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Are You Worried about Government?

January 12th, 2017

All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness. (Isaiah 40:17)

I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” (Daniel 4:34-35)

An incredible amount of emotion, fear, worry, and even rage are spent in concern for things that we cannot control, specially human governments. In these days in America, with the presidency of Barak Obama coming to an end and the presidency of Donald Trump beginning, there has been a significant amount of outpouring of emotion from both sides. Some prefer the style of Obama, and others prefer the substance of Trump - no doubt that in personality Obama is smoother than Trump, or than most people in the planet, for that matter.

No human government in the history of the world has been perfect nor can become perfect because they are always dealing with the sin and failure of humanity. Some governments are better than others, and some are worse than others, but beyond that no one can truly say that a flawless one has ever existed, or will ever exist, until Christ returns.

God’s work in our age is redemptive. He lifts up the fallen, forgives the sinner, and redeems the captive from his addiction to sin. He establishes people in His grace and allows us to stand in Him forgiven, free, and new. He gives peace to the troubled, health to the sick, food to the hungry, and joy to the joyless. He makes peace between enemies, turns swords into plowshares, and makes former enemies to become brothers.

Paul wrote:

But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. (1 Cor. 1:27-29)

Government’s work is as an agent of God to establish order and to see that justice is done. Romans 13:1-7 teaches us the biblical principles of governments, that they are instituted and upheld by God for without them there would be anarchy and chaos, the rule of the mob and of the mobster. So be grateful for the government that you have. It is imperfect, flawed, but still helpful. Seek to make it better if you can, but do not expect it to be perfect.

But God is not in awe of human government. He does not tremble at the thoughts of kings and dictators, or of presidents and prime ministers. “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing.” He loves and He redeems from sin, and He has a plan for our eternity, but human government is not impressive to God.

What we can do in the name of Christ is to seek to spread love, forgiveness, peace, and redemption. There is enough indignation, cynicism, anger, and hate. If you are spreading more of that then you are not necessary, and you have made yourself such. We need people who will reach out in compassion and grace and draw people to Jesus Christ. He is our hope.

Instead of anger and hate, instead of fear and worry, I suggest we spread love and grace, that we preach confidence in the final victory of Christ and of His return. I believe this will bring more honor to Christ and will be a bigger blessing to people on this earth.

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Speak Up for the Unheard

August 31st, 2016

Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. (Proverbs 31:9)

The impact of the rule of God in life is respect and appreciation for all people. We must especially speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves.

The passage above was written by King Lemuel but based upon words that his mother taught him. Many scholars suspect that Lemuel, which means “One devoted to God,” was another name for Solomon. If so, the words come from Bathsheba his mother.

Whether that was the case or not, we can imagine what insights and burdens her heart must have carried. She had no ambitions to be the queen mother. She had been married to a good man, Uriah the Hittite, whom David had betrayed and murdered. It is unclear what role she had in her own “seduction,” or whether she had any choice at all, or felt as though she had no choice. Whatever happened between them, and only God knows, Bathsheba herself was never blamed in scripture. Nathan the prophet confronted David, not Bathsheba.

So God had put on her heart the importance of the king hearing those who cannot speak up, and protecting those who are destitute. And as we are members of God’s royal family by virtue of our faith in Jesus Christ, we are called to do the same.

It is common for people to look up to those wealthier than them, more powerful than them. We are attracted to the handsome, clever, successful people of life. And we ignore or turn our heads from the needy, the neglected, the rejected, and the destitute. God calls us to think otherwise and to act otherwise.

There is nothing wrong with having friends, or admiring those who are successful, but we cannot leave our thoughts there alone. We must let the compassion of Christ dwell in our hearts to the point that we seek to help the needy among the world’s people.

Those who are neediest among us are not always easy to help. They are not always kind, nor are they always innocent. Usually the nearer the bottom layer of human society we come, the more conflicts and miseries and scarred-emotional thinking we find. But they are still human beings made in the image of God, and the blood of Christ was shed for them no less than it was shed for the wealthy, beautiful, and successful in the world.

The Kingdom of God in eternity will have no destitute among its citizens, and we are to give a witness today to the reality of God’s rule in our hearts then we should make genuine efforts to establish justice, and to protect the rights of the neglected and forgotten.

But we might also start with those whom we know, those around us. Who, among your colleagues at work, among your neighborhood, within your circle of friends, or within your family, are the sad, weak, helpless, and rejected. How would Christ treat them? Look around you. There are people whom you can encourage today.

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