Tag Archives: election

Help

Nobody know which President said it first, but Abraham Lincoln, at his second inauguration, after taking the oath of office, added, “So help me God.”   I believe we are better served by a President who seeks and receives Divine help.  Especially in bestowing His kind of wisdom.

As you prepare to vote, consider the difference between worldly wisdom and godly wisdom as explained by Jesus’ brother, James:

“Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”  (James 3:13-18)

From where I sit, we have weeded out all the candidates open to godly wisdom.  

So help us God.

Anger Danger

When people talk about our Presidential campaign process it is usually with a mixture of dismay and disgust. How did we get here?  The word most frequently used to explain the chaotic turn of events is “anger.”  Voters have become so angry with what has and has not been happening in our government that they latch on to candidates who seem to share their sense of anger.  It is happening on both the left and right sides of the aisle.

But watch out!  Anger is understandable, but rarely a reliable starting place for developing effective solutions.  They say, if you want to win a fist fight, make your opponent angry.  In his anger he will make mistakes.  If we vote for those who simply sound angry, we will likely have to live with their mistakes.

Anger is frequently caused by feeling misunderstood.  Trouble is, anger also leads us to stop listening to one another, to less understanding and then to more anger.  That is why so often in our, so-called, debates, more than one candidate shouts at the same time, neither one listening to the other.  Without listening and genuinely seeking to find common areas of understanding, it is impossible to work together toward solutions.

Consider this:

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.  –  (James 1:19–20 (NIV84))

Instead of voting for someone who merely sounds angry, what about voting for someone who thoughtfully listens and then seeks a real solution to what has made you angry?

Who to Vote For

Don’t pay much attention to what the candidates say they will do.  Most don’t or cannot do most of what they’ve promised.  They have no way to know the circumstances they will really face.  Instead, consider their character.  Leaders tend to lead in the direction of the path they have consistently taken in life.  When you vote for a new President, or any other government position, you vote to have the country resemble the character of that person.  At the time of this writing, our two front runners are known for dishonesty and greed – not character traits most of us hope will shape our nation’s reputation.

Want a list of character traits to avoid and ones to support?  Consider these two lists, taken from the letter to the Galatians in the Bible.  Paul contrasts those motivated by “the flesh”   –  by which he means those who operate by the rules and impulses of the world  –  and those who take their cues from God’s Spirit.

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, …  

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; … (Galatians 5:19–23 – excerpts)

Which set of character traits do you want in those who lead our country?  Which candidates resemble the list you chose?  Vote for them.

Please join me in praying for wisdom to prevail among voters.

Members Only?

Has God passed you by?  I’ve been enjoying “American Idol” over the past few weeks, but always feel the pain of the contestants who, each week, are informed they were not chosen.  They are told, your best wasn’t good enough; go back to the hotel, get your stuff together and go back to your ordinary, humdrum life.  Ouch.  But the Bible uses that word, chosen, too.  Israel is “God’s chosen people.”  And Peter calls Christians,

To God’s elect, ….who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, …. 1 Peter 1b & 2a (excerpts)

If God chooses those who become Christians, does so by His own foreknowledge, and if you are not a Christian, does that mean God has passed you over?  Has God rejected you?  When you also realize that Jesus taught that only those who come to Him by faith are born into the Kingdom of Heaven and attain eternal life, this is no small question.  Has God left you out?   These other teachings of Jesus may sound to you as though Heaven is for “Members Only” and that it’s up to God who becomes a “member.”

 John 14:6 (NIV)
Jesus answered, “I am* the way* and the truth* and the life.* No one comes to the Father except through me.*

John 6:44 (NIV)
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him,* and I will raise him up at the last day.

But look more carefully at these other teachings of Jesus:

John 6:40 (NIV)
For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son* and believes in him shall have eternal life,* and I will raise him up at the last day.”

John 6:45 (NIV)
It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’** Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me.

So which is it: “no one” or “everyone?”  Both, really.  If you haven’t decided about Jesus but are still reading this, it is likely that God is “drawing you” to Himself.  If you sense a desire to “listen to the Father” and “learn from Him” you are likely being drawn by God to come to Jesus.  His will is that everyone who believes in Jesus “shall have eternal life.”  Everyone.  If you are willing, He won’t leave you out.

So who chooses?  Is it you or is it God?  As hard as it is to wrap our minds around it, the Bible says it is God Who chooses.  But it feels as though we choose.  The best way for me to illustrate this is with this scenario:  Suppose my dog is sick and will die unless he eats a certain life-saving medicine.  I wrap the medicine in his favorite peanut butter and put it out where he will find it.  He gobbles it down.  Who chose?

Bottom line is this:  If you sense a desire to be closer to God, He will not leave you out.  He will open the way for you to come to Him through Jesus.  Follow that desire, take advantage of that open “Way,” and, mysteriously, you will have been “chosen!”