Wednesday, November 5, 2008

November 5th - The Day After

Well - it's a done deal - we have a new president and vice president - congratulations to President Barack Obama and VP Joe Biden on their historical win. I also want to congratulate Senator John McCain and Governor Sara Palin on a hard fought campaign - I'm sure they're ready for some downtime. So.....as a nation - where are we headed? How does this presidential election affect all of us? Let me talk about perspective here. I don't have all the answers - you don't have all the answers - and President Obama won't have all the answers. There is only One who has all the answers because He is and has always been the answer - yeah I know - that's a cliche answer if I ever heard one but let me give you some scripture:

6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

7 Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David's throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.

Isaiah 9:6-7

***

10"Do you refuse to speak to me?" Pilate said. "Don't you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?"

11Jesus answered, "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above."

John 19:10-11

***

To all of the Americans who didn't get their way last night - let these verses sink in. To all the Americans who got their way last night - let these verses sink in. One man and a political party will never be the answer because they are not the overall governing authority in this world. The first verse is a prophecy that Isaiah gave of the future Messiah - He finally arrived - His name is Jesus and the government is and will be upon His shoulders. Hey, let's not forget - there's another day coming. The second verse is when Jesus makes it clear that Pilate's power was nothing to boast about - it was simply allowed for him to possess for a season. Like I said - we can gain a mile of perspective from these short passages.

I never will forget working at Wood Specialities in Rogers, Arkansas when Bill Clinton became our 42 president. One man working near my drill press walked by - smiled a toothless grin and said, "Bill Clinton is gonna turn this nation around!" Did that happen? I guess the answer to that one depends on who you're talking to. I don't think he did. Did Bill Clinton lead us to an American Utopia? No. Did any president before Pres. Clinton or after him lead us there? No. Will a man or political party ever lead us there? The answer will always be no. Can we grasp this? Will we ever? Now - I realize that presidents and political parties have powerful influence and are to be held responsible for their decisions and actions. BUT, will we ever understand that the success and security of any nation depends upon the peoples response to the one Isaiah is talking about? Let me bring it closer to home. The success and security of this nation does not depend upon the White House - it depends upon two places - the Church House and Your House. Period. In other words, I believe that everything hinges on the Christians who are really following Christ and just how much we allow Christ to influence our entire lives. That includes our decisions and actions being based on love, Christ likeness, adherence to the Word of God, morality, justice, etc. And then take all of that (plus more) and allow the Holy Spirit to permeate our entire being - every day in every way imaginable in order to change us from the inside out. But...we don't always do that...do we? So, what should we do? Christians need to grow up and begin experiencing spiritual maturity - learn to be patient with God - with others - and with ourselves during this painful but productive process. The flip side of the spiritual maturity coin isn't pretty - it's ugly and its known for it's apathy, laziness, materialism, and self absorption. All of the a fore mentioned can describe what many American Christian's allowed to slip into their lives and churches when they saw a conservative Christian named George W. Bush elected for two terms. Can the term 'spiritual coasting' apply here? I believe so. Christians in 'kick back mode' - yep, you bet. I saw it first hand - and I even participated. Yeah - I admit it. How about you?

So to answer the question - where are we headed as a nation? I believe it depends on the Christians - bottom line. We can't pass the buck anymore. Take care of the issues that matter most to God - people issues like taking care of the poor, the sick, the weak, the oppressed, give the hopeless some hope, etc. We must stop trying to abandon these issues and others like it on the governments door step. It's not their responsibility - it's the Churches. Don't believe me? Go read John 6:15 - Jesus cared about people - not politics - His ministry required a towel - not a title (Jn. 13). I've heard this before and so have you - if EVERY Christian TITHED - we could solve the issue of world hunger. I know, I know, we can't afford to do that - how silly of me to suggest such a thing. Christians have credit card bills, two maybe three car payments, Harley payment's, boat payment's, condo dues to worry about,......... Embarrassment should be sitting in about now. Let's do something together - let's re-visit our spending and entertainment philosophies and compare them to helping out on causes like ending the prostitution of little girls in Thailand. Provide for orphans in this nation and in other parts of the world who have lost their parents due to the AIDS virus - enable them to get an education - give so they won't be hungry and naked. God has blessed you and he's blessed me - why not try blessing someone else even if it means we can't go purchase a brand new iPod. So, how do we get started with this? Allow the Spirit of God to open your eyes - ask Him and then watch out - because He will. Go to the Assemblies of God website and do some research, contact your local DHS agency, do a Google search on something that breaks your heart, contact Glenda or me - perhaps we can plug you into someone or at least give you some ideas (go to www.adventconspiracy.org and watch the video. I signed up immediately).

One more thing. I know that I will not agree with our new president 100% of the time. In fact, there are some issues that we're diametrically opposed on but I can't allow that to hinder my spiritual responsibility to President Obama and his administration. I've made up my mind that I'm going to pray for him and his family. I'm going to pray for the Lord to soften his heart, give him wisdom, protect him from harm. I believe that's what the Lord wants me to do. Now, if your man lost last night you may be screaming, "WHY WOULD YOU PRAY IN SUCH A MANNER FOR....HIM?" This is why:


1I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3This is good, and pleases God our Savior,

1 Timothy 2:1-3

***

"Don't curse God; and don't damn your leaders."

Exodus 22:28 (The Message)


Amen.



3 comments:

The Steins said...

Awesome. This truly spoke to me! My mom and I were talking about how we need to get involved in fighting against abortion. We can't depend on our government to stop abortion so we have to start teaching people and showing them God's way. Anyways I loved this post!

Pastor Rusty said...

Brad, great post bro. I encouraged our people Wednesday night to live out 1 Timothy 2:1-2. I pledge to pray for President Obama and his cabinet. Thank you for your challenge and reminder.

Rusty

LAURIE said...

Brad, I stumbled across your blog from Pastor Rustys blog and I wanted to comment on this post. Wonderfully put and a great reminder that we as Christians have a responsibility to pray and uphold our leaders. It's time that Christians take a stand and the first step is PRAYER.

Hope you guys are doing well in DC. My prayers are with you guys. -Blessings, Laurie