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It is Enough!
Rebekah L. Holt
With the recent Texas Elections--it's been both positive and disappointing to see the results! Some of 'em made it and some of 'em didn't.
Despite trusting fully in the Lord's raising up righteous leadership in every generation--I'm always challenged with the feelings of dashed hopes after every election! Well--the "good guys" don't always get elected and we end up getting stuck with less effective or perhaps, horrible leadership (though we did have some great wins in our district!). It can be depressing when seeing people who really lie and cheat and tell half-truths actually get enough votes! It baffles me when some people I know cannot circumspectly consider the long reaching, destructive impact some candidates bring to the table if elected! Just consider our Presidential elections...
At times like these, I tend to be thoughtful if not morose. It becomes a need to take every thought captive and bring it before the throne of grace. The Lord does speak and those scriptures set to memory issue forth. Lyrics and melodic notes harmonize cognitively, materializing in a swirl, and finally spill forth in an audible anthem. Yes, I find myself being renewed in the Lord's grace, rehearsing the very core of meaningful humanity and the purpose of the Christian life.
This past week, I was confronted with a conversation where a man expressed his anger toward our government. Quite a bit of his reasoning I could rationalize. It was possible to confirm his complaint as viable. Yet, the basis of his argument missed an important component and thus, his solution was warped. He wouldn't vote for anyone because of their party affiliation--so therefore, he rationalized by not voting in what he considered a corrupt party, he was doing his part and we needed to instead set up a completely different party.
As I sorted through this man's comments and philosophies, trying to see the relevance, know what to respond to and how to use this opportunity to speak any words of truth--it did come clear to point toward Christ's life as the example.
Government was broken then in Christ's day. There was BAD leadership. There were murderers and even immoral incestuous adulterers on the throne. And those men are remembered today for carrying out the events that led to the vicarious death of our Savior. Yet, God still was sovereign and His plan for mankind came to pass. Christ's purpose was not repressed. Sure, the whole of the outcome of the Messiah's coming was different than what the zealots wanted. They wanted a new form of government. Yet, Christ's kingdom was not of this world. A perfect earthly form of government was not the fix He provided. But what God did provide, the solution was effective to mankind's need and filled all the voids. He gave us streams in a desert and manna in the wilderness--the provision and sustenance to work with what we've got and where we are today. His ultimate plan gave us an eternal and rich glorious gift of Salvation that gives the everyday man real answers and true life for today and an eternity with Jesus. We have been told this world is going to end. But we have also been told to remain faithful, to be equipped, to obey authority, to occupy until He comes again, to make disciples of all nations and to get after it--time is short. Live a life that counts in Jesus and be fishers of men.
Government is not our hope for today or tomorrow. What God has established is the "where it starts" for Christians. Bottom line, period--unless the Lord builds the house, we labor in vain. If man or a man-made form of government is the what we build our lives upon, the foundations will certainly crumble and we will crater. It is only the men that submit themselves unto the Lord that can possibly fulfill righteous actions and have righteous judgement. It remains that regardless of our parties or American government--our nation's moral health is only as strong as the moral heartbeat--we the people at home, we the people at work, we the people at play. The "How" of how we conduct our lives. Our worldview is not a personal affair - it has far reaching repercussions that radiate, impacting a generation and culture. Silence and non-action is an active voice. Choosing not to be politically responsible and doing what we CAN at a grassroots level or higher up if opportunity allows could be considered equivalent to endorsing the wrong side. In America, we can do something--it may be a small deed, but remember the mustard seed.
We must be responsible citizens. If we can vote against a vile candidate, let's do it. Individually, we're going to have to submit ourselves to the Lord for His guidance on what that is. As followers of Christ, it is important for us to seek the Lord on how we can vote and what candidates He desires us to support at every level of government. Jesus Christ recognized the leaders while on earth and their position. He paid his taxes. Scripture tells us that God uses and works through the present authorities--even if they don't want or recognize His rule. God can give us wisdom how to effectively combat corrupt leadership and to hopefully and appropriately overturn the evil "kings" of our day. Just "throwing it off" is not the answer. As Christ's followers we can be resolved and do our part--yet stay focused on the fact that this is not all there is. Our greatest responsibility must be on serving Christ first. By identifying ourselves in His leadership, our efforts, our outlooks and our understanding of how to effect change can come into a perfect balance in an imperfect world.
Others may be stronger in this, but God often uses my discouragements to draw me deeper into His embrace. There's so much to distract us from the Lord's blessings today. Casting all care on Christ releases us to put on all His intended joy. Life is tough and draining at times. It's real. But it does come that upon renewing our minds in Christ, we can fill our minds with the realization that our foundation and security in the Lord truly is enough and it satisfies the hungering soul with peace. Such an anchor is ours through the storm, to face what is required of us as we carry on. Only through trusting and obeying Jesus Christ can we fully approach the future without a fear or dread. We can instead stride forward in an eternal, victorious, redeemed, proactive, effective perspective.
Join me in singing one of my favorites:
My faith has found a resting place, not in device nor creed. I trust the Ever-living One, His wounds for me shall plead! I need no other argument, I need no other plea, It is enough that Jesus died and that He died for Me.
You have commanded us to keep Your precepts diligently. Ps. 119:4
According to Merriam Webster’s dictionary, ethics are “rules of behavior based on ideas about what is morally good and bad.”
Christianity offers the foundation of ethics. By becoming familiar with the Bible and what the world teaches as ethics – you’ll find that even the world borrows ground from what God has established. The teachings of morality, were God’s idea. The differences between good and evil are defined and given meaning in the Bible. Justice, honesty, wisdom, prudence, diligence, integrity, moral conduct, fair dealings, laboring with good work, respecting superiors, structure of rank and leadership, restraint in conduct, etc. – all of these attributes defining an excellent workman are based in God’s moral law and the bedrock of Christianity.
The work place is a Christian’s daily boot-camp for being renewed in the mind of Christ and having to apply Christian ethics. Looking at the reality of some job situations, what can stretch our fortitude? Real dilemmas, difficult co-workers, stressful encounters with the public, personal mistakes, frustrations of “red tape,” low wages for work performed, unjust misunderstandings, management breakdowns, lack of support, having to work with people that don’t have good ethics, fielding complaints, fixing other people’s mistakes, having to do the “dirty work” – the list goes on. The common response to the on-going of such challenges is demoralization, an apathetic attitude, bitterness, giving up, finding relief in “drinking it off,” a belligerent, complaining spirit and a “me” attitude. This is consistent with 2 Timothy 3:1-5 concerning the last days: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
God’s standard of ethics are much higher, tried and successful than what the world tries to enforce. As Christians, our lives are to be ruled by Christ’s Holy Spirit. We are not alone in our efforts, though surrounded by a sea of people that don’t usually share our same high standards. It’s not because we’re “super humans” or can achieve this in our own effort. Our ability to work with Christ’s ethics is because He enables us through His Spirit to achieve His standard and to even strengthen our areas of weakness. “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” Eph. 2:20
The Christian should be a “stand out,” a gleaming bright light providing an example of Christ by the way we work and conduct day-to-day business. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matt. 5:16
When governed by Christ, we make the best workmen, provide the highest standards of ethics and give the most diligent effort in whatever task presented—because we reflect Christ’s life in application, not just profess it.
The Bible’s Code of Ethics
Here’s a few characters traits that are the definition of a Christian’s ethics according to God’s word:
Hard Working: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might…” Ec. 9:10
“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.” Col. 3: 23-24
“The labour of the righteous tendeth to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin.” Prov. 10:16
Diligent: Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men. Prov. 22: 29
“The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy man will be put to forced labor.” Prov. 12: 24
Just in Business/Wages: “A false balance is abomination to the Lord: but a just weight is his delight.” Prov. 11:1
“Moreover they reckoned not with the men, into whose hand they delivered the money to be bestowed on workmen: for they dealt faithfully.” 2 Kings 12:15
Not a Man Pleaser: “But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.” James 2:9
“But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.” Col. 3:25
“For there is no respect of persons with God.” Rom. 2:11
Read More: A Christian's Work Ethic