christian beliefs. But what must we as Christians do? We need to “KEEP CALM and TRUST GOD!” As we study the Scriptures we find that He is the One who has brought us victory over sin and death. See what the Scriptures teach us:

For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His. We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, wil never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death He died He died to sin, once for all, but the life He lives He lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:5-11)

I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts ont he imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:50-58)

Victory is ours because victory is His! KEEP CALM and TRUST GOD!

A Good Cleaning

I have been in the process of cleaning my office. That’s right…cleaning my office. It is a daunting task when over a span of so many years I have collected papers of all sorts. Notes, documents, newspapers, journals – they’re all there! And the books! Don’t forget the books! Loads and loads of books (perhaps not as many as others, but a fine collection if I say so myself!)! The task of rearranging my office and my bookshelves has been taking quite some time, but it is getting done and it is looking better all of the time.

It’s good to clean. It’s good to be clean. It’s good to see the results of clean. God enjoys clean. God enjoys cleaning. Have you really ever thought of this? God, in His infinite wisdom, has chosen to clean those who come to Him in belief and receive what it is that He has done for them. First Corinthians 6:9-11 says:

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

Paul the apostle really knew what he was speaking about when he wrote these words to the church at Corinth. These words, no doubt, would have been a great encouragement to those who were hearing it read to them. Just as in our day there were people who were dirty who needed to be cleansed. It wasn’t that they just needed to physically be cleansed – all of us need to bathe! It was that they needed to be cleansed from within. There is nothing that can cleanse us from within. The only way that we can be cleansed within is in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

But you might be thinking that there is nothing for which you should be cleansed. After all, your sins are not even in the list above! But did you notice the first words? It asks, Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? That includes all of us. There is not one person that is not dirty with sin. All of us have been unrighteous at one point or another in our lives. Now I choose not to give you my laundry list of sins, but suffice it to say, I know that I have sinned.

However, thanks be to God who washes us clean! He doesn’t just rearrange stuff inside of us. That would mean that He was just rearranging our sin. Paul says that He washes us and we are no longer identified with our sinful behavior. He says that God not only washes us clean of our sin but he sets us apart for Himself (to be sanctified means to be set apart as something or someone who is now holy). And then He goes even further and declares us to be righteous (to be justified, which is a legal term to say that our sin is no longer held against us).

I will keep cleaning my office and rearranging books and everything else that is in there. And I will also live with the understanding that God no longer sees me as unclean. I will live in my new identity as one who is washed, sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

Now that’s good stuff!

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