Tuesday, January 10, 2017

You voted him, not me . . . well you voted her, not me.

I have read so many ugly commentaries and heard people I would never have expected to argue and fuss with others and to say some of the nastiest things about our current and incoming POTUS – so with the 2017 Inauguration just around the corner, I thought it prudent to remember what the Lord calls us to do in regards to leadership.
2 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.  1 Timothy 2:1-2
Whether you voted for the incoming or outgoing POTUS – we need to remember there are correct and wrong ways to object or praise the leader of this GREAT NATION of ours. We should not bow to him nor should we slander him. When discussing politics remember to be peaceful and considerate of others – remembering that the person you vote for in the next election may not be the one elected that time and then the shoe is on the other foot, as the saying goes.
1 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone. Titus 3:1-2
I just shake my head at the number of people saying they were going to leave our country and others that have and continue to cause riots and spew nasty hateful commentary about our country’s leaders. They have caused people to misunderstand what our country stands for and continue to mix up statements and give half-truths and continue to malign our country.
2 When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers,
    but a ruler with discernment and knowledge maintains order.
  Proverbs 28:2
We, individually, are not perfect, our leaders are not perfect and our country is not perfect – but this is the GREATEST country in the world and there is no better place in this world to live. Yes, it is up to us to vote our conscience and strive for the best for our country. We should never give up working towards what we believe is best for our nation – but what we need to realize is that when a leader does not fear God and does not serve the Lord – God will handle it in the end.
10 Therefore, you kings, be wise;
    be warned, you rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear
    and celebrate his rule with trembling.
12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry
    and your way will lead to your destruction,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
    Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
Psalm 2:10-12
We should never give up our quest for what we feel is best for our country and its people – we as a people are never going to fully agree on anything – but that is what this nation of ours is all about, different people from all walks of life, working for a common goal – to have the best possible place anyone could ever live. As I said, we may never agree on what that place looks like, but if we agree “to be peaceable and considerate” and “gentle toward everyone” we can work towards our goal separately but together and in the end it is all going to work out.
The Seventh Trumpet
15 The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said:
“The kingdom of the world has become
    the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah,
    and he will reign for ever and ever.”
  Revelation 11:15
So, fear not, because God’s got this!
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
 Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Turn Satan’s whispers of “I told you so” to God’s “I got this.”

Wouldn’t it be great if becoming a Christian meant that all of our doubts and fears went away? We work to rid our lives of past “issues” and try to follow God’s Word and learn how to wear God’s Armor. We wonder why God allows us to fail.
God doesn’t want us berating ourselves with questions and statements that make us feel defective. But, as we well know, we have an enemy who loves to cast a shadow of self-doubt over us by playing into our self-defeating thoughts. He tries to get us to focus on what we think is wrong with us.
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
                                                  John 10:10 (NIV)
Self-doubt is the opposite of living free. It binds you, stops you from discovering all that God has for you. When you doubt that you can be effective in God’s plan – you are allowing Satan to win.
Satan will tell us any lie trying to separate us from our Heavenly Father. He wants all of us to live selfish, miserable, lonely lives. Satan can’t take away our Grace – so he wants us to be ineffective in God’s plans for us.
44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
                                                  John 8:44 (NIV)
When we fall prey to his lies we take our eyes off of who we are in Christ and focus on our flaws. We start to feel inadequate and unsure of ourselves. When we have fallen for his lies, rarely do we stop to ask, why we are believing these things or why am I doubting myself.
We may struggle with keeping our confidence, but we can trust and believe that there is always hope. For that reason, we go on. We move forward, and as we do, we gain more confidence in God’s plans for our life. We were made in the image of God – so stop doubting yourself – stop doubting God!
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
                                                  1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)
God can fill the gaps that no human ever could, because the God who created us cares deeply for each of us and he hasn’t missed a beat of any of our life. He didn’t create this world to have to evil it has in it – he created it beautiful and we humans decided we knew better than God and because of that we struggle.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
                                                  Philippians 4:6-9

Heavenly Father, I pray today that each of us who are struggling with self-doubt will honestly look at it, and then move forward. That each of us will leave any self-doubt behind, and replace it with knowledge, with action, but most importantly with You. Thank you that You know each of us, and what we need, and so graciously give it.
In your powerful, precious name. Amen.
Then you will know that I am the Lord;
    those who hope in me will not be disappointed.
                                                  Isaiah 49:23b (NIV)