Thursday, August 25, 2016

What Scripture Teaches Us About Government

Whether we like it or not,  government is a fact of life that people must live with. Throughout human history we can see that God has used government to help govern the affairs of mankind.  So, it is not a surprise that Scripture even references government. 

Every government is put in place by God.
  • Jesus Answered [Pilate], "You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above." (John 19:11)
  • "There is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God." (Romans 13:1b) 
God uses even sinful governments to accomplish His will for our good.
  • "Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: Because you have not obeyed my words, behold, I will send for all the tribes of the north, declares the LORD, and for Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants, and against all these surrounding nations. I will devote them to destruction, and make them a horror, a hissing, and an everlasting desolation." (Jeremiah 25:8-9)
  • God even used the government to oppress Jesus Christ.  "Truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you [God] anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place." (Acts 4:27-28)
We ought to pray for those who govern us whether or not we agree with them.
  • "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way." (1 Timothy 2:1-2)

We should honor and submit to those who govern us. (Biblical honor)
  • "Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor." (1 Peter 2:13-17; also consider Romans 13:1-4)
All human government will eventually end and Jesus Christ will reign over everyone forever.
  • "Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. … From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords." (Revelation 19:11, 15-16)

    Friday, August 19, 2016

    In Times of Uncertainty

    Every person has times of uncertainty and nobody can plan on when those times will come.  It is during those moments that we can sit perplexed and even confused because there appear to be no good options.  At times, I believe the only answer is to sit still and listen to the voice of God and to lean upon His promises. Christians are blessed with the true Comforter (called the Holy Spirit of God) who is always at work within us.  It is the reason that Christ told His disciples that he needed to leave--in order that the Comforter would come and the Comforter would do amazing works within them.  Sadly enough, we often exchange and forfeit the comfort that God provides over something that is meaningless and provides no measure of hope at all.  We can seek comfort in things that God never intended and they are always short lived. 

    Consider these 10 verses in times of uncertain: 
    1. Philippians 4:6-7,  "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
    2. 1 Peter 5:7, " Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you."
    3.  Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."
    4. Psalm 55:22, "Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved."
    5. Hebrews 11:6, "And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him."
    6. John 14:26, "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you."
    7. Proverbs 3:24-26, "If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught."
    8. Psalm 91:1-2, "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."
    9. Psalm 46:10, "Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” 
    10. Psalm 62:6, "He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be shaken."
    Write one of these verses down and claim God's promises today!  Let's rest in the fact that God loves us the most and is in control of all our situations--even when we don't know the next move.