Living in the Now

If America is going to have a reversal of fortunes, then revival must come first. If revival is to come, it must come through the church. If revival is to come to the church, then it must come from Christians responding to the call of Christ on each of their lives. There is no other magic way it will happen. We must say yes to Jesus.

It’s been nine days since Americans decided who our next president will be, and many feel as though we’ve been given another chance. I believe this to be the case, however, my concern is that we the church will squander it. Do not confuse this mainly as a call for all of you to become more politically active. As a citizen, you should already be doing so.

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A Web of Confusion

We are three weeks from electing a new president. I will be so grateful (if the Lord wills it) to wake up on Wednesday morning, November 9th knowing God is still on the throne. He will be on the throne regardless the outcome of our national election. While many will be shocked and dismayed by the outcome, whatever it is, God will not be among them.

Last week I caught myself entangled in a web of confusion weaved by my own emotions. I’ve allowed the cacophony of opinions to flood my soul and spirit to the point I felt I was drowning. Thankfully, God has provided my church with a pastor who is one of the wisest men I know. He wonderfully has summed up how every conversation should begin: “Meet me at the cross.”

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The Gift of Liberty

Regardless the candidate for president, no man or woman can save America. No man or woman can make America great again. No man or woman alone is trustworthy enough to not have to be under constitutional checks and balances. No man or woman has all the answers to the needs of our nation. That is the description of a king or queen. We threw off the tyranny of king during the American Revolution.

What many voters, regardless the candidate, are seeking from whom they support is some form of kingship or soft tyranny. Our government was designed to not allow one person to have that type of power. Somehow we believe if it is our guy or gal then they will not be corrupted by the power and stay on the straight and narrow. As James Madison once said, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”

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Rest for Our Souls

One thing I’ve learned about other Christians and myself during this election cycle is too often we see things through our own eyes instead of eyes of faith. We fear what man is and can do to us, thereby no longer fearing God and rejecting His will for our lives. We trust in our own strength and wiles instead of seeking deliverance and forgiveness from God.

Some have given up. They believe there is no hope for America and are waiting for God’s judgment to fall on our nation. This defeatist attitude comes from weariness and a misplaced focus on man. Too many churches across America have checked out of society to the point that the church as a whole is no longer sought out for its take on current issues.

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Delighting My Soul

People are losing hope. American patriots despair for their country and look at the state of our nation and see no hope. We look to Washington D.C. to voice our complaints and all we get in return are political patronizing pats on the head.

Many are ready to give up on politics altogether. Glenn Beck just announced yesterday that he’s leaving the Republican Party. My friend Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, is considering the same move.

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Worshipping God For Who He Is

I wanted to share something else from Brother Pete’s sermon last Sunday. He encouraged us to “Worship God not for what He’s done for you, but for who He is.” That really struck home with me because outside of church I must confess I rarely do that. Normally my worship of God is in thanksgiving for what He’s done for me. I want to be more like David and worship God for who He is:

    “Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” (Psalm 29:2)

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Spiritual Victory

So how does the once great Christian America rescue itself from spiritual captivity? Can our nation once again live by the Biblical principles upon which it was founded? We’ll answer the second question first: in a word, yes. The Old Testament tells us:

    “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

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Biblical Illiteracy

biblical-illiteracyYesterday at a company picnic another brother-in-Christ and I were having a wonderful theological discussion and we began discussing Christians’ reading habits when it comes to the Bible. He shared that an astonishing low number of Christians read their Bibles regularly. LifeWay Research found that only one in five churchgoers read their Bibles daily. One out of four read their Bibles a few times a week. I imagine the numbers would be lower if they had polled self-described Christians. Remember, these were “churchgoers.”

So what does that mean when it comes to Christianity’s influence on American culture? It means the church is raising a generation of Bible illiterates. We don’t need to get too tied up in the percentages because consistent Bible study is what is important, not putting a checkmark in the “I read my Bible today” box. I go to the Word of God so it can bring clarity to my life and grow me as a Christian. The benefits of the Bible are countless. Do you need to straighten out your life?

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Pure From Corruption

corruptionOur government has been corrupt for a long time. There is a good reason for that. Our culture has been corrupt for a long time. There is also a good reason for that. Our churches have been corrupt for a long time. Yes, there is a good reason for that too. Our homes have been corrupt for a long time.

Many Christians believe if we can just get the right people in office, then our nation will make a comeback. While that would help some, it is more of an ointment than a cure. A person suffering from skin cancer might be able to relieve the surface pain with some sort of ointment, but the disease itself must be dealt with. Trying to fix a deep-abiding problem with surface remedies only deal with the symptoms. The cure for the disease is what is desperately needed.

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We Live To Fight Another Day

DeterminationLast night Karen and I had the privilege of spending election night with Dean and Jan Young and many of his loyal supporters. Dean came up short in his bid for Congress, but as he said, “The whole world took notice because we took on the GOP Establishment and scared them.” Many of his supporters were obviously disappointed and determined not to vote for Bradley Byrne because of the dishonorable campaign he ran.

What I was most proud of my friends Dean and Jan is there is no bitterness in their hearts, just a steeled resolve to honor the Lord Jesus Christ with their words and deeds. Dean told the press that he would not support Byrne because of the blatant and knowing lies he told about Dean. Byrne accused Dean of stealing money from Christians and putting it in his pocket. When Byrne was proved to be lying, he refused to retract his charges and apologize. Instead he dug in his heels. Dean told the press that Byrne would reap what he had sown.

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Letting Go Of The Future

Letting_GoWe have all struggled with our past. Some have needed to forgive others, some have needed to forgive themselves. Holding onto the past is like shackling yourself to a heavy ball and chain. It is spiritual bondage. I have had to let go of many things from my past and having done so I have experienced spiritual freedom the likes I never thought possible.

But I also struggle with my future. I am not talking about struggling about my salvation. I long ago dealt with that by not trusting my emotions about my salvation and trusting only God’s Word. My eternity is secure and I rest assured in that truth.

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Fixed Principles

Rock SolidOur pastor Bro Dennis is beginning a men’s study on leadership. Men, if you are a member of Midway Baptist Church or live in the Florida Panhandle, please consider this an invitation to join us on Monday evenings from 6:00 – 7:30 (Bible Study begins at 6:30).

I am so looking forward to this teaching.

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Makes Men Forget All Pity

GoodEvilLast night I presented this question to my social media followers and blog email list:

    “What does the Bible think about social issues? Is it inclusive and welcoming? Is it concerned with limiting its ability to attract young people and others, including many women, who agree with the Bible on some but not all issues?”

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Cause To Rejoice Or Mourn

So once again we are watching the circus live and in color on our television sets. The stage? Congress and the White House and the looming fiscal cliff. It is amazing to see after what was called the most important election of our lifetime that nothing has changed in Washington D.C. All the old leaders are the new leaders and you could not fill a bus up with those serving who are righteous in the sight of God. It reminds me of the old Rolling Stones song “We Won’t Get Fooled Again” where it ends with “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

I was asked by some, and accused by others, if I was looking for perfection in a candidate. My answer to both is I am looking for righteousness in our public servants. Those, whether or not they are Christians, who have a sense of responsibility to their electorate and more important to “the laws of nature and nature’s God.” As my buddy Steve Deace always says, “We want people of convictions, not positions.”

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The Government Is Upon His Shoulders

To hope and trust in God means doing so in His power and providence; not in our might and motives. Again, this may seem as a simple truth, and it is, but always remember that simple rarely equates to easy. We are hard-wired to do things on our own. But when we are placing our hope and trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ, we can see with eternal eyes and know that God is in control.

We just finished preparing our annual church budget to present to the church. This is not a budget that looks at the economic uncertainty in our nation. It is not a budget that considers that perhaps people will be strapped for money and giving will inevitably be down.

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We Can Always Take Courage

So many Christian patriots are very discouraged by the election outcome. Many are ready to quit; many are ready to start a third party; many are just ready “to go home” (I can sympathize with the latter sentiment). Discouragement is one of Satan’s greatest weapons against God’s people. It can be lethal. He may use persecution, predicaments, or privation to bring us to our knees and shout, “I give up!” Satan loves defeated Christians because misery loves company.

Beloved, we are not defeated! Our foe has been vanquished and we already have the victory.

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Let Us Answer Every Fear

Glory to God, for He is on His throne! Jesus is King, Lord, and Savior to all who call to Him for salvation. America is today still the greatest nation in history and I praise God for being born an American. No matter the outcome of our elections throughout history, the peaceful transition of power is a God-breathed miracle captured by godly men who founded our nation. They were God-fearing men who recognized and relied upon the Providence of God.

Our nation is truly at a crossroads. The political outcome of yesterday’s election is a reflection…a symptom…of what ails our great country. Over half of our country clearly has an entitlement mentality where they believe by merely being Americans who may or may not have been dealt a bad hand that they are entitled to other people’s money. Beloved, that is a clear indication of a deeper issue that must be addressed.

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A Soul Upon Which Truth Resounds

I received a response from a dear sister-in-Christ to the comments the past two emails I sent out on whether or not we can vote for the lesser of two evils. Understand that this is no simple matter, voting that is. I am glad to see so many Christians thinking through all of this by questioning and searching the scriptures for answers. That is what we are called to do. In fact, I presented some questions to my pastor and interviewed him Monday night to get his perspective. Bro Dennis is the one man I trust most in this world and while I may not always agree with him, I know I will get a straight answer from him. So is the case with so many other men who bless my life. There are a few women who fit that category also. You can hear Part 1 of Bro Dennis interview at my other blog:

Here are the words of one sister-in-Christ and her thought process in this election season, admittedly by her incomplete words but I believe they warrant sharing:

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Worse Than Any Other

Justice is required of us; that is we who call ourselves Christians. Making righteous decisions is only optional in that we can obey or disobey, but the requirement and God’s standard for justice is unchanged regardless our decision or disagreement. God is God and we are not. We can use our wisdom to explain away a grievous decision made by the Supreme Court, but we would judge incorrectly because we are using the wrong measurement. When chalking out a football field you don’t guess at a 50×100 yard playing service and 10 yard end zones, you measure it, and then chalk it. Anything else would be unacceptable.

If you did measure out a football field just by guessing how big it should be, it would be immediately apparent to even the least experienced fan that something wasn’t right. When we use our standard and human reasoning to make decisions, the Holy Spirit within in us lets us know that something isn’t right. David asked two simple questions we should use to inquire of ourselves:

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Righteousness – It Exalts A Nation

Since Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling on ObamaCare, I have seen all manner of exposition and explanation for why Chief Justice John Roberts’ ruling was brilliant. I have been asked if I want conservative judges, oppose liberal judges, want those that are Republican, and oppose those that are Democrats. Do I want originalists and oppose activists.

I take none of the above.

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