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God Is In Control--Even In Politics Featured
God is in Control—Even in Politics
… the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, Gives it to whomever He will, And sets over it the lowest of men. Daniel 4:17
Since working as a representative for a State Senator, I have become increasingly aware of the dynamic responsibilities and powers of government. It’s sobering. Such experience has only caused me to be more aware of the need for Christian men and women to put shoe-leather to lip service.
It’s not enough to identify the problem or a threat. The real acid test to our effectiveness in our nation as a Christian culture is what we do with the insight and wisdom God does provide. Once we identify the symptom, are we willing to seek, develop, implement and enforce the cure?
Asking myself these questions and seeking what I can do as just one woman has brought me again to rehearse the foundation of my identity as a Christian, to delve in God’s Word and to renew myself in His purpose of mankind in this life.
As a constituent, I am inclined to “keep one’s nose clean” and just live a happy life tucked away. Politics is a hassle for the common man. It’s a lot of work to stay informed and life is very full with enough trouble on the home front—so it seems. As a Christian, I often feel “beat before I start” when I see the Goliath issues that threaten our nation, the constant fight required to combat evil and the snarling realities of people that are in opposition to a Biblical worldview of current events. Yet, as a patriot, I love my country, state, community and home. I desire that as a Christian, Biblical Conservative and Texan, God would continue to “preserve us a nation.”
Yet—despite a real relationship with Christ, I grow alarmed! Fearful, afraid of the future. I grow discouraged! Weary, saddened by the weight of issues that constantly threaten Christian liberties in America. I can even worry, even though the Bible tells us not to worry! How can we make a change? What can I do? Even safety for my own life becomes a reality working in the public. “My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.”(Ps. 75:26)
Can any of you identify? I’m sure there are many.
The Word of God is a haven. I run to it often—daily—and praise the Lord for the Christians that have carried the torch before us.
How timely to read a historic overview of what it took to be able to read God’s Word in my own language. Starting with the 1300s, the history of English translations of the Bible is an example of Christians taking action. This was an era where there was a need for reform. Wicked men sought to suppress and control access to the truth. Does that sound familiar?
Men and women were under vigorous persecution for merely translating a written book—a Living Word—in a language. Really??? This project was only for the good of the people. Their work hurt no one and yet, these Christians were pushed aside, treated as criminals and persecuted. The “establishment church” was their greatest enemy—the very people that should have been in support of this project! It was a God given work for Wycliffe in the 1300s, Tyndale in the 1500s and all the men and women behind the scenes. God assigned them work to do—this was their appointed lot. It was God’s will. Regardless of even God’s assignment, this Christian work met with tremendous resistance, governmental corruption, deep persecution, loss of physical life and constant set back. Despite all that—God’s will prevailed. These Christians remained faithful, constant and sure. Over the course of hundreds of years, those obedient Christian men and women’s work did not return void. Their work has given life, led many to Christ and to this day, I am just one of many that are still benefiting from what they did hundreds of years ago.
The translations happened—yet with a cost. It was an arduous climb of diligent effort that spanned several generations of passing the torch until the work was accomplished.
There was even a governmental shift. After the martyrdom of Tyndale, just a few years later, the English government issued official licenses for the Coverdale and Matthew Bibles. God used a wicked, immoral leader, Henry VIII to order English translated Bibles to be installed in every church. The Geneva Bible came from English scholars and translators fleeing to Geneva due the persecution of a Queen Mary. Then King James approved a petition for what we call today the King James Version in 1611.
Enter 2016 A.D. God has not changed. He’s still the same in every detail as He was when He created the universe.
He’s the same God that used men like the Pharaoh of Egypt.
“And the Lord said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him…And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.” (Exodus 9:12, 16)
He’s the same God that used Cyrus to further His work:
“… the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem.” (Ezra 1: 1-3)
Today, He is capable of using even the leadership to His means:
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” (Romans 13:1)
There is always a solution for the seeking Christian and here are five things the Lord reminded me of:
1# God is in control. “For the kingdom is the Lord's: and he is the governor among the nations.” (Ps. 22:28) “Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing.” (Is. 40:15)
2# Civil Government was God’s idea. “And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding.” (Daniel 2:21) “… the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, Gives it to whomever He will, And sets over it the lowest of men.” (Daniel 4:17)
3# God can use unrighteous men for righteous means (Read Habakkuk 1:1-11). “But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.” (Ps. 75:7) “The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.” (Pr. 16:4)
4# When Civil government is in conflict with the Bible, my allegiance is first to Christ. “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)
5# My job is to seek God. He has preplanned the work I personally am to accomplish. I do not have to be overwhelmed. God gives my assignment and will provide all that is needed to accomplish it. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Mt. 6:33) “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”(Eph. 2:10)“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (2 Cor. 9:8)For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)
God is in control—even in politics. However, we have a responsibility. In America, we can do something. We can start at a local level. We can stay faithful and steady. We can speak out. We can vote. We can write to our legislatures. We can be good citizens, neighbors, constituents. We can hold our elected officials accountable. Some could even run for public office.
Then on the other hand--we can also reject to be used effectively by the Lord. We can be lazy, apathetic or radical zealots that are ineffective and do more harm than good toward seeing a lasting change for good in our government.
Does our failure mean that God’s will is going to be thwarted? No! It means God will use someone else and we’ll miss out on the blessing of being His obedient instrument. The victory is the Lords—that is sure. Christ is coming again. This world is going to end. God’s throne will be established in the new Jerusalem. Bottom line, we can follow His path now, get on His bandwagon and stay focused on our work to accomplish while we prepare for an eternity with Him—or we can be left behind by our own choosing.
Beginning now, it starts on bended knee, seeking God’s face not just for understanding and wisdom but for His marching orders for our daily life. Let’s get to work—two hands on the plow.
Rise Up O Men Of God Featured
Thanks for Mr. Keith Neds' beautiful calligraphy for inspiring today's poem - "Rise Up O Men of God." (To purchase his beautiful, inspiring calligraphy, be sure to visit www.calligraphyforchrist.com)
In the passages of scripture, Abraham, David, Solomon, Samuel and Daniel called themselves servants of God. These were all men that were of great use to the Lord. They didn't first identify themselves as men of wealth or intellectual ability. Nor did they worry first to verbalize the size of their ministry and work for the Lord. They didn't necessarily feel qualified or adequate for their calling. But, they simply understood first and foremost they were God's men, servants that were being called upon Him to do their duty. They recognized that God was the giver of ability, wisdom, an "understanding heart" and salvation. They knew to serve Him meant action, dedication and focus.
With Father's Day advancing, it's a good time to honor all Christian men. As God's women, we find do ourselves so much more capable of fulfilling our God given role as women when men will step up and obey God in fulfilling their role. God's faithful, obedient men are worth honoring, supporting, and celebrating! May we be the kind of women that will help Christ's obedient men to rise up as valiant men God intended them to be.
Rise Up O Men of God
Rise up O Men of God
Faithful, Strong and Pure!
Fulfill your God given role,
In Christ anchored, be secure.
Rise Up O Men of Valor
The time is now to act!
Stand armored in Christ Jesus,
Through Him, evil counteract.
Rise up O Humble Men
Set aside foolish pride.
Put on the attitude of Christ;
His meekness real strength abides.
Rise Up O Men of Strength
Focus on building your spirit.
God’s Word is the Source.
Eat it. Apply it. Live it.
Rise Up O Leading Men
In a role God has created;
Leaders for home and country,
A duty too often vacated.
Rise Up O Masculine Men
Be vigilant, diligent as intended!
Hard working, Providing, Strong!
Sweating is recommended.
Rise Up O Gentle Men
Be gracious, loving, kind.
Lay down your life for others
As Christ did for all mankind.
Rise Up O Servant Men
Even Christ fed them fish and bread.
He washed feet and tended needs.
If you do, you too will be fed.
Rise Up O Brothers True
Be faithful in a chaste vow.
Guard the Eyes. Thoughts. Actions!
In Christ, It is possible even now.
Rise Up O Faithful Husbands
God has granted you a gift
A wife, a help meet, a friend.
One wife love for life—she’s it!
Rise Up O Teaching Fathers
Train children in His Narrow Way.
Draw from God’s free, abundant wisdom.
Reject the world. The price, do pay.
Rise Up O Committed Men
Seek God and make the decision.
Have faith. Don’t over think!
Trust in His promised, overflowing provision!
Rise Up O Women of God
Pray for, reverence, support these men.
By their obedience, sacrifice and service,
They help us to be what God did intend.
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
Today I sit with my hands in my hair about my tack room. Well, I say tack room. I'm still not entirely sure if my bedroom has tack in it or my tack room has a bed in it. Either way, pandemonium reigns. Somewhere along the line one of the saddle racks fell down and now in order to reach the lunging equipment, you have to clamber over one of the saddles, probably tripping over a pile of halters in the process and rediscovering a lost exercise bandage, a bar of saddle soap older than you are, tiny stirrup irons you didn't even know you had and, quite possibly, Atlantis. It's madness. It's enough to make me wonder why I even have all this stuff and what possessed me to acquire all of it in the first place.
Then, half an hour later, one of the horses will have a temper tantrum and I will think, “I really need a standing martingale right now.” Never mind that I haven't used it for years – each horse needs a different approach, and often, a different piece of equipment.
Non-horsepeople must be utterly bewildered by the array of bits, boots, bridles, blankets, bonnets and miscellaneous gadgets that we horsepeople seem to require in order to complete what appears to be the relatively simple task of staying on top. There are variations of everything, from saddles to rein attachments.
Once again, horse training proves not to be so different from the rest of the world. Just as we have many different pieces of equipment, so there are even more different kinds of people. In fact, seven billion totally different human beings are alive today – there is nothing so diverse as the personalities of mankind. We all have our own ideas, opinions, feelings, passions, hopes, and fears. No two humans have ever been or will ever be identical. We are unique because we are Handmade – created with utmost care by the God Who loves us so. And yet we are all created for one simple purpose; for Him (Colossians 1:16, Revelation 4:11).
We are all under the same commandments. We are all created, saved, and cherished by the same God. One Lord, one Truth, one Word reigns over all of us. And we all have a common purpose. Why, then, are we all so different? How can a world full of unique people work for a single goal?
The answer lies not in why, but in how. All God's children work for one cause – His glory. And we all work for one reason – His love. But we all work in completely different ways, because we all have different gifts. God has given us strengths and talents for a reason. Each of us has a unique calling for which we were created.
Horse trainers would have a dreadful time if we were stuck with just one piece of equipment. Imagine trying to school a horse to perfection with just a bit. You wouldn't even have a bridle to hold it in the horse's mouth. It would be completely useless. But if you have the bit and a bridle, a saddle, stirrups, girth, saddle blanket – everything else you needed – then the bit would incredibly useful.
Of course, if you were a true master, and you had enough time, you could train a horse without anything. It's a good thing for us that God is a true Master. He can save this world and bring glory to His Name without any of us. He does not need us, but He wants us. All of us. As unique as we are.
If God had made all of us the same, it would be like trying to train that horse with only a bit. So He made us all different, each with something else to bring back to His Kingdom, each with something unique to contribute. Just like the horse trainer with all his diverse equipment, all tools in his hand to achieve the one goal of training that horse. 1 Corinthians 12 says that God has diverse people, all tools in His Hand to achieve the one goal of bringing Him glory. United by Christ, not by similarity.
We are not all called to be prophets. We are not all called to be songwriters. We are not all called to be nurses. I'm a horsewoman. Maybe you are a housewife, pastor, carpenter, accountant, banker, bus driver, architect, doctor, farmer, police officer, CEO, ironworker... Whatever we are, if we are in Christ, we are what God has made us. We do not have to be preachers to get to Heaven. We do not have to be Gospel singers to serve our King.
Whatever we are, we are children of the Most High God. And He can use us, whatever our gifts, whatever our strength, in a unique and marvellous and special way, to bring glory to His amazing Name.
Seven Thoughts to Consider about Purity in Public
Titus 2: 3-5 - The older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
What employee hasn't had to sit through the dreaded video on how to handle sexual harassment in the work place or in public? It's unpleasant and embarrassing but it often defines situations and conversations we've probably had to handle.
From a woman's point of view, it's no surprise that this is an ongoing "issue" in the work or public place considering how some women (even professing Christians) act and present themselves in public.
Here's a few things Christian women especially would do well to consider about purity in public:
1) Matthew 10:16 - Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. A woman has the ability to often steer the situation with inappropriate attention from males (and sadly even females now days!) and often PREVENT situations before they fester. Plan for success – ask God for wisdom daily in the workplace or when going out in public!
2) Proverbs 11:22 - As a ring of gold in a swine's snout, so is a lovely woman who lacks discretion. / Proverbs 31: 25 - Strength and honor are her clothing... Before even opening her mouth, a woman speaks the most by her conduct, the way she dresses and even by her body language. Have discretion in your deportment. Walk and present yourself as a daughter of the King and a follower of Jesus Christ. You reflect Christ and His image should be gaining a stronger resemblance in your life day-by-day!
3) Proverbs 31:26 - She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness. / Ephesians 4:29 - Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. / Matthew 12: 36-37 - But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. Ephesians 5:4 - Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. When she does open her mouth, a woman need be careful! Somethings just don't need to be discussed outside the home. The nature of topics certainly need to be thought of twice. Are we vulgar in our speech? Well, we need to repent and not be vulgar! What do we laugh about? Be a lady. How we talk and what we talk about, all sends volumes of insight to our coworkers about what we're willing to receive from them. Women, we can be inviting others—just by what we tolerate--to include us into their dirty or off-colored conversations. Speak up by your actions, leave the room and don't just go along with the trend. When the right timing, let your co-workers know about your church and some of your church activities. Yeh, go ahead and be thought of as a "church girl!" It won't fix all, but by doing our part, we women can certainly help guide the situation and while we're at it, witness a living Christ in our lives to our lost coworkers and the public we encounter.
4) 1 Timothy 2:9 - ...that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation... A woman can be modest if she wants to be. Women, please think "modesty" when you think about what you wear! Modesty is God's idea. Cover it up your nakedness...wear more fabric! For the conservative crowd, dresses can be just as immodest and revealing—watch the necklines and revealing fabrics! Just because it's a skirt doesn't mean it's appropriate in fit, length or perhaps that high slit to reveal a thigh and leg should be sewn up. Pouring yourself into a long pair of jeans with no skin showing doesn't make it less revealing! Also what you wear can be pretty! Nowhere in the scripture does it contextually tell us we get extra "spiritual points" for looking dumpy, ill kept and wearing faded clothing all the time (Hey! But it's true, we all need some dumpy clothing to paint the house in!). Go before the Lord and ask Him to help you get His idea of what you need to look like. It's a personal walk—but we can be united in Christ to have HIS idea.
5) Read Proverbs 31 - A Christian woman is not one of the "guys". A woman of character, high morals and Godly pursuits will be respected by most—even unbelievers. A Godly woman understands that the Biblical, God given role of womanhood if a gift that can be rejected and missed. It doesn't just happen (especially in our world today!) that women embrace God's plan for woman! A woman that truly is seeking God will behave like one. That means, in our society, that women respect how God created men in a leadership role capacity (even if the men don't understand). It means, we conduct ourselves with femininity and actively seek to live out the standards God has given us as women. "Putting one over" on the guys and competing between the sexes has no Biblical support. Being mannish is not "okay". (This is from a woman that likes to sweat outside, train horses, has helped a father and brother's work in plumbing, fencing, ranching, etc. A woman can still do and help do physical work in a God honoring way, but as a woman not trying to be a man.)
6) 1 Thessalonians 5:22 - Abstain from all appearance of evil. / 1 Corinthians 1:9 - But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. If you are single, act like you are married in that you reserve yourself for that one man (or woman) in your affections, conversations, entertainment, etc. That sounds crazy, but if we believe God is true to His word, He will provide a spouse in His timing. A wise mother said to her daughter, "There's only one man—just one. You don't have to try out everyone." Be the type of woman that the man of character would want for a wife. Presenting yourself as "one of the fun girls" to your coworkers or others in public is going to attract the same kind of person for a spouse and damage your witness for Christ. God put the solitarily in a family. Be known as a single person that is a family person. Invest in your parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, etc. Serve the brethren in church. Yeh, it's okay to be mocked as being "boring" and having no "fun." It is guaranteed that wholesome, righteous fun (that's really very broad in spectrum) will tend to life, character and enduring relationships when the counterfeit of a self-culture of "night life binges" and "sprees" will only end in moral corruption and broken, emptiness. Psalm 68: 6 God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity; But the rebellious dwell in a dry land. Those "too friendly" customers that what to invade your space—stiffen the arm to prevent the embrace. Let it be known you belong to a church, a family. You girls, get your Dad to come visit you, let them know you have a "covering" and a man in your life. Get your brothers to walk in on your lunch break. Speak of the Lord. They'll get the message!
7) 1 Corinthians 7:1 - It is good for a man not to touch a woman. / 1 Timothy 5: 2 – [treat] The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity. A note for the Men of the church or in public! Keep your comments on a woman's physical appearance reserved for your family! Many grandfatherly and fatherly types have a grace quite capable of presenting compliments and kindest actions with appropriateness—like apples of God in settings of silver. But some/most men would do better to refrain. Every time you meet in church, it is inappropriate and uncomfortable to a woman to give her an update on what she's wearing, her hair style, how well she looks, etc., etc., etc. While any honest woman would confess that admiration and being thought beautiful is a compliment—a godly woman neither seeks nor desires such attention from men beyond family. And consider, from some sources, it is more an aversion or insult to the woman than a gratification. A good rule for men would be to ask themselves, "Would I want another man to say this to my wife?" "Would I want another older man to act this way toward my daughter or sister?" "Would I say this if this woman were married and her husband standing next to her?" Even if the woman is single and young, she is likely someone's future wife. Act like a brother—and what brother goes around excessively hugging or telling his sister she's beautiful?