By Don Case
Where can we turn for solutions when we are experiencing moral, social, and economic decline that can destroy our country? Unfortunately, when it comes to politics and elections, far too many people spend time consulting friends, and culture then what the Bible teaches. We use prayer to restore each other, our homes, and church but we can also use it to transform our nation. Changing the direction of our country is not too big of a challenge for God. Christians should consult with God concerning the decline of our society and its influence on our nation.
The institutions of governmental authority was created, decreed, and established by God and is under His sovereign control. God cannot be removed from believers' involvement or representation in government because laws are made based on belief systems. The Christian's belief system is to be derived from the Bible, therefore out of necessity, it should affect our hearts and our voting principles.
Scripture holds the final and authoritative answer to life's concerns. While Scripture is good enough for individuals, families, and churches, it seems that somehow its power has been neglected as we react to politics and governmental challenges.
God Does Not Vote
We are part of the instruments that God uses to make changes in government. Understanding Gods desire for our nation is essential for voting correctly. We should ask God to guide us in voting according to His will. Christians sometimes ask who should I vote for when the real question should be the more important question, how should I vote. What do we do when divisions, bad bad morals and debt threatens what little stability we have left?
God is the sovereign ruler over creation. He will rule by either endorsing men's choices, or He will rule by allowing them to have the consequences of a decision made against Him. Those who favor the legality of abortion on demand are making a choice against God's law not to take an innocent human being's life. God has given people the freedom to disobey Him by making choices opposing what He says. He has also given our government the freedom to make laws that allows the murder of an unborn child legal. When governing representatives of the people legalize the shedding of innocent blood they have placed themselves in the direct line of God's judgment. As a result, there will be a price for legalizing the killing of unborn babies. We may never get to vote on abortion but we can scrutinize candidates for their willingness to follow Gods commandments.
We hear a lot of conversation pertaining to elections, candidates, parties, and platforms but few biblically based views are developed. As believers, we should be consulting God if we expect His influence on our nation. God is able to turn things around. People filling the positions within governments may not intentionally be serving God, most are not, but we can ask for help that they will be influenced towards godly moral standards. It is our responsibility to elect candidates that will further God's plan for our society.
Christians are commanded throughout scripture regarding the importance of humility. Additionally, God repeatedly tells His followers about the dangers associated with haughty attitudes and "Too Big For Your Britches" mentalities. At the same time, God has endowed each of us with incredible power that, although it comes from Him, it is ours to use for good purpose. In giving us such power, God expects great things. Consider one simple sentence tucked into the New Testament book of James wherein the inspired writer records the following simple, to-the-point words:
Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
If we're not careful, this is one of those places in the Bible that we'll read quickly and move on without really thinking about what was just said. This one short sentence is INCREDIBLE and deserves a few observations.
For one, we need to consider the devil. Knowing our enemy is important and that's why God spends so much time talking about him in His holy word. And each time he is referenced, it is abundantly clear that he is very capable, very diligent, and far too often, very effective. God isn't asking us to do some small thing in resisting Satan himself—that's huge! But God also doesn't ask us to do things that are impossible. God grants us power to defeat Satan!
Additionally, the ability to resist rests squarely on our shoulders. If I fail to resist Satan, it's my fault. It's not your fault nor is it God's fault. God tells you and me to resist the devil. Again, God does not command us to do things that are impossible, but only expects of us the things which we can do. When Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, he highlighted the fact that God provides a way of escape from every temptation which Satan puts before us (I Corinthians 10:13). But at the same time, God doesn't make it so that we are free from the temptations which come as a result of living in creation wherein the Creator gives us free will. Still, it's impressive to consider that, with God, I have the power to resist!
Finally, James tells saints like you and me that when we fight back against Satan and his tricks, he will flee from us. Consider that for a moment. You and I have the power to cause Satan, whose own power is significant, to run from our presence. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness before launching His public teaching, He stood up against Satan on the three occasions that the devil approached Him and each time, used a godly argument to withstand the pressure of the evil one. And what was the result of this action on the part of our Savior? Matthew 4:11 says simply that, "The devil left Him." It's important to note that the power that Jesus had in order to succeed is NO different than the power that God has bestowed on us. We must never, ever forget that. While humble and obedient in all things, let us be bold and remember the power that we have that comes directly from our eternal and powerful Creator.
Everyone needs an answer to two questions first, how to live right while on earth and where will they go after death. The answer to pleasing God is found in His word and the church that promotes His doctrine. Heaven bound people should concern themselves with pure worship, and promoting the necessities that the Lord requires. It takes wisdom and knowledge to submit totally to the things of God and be participants of His kingdom.
Love is the medium for expressing the kingdom on earth, therefore, it is expected to be demonstrated in our lives by efforts of compassion, forgiveness, teaching, prayer, feeding and helping the less fortunate. It is all about seeing the works of God made manifest in the life of those we come across and making others see the glory of God through us. God expects every man to be committed to things pertaining to the church, and He wants our focus and involvement. We need to take His message to those we meet as we journey through life. By passing the message on to others, it can affect the lives of many. We must align our lives with the biblical concepts of justice, mercy and faithfulness. As Jesus was attracted to sinner, we must also seek the lost.
The Son of Man Will Judge the Nations...
"When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep for the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundations of the world." (Matt. 25:31-34)
THIS WORLD IS NOT MY HOME...
This world is not my home, I'm just a passing thru. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue. The angels beckon me from heaven's open door.
They're all expecting me, and that's one thing I know. My Savior pardoned me and now I onward go. I know He'll take me thru tho' I am weak and poor.
Just up in glory land we'll live eternally. The saints on every hand are shouting victory. Their songs of sweetest praise drift back from heaven's shore.
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore. O Lord, you know I have no friend like you. If heaven's not my home, then Lord what will I do? The angels beckon me from heaven's open door.
If you haven't already filed your taxes by the date of this edition of The Supplier, you may very well be panicking! Federal law states that taxes not filed by April 15th will be considered late and are subject to significant financial penalties. For taxpayers receiving refunds, filing as early as possible made perfect sense. But for those who owe money, waiting until the last minute is more "desirable." Regardless of your individual situation, there are three important spiritual lessons that "Tax Day" teaches us.
First, though paying taxes may not be the most "fun" thing to do, it is something that we are commanded to do. Governments are in place to create laws that are designed to make societies function more fairly and effectively. And, while no one government is perfect, we must remember that God is the One who has allowed such powers to exist and has commanded us to be subject to our leaders (Romans 13:1). Later in his same letter to the Romans, the apostle Paul wrote that those things which are "due" to leaders are to be paid, including taxes (Romans 13:7). Of course, what Paul wrote was in absolute harmony with the teachings of Christ who famously responded to the Pharisees that it was not only "okay" but indeed lawful and necessary to, "Render... to Caesar the things that are Caesar's," including the taxes due to His government (Luke 20:25).
Second, as everyone is subject to paying taxes, so is everyone subject to the Lord. While there are some exceptions for people with limited income, virtually everyone has to file their taxes by midnight on the 15th. This fact is reminiscent to the words of Paul who reminds us that, "We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:10). We are each responsible for ourselves and we will each be accountable to our Lord for the way that we have lived. As Solomon said, "God will bring every work into judgment" (Ecclesiastes 12:14). Knowing this, let us be diligent to always be prepared!
Finally, "Tax Day" reminds us of the fact that, one day, it will be too late. Sure, a person can file taxes on April 16th, but there will be a penalty. And when that penalty is assessed, the taxpayer won't be able to call the IRS and say, it was only a single day late, can't you make an exception for me? In Luke 16, Jesus tells of the rich man who, after he died, wanted to make sure his family knew about the danger of torment that results from sinful living. Of course, as Jesus explains, making changes after death is not an option. Hebrews 9:27 tells us that after death comes judgment, not additional opportunities to change. If nothing else, filing taxes in April should serve as a reminder of the need to render obedience to God today and not put off until tomorrow the types of decisions that truly have eternal consequences. Let's not be late when it comes to doing right and to helping others do the same!
By Don Case
Most varieties of rat poison are made up of 97% food and only 3% poison. These products lure those nasty rodents by the smell and taste of something they actually like, a delectable treat. But along with a tasty meal, they also ingest trace amounts of toxins that are enough to end their pesky lives. Rats die because of a small amount of poison spiked within an enticing food.
This can also describe the way our integrity can be compromised, our hearts hardened, or our spirit desensitized? Often we are lured in by something seemingly harmless, or an enjoyable form of entertainment, but it becomes poisonous. Strategically hidden, craftily disguised, underneath the surface we may think everything is going well but there is deterioration and destruction. It may take days even months before we notice but eventually our spiritual organs start to fail. Our sensitivity dulls as deposits of poison suddenly appear and we realize the destructive effect is working on us.
Too often we see celebrities, sports, and political figures ending up in the spotlight with unwanted attention and unintended consequences.
Their lives have been infected by the three-percent poison in a very public and undesirable way. Their reputation and influence becomes blemished and sometimes they never recover.
It is important that we continue guarding ourselves and not allow evil and sin to overtake our souls. Protecting our reputation is important. Many see Christians as living examples of lives that are contrary to the world. As servants of Christ, we should always be representative of Him for others to see. Keeping minds and spirits pure is never easy but significant effort must be made to meet spiritual goals.
Among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people.