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May 6, 2021 4:30 am
This Janet Mefford today archive broadcast is brought to you by the national Day of prayer. The national Day of prayer is Thursday, May 6. Join millions of praying Americans who are united in prayer for our country connect from your mobile device or computer to the largest online prayer gathering ever just go to pray.team that spray.team is generally River today. Our confidence is in Christ alone, the word of God says that soil is no and over the past year we dramatically what can happen when government officials try to trample religious liberty.
We saw church after church, going to court to argue that governors cannot declare churches to be nonessential during a pandemic, while at the same time allowing abortion clinics and liquor stores to stay open now.
Thankfully, the US Supreme Court stepped in and stood with these churches in several important cases. The whole situation is a reminder that we cannot take our religious liberty for granted these days, especially as more people in our nation, including those in government have lost sight of the importance of the First Amendment and are becoming more hostile toward the idea of religion altogether were to tackle these things today with former US solicitor Gen. independent counsel and judge can*he is argued 36 cases before the Supreme Court served as president and chancellor at Baylor University and is dean of the Pepperdine school of law. He is now of counsel to the Lanier Law firm and is out with a great new book will be discussing.
It's called religious liberty in crisis and judge*wonderful to have you here so good to be with you and thank you, absolutely. You know, in many ways as you point out in your book, the pandemic didn't throw religious liberty into crisis so much as it just highlighted what had already been a crisis and what how you think the state of religious liberty in America evolved into a crisis in the first place. It happened rather slowly because of the 1990s so long ago we were in glorious and gold, major religious everyone was singing from the same sheet of music blog, things started changing early in the century part of the secularization of the culture was just religious wars. I used 9/11 scandals in the church, broadly defined, and so good components of the number of beds came together to call people is to say, maybe religious liberty was so good after all. We saw this very powerfully in a case involving Hobby lobby 600 stores around the country Hobby lobby probably on non-conscience. The owners the Green family could not in concert provide abortion fascias as part of a package of healthcare programs were acquired by the Obama ministration.
I think that was one of those catalytic people stood up and said hello. You agree with the Green family and they should enjoy a conscientious objector or I really disagree. So we've seen more of these points of conflict rather than the points of confluence which we had in the last decade of the 20th century goes through the good old yes they were.
And I think you're right about the hobby lobby case I was quite surprised. In fact, when that was handed down to see all of the chatter on Twitter about how outrageous it was that the Supreme Court would side with Hobby lobby. It's as if the whole world view was absolutely alien to good deal of people in this country and it reflected a broader discernment brought home to me that we as a people, as a culture, happily, not the law of the coasters have moved away from you. Conscientious objectors should not be tolerated and should be respected should be treated civilly, but they should be allowed to go there on the way of example, I talk about of the book is a case involving compulsory education Wisconsin versus Yoder's the name of the when the Supreme Court overwhelmingly upheld the ability of the Amish in Wisconsin to take their children out of school and for them to remain in the culture of the old order on even though the student was causing was saying no good enough to stay in school compulsory education's nontarget religion. It is simply a compulsory, universally applicable law here in the badger state and the sprinklers took no going to protect religious conscience and that's one of the great principles that I talk about of the book and say it is time for us to be educators so about these great principles, such as the autonomy. This was the pandemic.
The autonomy of church and church related institutions totally right when you're talking about the importance of that principle of autonomy.
This is the idea people will know that we can govern ourselves and specifically that churches can govern themselves. What you make of the fact that people like the governor of California. Gavin Newsom and others, but he was one of the main people in the spotlight for so long was able to pick winners and losers at the expense of churches and got away with it for such a long time.
That's what kinda sticks in my craw. How in the world was he able with all these people watching to not see more of an outcry from and I know it's California but still there many many people in California who don't agree with the far left out there, how did he get away with that for such a long time between before the courts actually put a stop to what he was doing what he could perhaps show all good people California would people say were indulgent were submissive.
Well want to submit ourselves to the governing authorities so court but at the same time we are enjoined we are to obey God, man, King Junior I must disobey this law. I understand the consequences might blow it by disobey this unjust law, etc. so, but it took a while. I think we will just hope, and to make is this a truly disastrous situation of users of the spirit, in this profoundly serious situation, but it took I think a while for the churches to get their footing and then for some courageous folks to stand up and say when second seems to be an audit of the year. Take Nevada.
Another good laboring spate were Caesar's Palace could operate at 50% capacity churches, no matter how large the auditorium.
The sanctuary limit of 50 person so just did not make any sense. Finally, the Supreme Court decided were not going to work to the scientist personally not of the politicians in the capital city I were going to step in and really enforce the rights that are so precious should be precious to every American. That's what I hope is book will do. It will teach us about the foundation of our life, which are God-given, but now it's up to us to protect understand their rights and to protect them, absolutely. And when you're talking in the context of the pandemic about what could potentially trump religious liberty and people need to go back and read the text of the First Amendment. Again, I think in our own day that there is this idea among some leftists that public health really is a more important principle than even religious liberty. How would you begin with that particular misunderstanding to correct it in the minds of those people who hold to that what I would say that the government provided for cautionary measures and so forth. In order to protect the public health. They can't carried to an extreme and especially can't discriminate against religious institutions to allow Walmart occupied to operate at 40 project about fear 50% capacity and support within the say to churches to operate under different set of rules. So once again I think this is one of the great constables that I try to explain in this book, which is all 170 pages.
It's usually accessible as thou shall not discriminate against religious institutions, churches, church schools and so forth fundamental principle we need to understand that and then we need to have the courage of our convictions to stand up and say you know that I just don't think that's right, governor, and to encourage pastors and church leaders to stand firm as the apostle Paul taught us well.
And and you get into so many great cases in your box kinda going through how the courts have handled the issue of religious liberty. One of the things that you mention is the Bladensburg cross case.
This was such a significant case and that involved really a jettisoning of the lemon test which was pertinent to put forth in 1971 came out of this case called Lemmon V. Kurtzman, people may respond to this. I remember this. In fact, this establish this three-pronged lemon test, which many people have pointed out, actually has been used, to harm the cause of religious liberty and has done a lot of damage and one of the things I want to get into when we come back from this break is whether or not we have seen the death of the lemon test to any extent working to take a short break will come back with judge can start religious liberty in crisis is his book stay with us on Jennifer to today is the national Day of prayer. Join millions of trained Americans who are united in prayer for our country connect from your mobile device or computer to the largest online prayer gathering ever.
It's an incredible opportunity to experience the power of prayer as one nation under God. Part of this historic day, along with fellow Christians who are ready to make a difference by lifting their team pray.team is absolutely no cost to participate in now's the time to answer the call ever gathering in history national Day of prayer will see you online and pray.team that's pray.team hi this is Janet Mefford.
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We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a supreme being the Declaration of Independence.
We get to honor our culture. We get to honor our history go to honor our tradition. The lemon be Kurtzman test off you go. We're just not going to apply that three-part test of the circumstances of the well-settled practice or an activity or place such as the Bladensburg cross right well that's so interesting and I'm sure will be more cases to come that will touch on the same issue but another thing that you mentioned another case that you were involved in a solicitor general was this case of Lee versus Wiseman, in which the Supreme Court ruled in the early 90s that the inclusion of clergy who offer prayers to public school ceremonies is a violation of the establishment clause and you say that loss was better but what are your reflections on that particular decision and its significance.
No one likes to lose K and I did argue the case in favor graduation career, which I thought was part of the history and traditions of the country. But now deeply divided Supreme Court so there is a coercive element about it.
Formal official coercion is a coercive element about it. That's one of the flaws. I think all people of goodwill, regardless of their faith journey, or lack thereof would say yes, government should not be coercing anyone in matters of faith and belief but the second problem which I frankly disagreed with what I see. The point was the school year provided the visiting clergy person who was a Jewish rabbi with a guy from the massive national Council Christians and Jews to make the prayer not to command the prayer to peers the prayer you got to give just guidance so that the player would be non-divisive inclusive of the state should not be. The government should not be in the business of trying to guide the contents of prayer.
I think critically the court had a fair point out that what I decided I would go. I opted in favor of history and tradition as long as there's no real coercion but it was in the use of the book is no stranger the power of the principal down government shall not coerce people in matters of faith is so strong, so that's the silver lining to the cloud of my loss, which, again, you hate to lose cases as a lawyer particular when you believe in the rightness of the cases I did in the graduation career case. But there deftly is a silver lining to the clouds so interesting to ask you to what kind of ripple effects you think there might ultimately be for religious liberty, especially for Christians. In light of both the a burger fell in the boss stock decisions because we had the boss.decision is the case.
That said, the word Saxon federal civil rights law also means now, sexual orientation and gender identity. We have the house having passed the equality act, which would eliminate religious exemptions and basically got River what you think may be ahead here for Christians in particular because we see these clashes of religious freedom versus so-called gay rights doesn't seem in many cases like those two things are irreconcilable. Will we again in terms of conscience be able a pluralistic society to permit a Jack fellows to serve everyone what to still say I cannot bring my artistic skills to appear to create their okay to honor an activity, an institution that I just came in conscience to and historically we have protectors were suggested earlier acts of conscience. When we felt okay we understand that you have to serve everyone you can say oh well, I can even serve any well they want to start from a nontraditional family perspective that circled the look your is you better serve everyone, but here's what the equality I could do. It would wipe out religious-based conscientious objection to kinds of activity. So it's very clear and present danger, much more put danger than Supreme Court decisions reposed in both the burger fell and boss stock justices in the majority said religious freedom is still very important.
It's still very relevant. Churches should be required to perform same-sex weddings and so forth and there was also a very thoughtful article statement in Joseph Gorsuch's opinion, the title VII case the boss like case about protecting religious liberty. The equality act changes old and so I think it is such radical in American law that it will by God's grace not passing iFixit but as you well know.
It passed the House of Representatives is that's interesting because we saw Arkansas the legislature there recently passing this joint resolution that would throw to the voters the option of putting in place an amendment to the state constitution to protect religious liberty, which is wonderful but you wonder what would happen if the equality act does become law without negated in the same way that maybe it's not exactly analogous but in the same way that a burger fell nullified. It would seem all the state constitutions that had amend its protecting marriage. Do you see any potential conflict. There like you may only come down to the constitutionality under the First Amendment. Under those first principles was great principles, albeit quality because in a wiping out as it effectively does freedom of conscience, conscientious, based objections to particular law is reading itself as I see it in direct conflict with the First Amendment with a long tradition in American law articulated time and again by the Supreme Court and embraced by the United States Congress overwhelmingly in the religious freedom restoration act of 1993, which was signed into law by President Clinton. So this is all you sent Crow religious freedom activity and legislation and decisions of the Supreme Court that now would be torn asunder. If it be forces in Congress have their way to get. I think there will be a reckoning of the fullness of time because of the power of the First Amendment to preserve religious based objections and exemptions. Well I really hope so, to advise Christians in particular to stand at a time like this when there's so much uncertainty as you mentioned the subtitle of your book. What would you say about the you know that the good things that may be had for us in encouraging things that we can look at, particularly via some these decisions that the Supreme Court has recently made and I think the good news of the blog editors hold will all book but it's not a Pollyanna-ish book it's based on reality.
We have a very firm foundations called the Constitution of the United States and the First Amendment and we have a Supreme Court that occasionally will disagree with a decision over these past many decades.
I would date back to 1981 when the Supreme Court decided in a case involving a public university that the public university years to Missouri Kansas City had erred constitutionally by permitting a Christian group to meet THAT establish this great principal will talk about equality. So what should we do we should inform ourselves. Don't just rely upon the great groups like alliance defending freedom. God bless him. Don't just allow great groups like first liberty of ballasts of the Becket fund these great friends, Rick.
Let's inform ourselves as citizens to be able to give a reason for the hope that is what you believe in freedom, including freedom of conscience, so we can be when some persuasive and now the battlefield, which is the idea of religious liberty is losing place.
The other values we need to restore that we can be a part of the restoration will thank you so much Judge can start religious liberty in crisis you listening to Janet effort this Janet Mefford today archived broadcast is brought to you by the national Day of prayer.
The national Day of prayer is Thursday, May 6. Join millions of praying Americans who are united in prayer for our country connect from your mobile device or computer to the largest online prayer gathering ever just go to pray.team that's pray.team Janet Mefford today and here's your host Joe Mefford well this is really great.
What is going on with lawmakers in Arkansas who recently moved to increase protections for religious liberty potentially in the state constitution. The state legislature has passed a joint resolution 14, which is the Arkansas Democrat Gazette states proposes adding an amendment to the Arkansas Constitution that prohibits the government from burdening a person's freedom of religion, unless the government can demonstrate that it furthers a compelling government interest, and is the least restrictive means of furthering that interest.
The ACLU, of course not very happy.
Some others not very happy but I think this is a wonderful step forward, and they are pretty confident they are in the state of Arkansas that voters will put into place. This amendment were to talk about it more now with life and wants director of public affairs for first liberty Institute.
He's just written about this over at the daily signal light and thank you so much for being here. Thank you.
Get a mantra about what it's about. This new resolution. I know there are many states is especially in the South that have done wonderful things concerning the protections of religious liberty. Tell us a little bit about this particular resolution and how it came about what's going on there and Arkansas rights of the state legislature passed the bill article, the session which I will put the matter to the voters of Arkansas at the next general election ballot so and next balls on 2022 will be on the general election ballot and it basically takes the language from the from the statute in Arkansas which is their state version of the religious Freedom restoration act and incorporated into the constitutional article and the reason it's important that your probably know, if a legislature can pass something that legislature can provoke something by placing it in the Constitution and set the bar little bit higher so you have to the voters of Arkansas that you're approved this and the only way to reveal it would be in again on another general election ballot persuade a majority of voters in general election to get rid of.
And it's important because these are things going on with Supreme Court cases and even with Bill that have been passed U.S. House like equality act states have a responsibility to do what they can to the most cherished liberties of the people and they have the right of the U.S. Constitution is therefore not a feeling. In other words, states can act greater protections for theirs is the U.S. Constitution. I just can't do less but I think the people Arkansas will understand what mistake there I think that will get Chad to vote on it. Good legal articles yeah native Arkansans on what you have good folks there in Arkansas. That's awesome to hear here's what size is very interesting about this particular piece of legislation. And I know there are people making noises about it away because they have pointed out, in fact, one of the representatives from Arkansas is actually from Fayetteville, a Democrat, said he was concerned that the current law, there states that a government shall not substantially burden up a person's exercise of religion. But the proposed amendments takes out substantial so it's basically saying you can't burden religious liberty why they changed and why are people so up in arms about it, really you called it one of the more dangerous thing. You is up in arms about.
Typically a good idea to that the difference between sort of language you're removing the words federal substantial burden to religious liberty that language come from within the federal religious freedom restoration bag and it used to be the standard of scrutiny that the Supreme Court approach government action that impacted religious liberty government had to show a compelling interest and that you do so in a way that the.eventually burden once you get into a term like substantial during the Boulder yet what it substantial you if you're a judge may be different than what it substantial to another. So the clearer the language. Typically, the less wiggle room. There is a court so I think this is actually an improvement and the reason that we had the federal virginal River was because of the Supreme Court case that wanted to diverse myth that really lowered the bar of scrutiny in the court on action that impacts religious freedom and so Congress got a 93 past restoration act and not have almost unanimous was carried in the house by then Congressman Chuck Schumer. It was carried in the Senate by Ted Kennedy's. I think I get to go to get the Senate. It was unanimous in the house and signed into law by Bill Clinton at the time the ACLU supported the religious freedom restoration yeah well you know those were different times. We have a new Schumer. We have new people who used to be like that back in the day and now they see it is extreme discrimination and whatnot but it's funny when you talk about the ACLU because the ACLU makes a point which I think is ridiculous, but they're trying to say that you know by doing this, putting this kind of language in the amendments. This would open up the opportunity for people to challenge and exempt themselves from virtually any state law.
I mean, it is not an extreme reach. When the world is gonna sue over every state law. They don't like on the basis of religion. II may just don't see that happening yet not what it if you put in a situation by law or by the government gives them a defense. It gives them a chance to say it doesn't guarantee they win every time, but give them a legal defense, law, action is creating a burden to my free exercise of religion and acted by the U.S. Constitution, federal river, a state rep right now all your stake bed, but as well so it gives them viable option to defend it doesn't guarantee a certain outcome yet to claim the just going to create army of so-called sovereign you get to pick and choose what laws they obey is your typical hyperbolic nonsense business all the certain groups. Yes indeed, what you had mentioned you'd mention equality act would essentially undo the religious liberty protections that we have had in reference and a lot of Christians are very concerned about that. What happens if the equality act becomes law and you still have this amendment in the Arkansas Constitution. I would imagine it would had to courts, but what would happen. We do have a First Amendment but we might have a federal law that runs afoul of it in and a lot of people are worried what what happens if there's a need for that kind of a showdown. Yeah, and it can get a little bit obligated. There's another thing to keep in mind here to related one of our client liberty I would represent Kennedy about buyer protecting against our prayer and his case is seen by many as potentially a vehicle report to overturn the employment division versus Smith case, which is what prompted Congress to pass the religious Freedom restoration act upon it.
The method where the court inexplicably lowered the bar of scrutiny towards government action when it comes to free exercise so potentially what you could have the cortex good night and I take that action at night restore strict standard of review. Then when I went a challenge to the equality act, which will inevitably happen. It.at the law and the equality act would have to show how it beach that highest level of scrutiny and it won't really think it does. That doesn't look like you have a chat but if it if something were to change, and it did.
Then there there will be. There will be instant litigation sure and depending on what court does again. You may be facing the highest level of scrutiny by the springboard. I don't think it could it could pass that test so it's I understand it's your can look like dark clouds on the horizon.
Sometimes I think there are so will I am one of the may be the fact that 3M brazing federalism in the ninth amendment. Yeah, I got a run, but thank you so much.
Layton wants you can read his peace over the daily signal from first liberty Institute. Thanks a lot, Nathan. Great to talk to you. Thank you. I take care will be back on Jennifer today. Today is the national Day of prayer. Join millions of trained Americans who are united in prayer for our country connect from your mobile device or computer to the largest online prayer gathering ever. It's an incredible opportunity to experience the power of prayer as one nation under God.
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Lots going on today all across the country and every year I say this, but every year it's true we have never needed the Lord more than we need him today. Never we are facing.
As you know unprecedented threats to our religious liberty and to our freedom in general. As Americans we have all watched this erosion take place and it's just been on steroids over the last 1213 months. As everybody knows, I don't have to recount all of these things. It's interesting this year's theme of the national Day of prayer is Lord, to pour out your love life and liberty love life and liberty and scatterbrained self in the national Day of prayer has said it's our prayer today and throughout 20, 21 that the Spirit of the Lord will pour out and pour through us across America. We pray to see the Lord fill our lives, families, churches, workplace, education, military, government, arts, entertainment and media with biblical not cultural not worldly but Spirit empowered spirit filled love life and liberty is designed and defined by our Creator and Savior. I was thinking about how interesting it is when we go to the Lord and we pray for our country.
I don't know if you ever feel this way but sometimes I just feel overwhelmed that this is what so wonderful when you think about how the Holy Spirit intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words more and more of my parents or Hank are like that. Lord I don't know what to pray for, but help and the wonderful thing about going to the Lord is that he knows exactly what we are petitioning him for before we ever get the words out.
And sometimes if we can even order those words he knows exactly what we are petitioning him for and I go back to Daniel's wonderful prayer in Daniel nine and if you read that prayer verses three through 19. It really I think it's an excellent blueprint for praying for our nation and it really is something to keep in mind today.
If you're going on your knees before God to pray for America and pray for all of the categories that I just listed.
We feel so helpless. Sometimes an what is so simple and it strikes me again and again as so simple is we don't have to utter these flowery super well worded prayers with lots of long words and lots of food. Food to the whole thing. We just need to pour out our hearts before God and sometimes that's just very simple, but it begins. I think in such a good way with Daniel where he says I gave my attention to the Lord God, to seek him by prayer and supplication's with fasting sackcloth and ashes. I pray to the Lord my God and confessed and said a lasso Lord, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant and loving kindness for those who love him and keep his commandments. We have sins committed iniquity acted wickedly and rebelled even turning aside from your commandments and ordinances. Moreover, we have not listened to your servants the prophets who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, our fathers, and all the people of the land.
Righteousness belongs to you oh Lord, but to us. Open shame as it is this day to the men of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel. Those who are nearby, and those who are far away in all the countries to which you have driven them because of their unfaithful deeds which they have committed against you. Open shame belongs to us so Lord to our kings, our princes and our fathers because we have sinned against you said there is Daniel praising the Lord, which is always the first order of business is to give God praise and thanks for his glory for his holiness for his kindness for his mercy to us in Jesus Christ. But then goes on to confess his own sins personally and moves beyond that to confessing the sins of his people and course. Israel is not an exact analogy for where we are today in the New Testament time. But the principles of the same. I often think to myself how do I repent for the nation, not in a position to repent for the nation.
I can only repent for myself.
But isn't that where we all have to begin Lord turn my heart more fully towards you, Lord, make me more obedient toward you make your self known to me in a deeper way.
Lord, give me wisdom. Lord, give me courage to stand in this hour that I would obey you.
Despite what our government might do to us. Oh Lord, let the freedom that we have as Americans continue let us be free to be able to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ Lord we have learned over the last year. What it means to have our liberties threatened when churches are shot down by the government who ever thoughts in the United States of America that we would ever be in a position where our churches would be shut down and yet it happens and there were churches, as we've been discussing with had to go to all the way to the Supreme Court in order to get liberties back, but the fact that they ever had to go at all is extremely chilling. Don't forget that God's hand is in it all folks, don't forget when we have turned our backs on the Lord and we begin to see how the lack of his presence is affecting us.
That's to serve as a wake-up call that we might return and we can learn so much from all of the errors of ancient Israel.
All of the times that look, the Lord had blessed Israel tremendously.
And then they turned away from him.
It happened again and again and again and then they would go and they worship the idols abandoned all wait a minute, and we forgot the Lord and then he punishes them and then he they turn in repentance. It's a consistent cycle because of the sin of people. We have a tendency to backside. We have a tendency to fall away.
We have a tendency not to appreciate the blessings that God has given to us and what he's calling us to do today and on every single day of the year is to be repentance and to say Lord I know I have fallen from what I should be. As a Christian I know that I have not loved you with my heart, soul, mind and strength. I have not love my neighbor as myself, I've sinned against human thought, word and deed.
Lord, please forgive me please forgive me and please restore to me the joy of your salvation. At any rate, if you go through that particular passage. It's great.
Really great to go through and I appreciate what this website. Jewish roots.net has is a commentary review of Daniel's prayer. They point out Darius the Mead was appointed King over Babylon in 539 BC and in the first year of his reign. Daniel was now an old man spending most of his life as a Babylonian captive was reading the scroll of the prophet Jeremiah and realized Israel's 70 year captivity was soon to end this is an Daniel chapter 9, so he humbled himself and sackcloth and ashes and began that season of prayer and fasting of unspecified duration, praising God is great and awesome praising God for keeping his covenant with and extending mercy to all who love and obey him. Recognizing the Lord is transcendent and righteous and just in his dealings with unfaithful Israel acknowledging and this is important. God's justification and punishing Israel for it sent by will want to talk about that. But isn't it true, Lord, what were suffering as a nation we deserve it, we not only deserve it. We deserve worse. How in the world can you look in a nation that has been so blessed by God going all the way back to the beginnings when the Mayflower landed here and Christians were trying to find a place where they could freely worship the Lord and hear the Lord opened up this land to them and we inherited these incredible principles to the founding documents and we had the blessings of liberty. All of our lives and yet we kill millions of children in the womb. We have created through our Supreme Court. An alternative so-called version of marriage which is no marriage at all. It is an abomination before God, and that's what the Bible says how in the world can we look at the moral sewer and which were swimming every single day on the Internet on TV in society even when you're out and about the way people talk there such filthy ways of talking and there's so much sexual immorality, and it's just it wears on you and now we add to all of this, the rioting and the looting and the accusations of systemic racism which are ridiculous. It's not a country that is moving toward the Lord.
It's a country that is fallen from the Lord. I go back to Romans one and I think about when you suppress the truth in unrighteousness.
This is what happens but you know I also think about the fact that as an old Puritan one said Christians should be at their best when times are at their worst, and anything that the Lord will do I believe in the United States to turn it around. If that is his will will began. I believe in the hearts of his people. Why wouldn't it begin in the hearts of his people.
So today, if you are participating the national Day of prayer, whether that's in an official event or futures participating at home in some way praying with your spouse and your husband or your wife or your kids get on your knees today get on your knees today. You don't always need a big event necessarily to go to the Lord. This is a great opportunity to do that because the Fellowship of the saints can be such a powerful thing and I would encourage you to participate, but if you're not able to just go before God in your prayer closet go before God on your knees next year. Bad, or in your car or wherever you happen to be an repent of your own sin where whereby fallen short of the Lord I'm to do that to and let's begin there and let's praise him as the great and awesome God whose wrath is understandable, but also plead to the Lord for his mercy because above all, he is love and he is mercy, and he delights. When people come to him and turn to him in repentance and sorrow for their sin. That's when the light breaks through and people can be saved through the blood of Jesus Christ shed for us on the cross he justified us before a holy God by being raised from the data and that is the best news this world is ever heard. So let's be at our best. As Christians, even if times look like they're at their worst. God bless you, thank you so much for being with us. We can leave it there, but we'll see. Next time right here on Jennifer to