The Lord never forsakes us. What an awesome promise. We must hold on to it with both hands and never forget.
Heavenly Father, it must grieve You that as a nation we have taken for granted the freedoms and the liberties that so many have fought and died for over the past centuries. As a people, we have trodden underfoot the grace You have granted, profaning Your Name by our actions and attitudes. We are a nation in need of repentance and forgiveness. We are slow to learn. Help each one of us to have an understanding of our responsibilities to this great country, to one another, and to You, for we ask in the Name of Jesus, Amen
• Pray for a personal understanding of all that is involved in true liberty as granted through Jesus Christ.
• Pray for discernment when listening to politicians and media when they discuss our freedoms.
• Pray for our leaders as they wrestle with how to protect free speech, the right to assemble peaceably, and our religious liberty.
• Pray for Americans to turn to God in repentance and a return to the values and godly principles.
• Pray for America’s leaders in Congress, the courts, and the administration to seek to honor God first in their decisions.
• Pray for God’s hand of protection over the United States.
• For God to guide the president and administration officials in their efforts towards economic recovery.
•For all who are sick and especially for those who are afraid.
An epic tug-of-war is happening between righteousness and lawlessness.
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. – Proverbs 14:34
Surprisingly, Johnny Cash did NOT originally author the phrase “walk the line!” Actually, the term originated in 18th century prison yards. Convicts were exercised by walking a circle drawn on the ground. Anyone straying from that line brought trouble to the whole group. Many see God in a similar fashion. An angry warden just waiting for someone to get out of line. But that is not the case.
Rightly, God sets the laws of the Universe and for mankind. He is the Creator. He has gone to great lengths to give every person an opportunity to enjoy a place of fellowship with Him and to rest in His Kingdom. Sin was birthed by one setting out to dethrone Him from that place of sovereign authority, hoping to claim both the reign and glory for himself.
The basic nature of sin has not changed. When one sets themselves in opposition to the Lord of all life and the universe, sin is the result. The consequence of sin is death of the spirit and destruction of the mind and body. There is great forgiveness for those struggling to keep God’s laws, but the one rejecting God Himself harbors sin and is in grave spiritual danger.
When sin engulfs a nation, God’s hand of fellowship is blocked by the people’s choice to reject Him. But when people seek to honor the Creator and observe His ways, even imperfectly, their nation enjoys His presence and His favor.
Today, hold the line for blessing in your community. Support candidates who support Godly values and that pray men and women of faith will be elected to lead America.
So, my multitasking skills aren't what they used to be! Or maybe as I mature I am preferring to live in the moment more instead of my mind being on several other things. That's certainly true when I have my more than 1 grandkid at a time. Not only do I want to immerse myself in whatever we are doing, it's sort of critical since right now I have one who is 3 yrs old and the other is 19 months. If my sharp eye wanders, no telling what we will end up with.
They are the reason for my absence and slacking these last couple of days. It takes me 1-2 days to get into a routine I can count on when they are with me. It's a sweet time but challenging none the less. I think I have a handle on it now :)
It's encouraging to know that you've all been praying anyway. So much happening I'm guessing many of you are as confused and bewildered as I am. What is happening to our country? What is God doing? And where do we fit in to His plan? Daily questions with not so many answers right now.
I am feeling the daily need to go back to the basics and remember where we always stand with God. A friend shared part of her prayer time this morning and it was from A. W. Tozer, one of my favorite theologians. I found this article and felt it was a pretty important reminder for today.
God is always first, and God will surely be last.
To say this is not to draw God downward into the stream of time and involve Him in the flux and flow of the world. He stands above His own creation and outside of time; but for the convenience of His creatures, who are children of time, He makes free use of time words when referring to Himself. So He says that He is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, the first and the last. Man in the plan of God has been granted considerable say; but never is he permitted to utter the first word nor the last. That is the prerogative of the Deity, and one which He will never surrender to His creatures.
Man has no say about the time or the place of his birth; God determines that without consulting the man himself. One day the little man finds himself in consciousness and accepts the fact that he is. There his volitional life begins. Before that he had nothing to say about anything. After that he struts and boasts and utters his defiant proclamations of individual freedom, and encouraged by the sound of his own voice he may declare his independence of God and call himself an “atheist” or an “agnostic.” Have your fun, little man; you are only chattering in the interim between first and last; you had no voice at the first and you will have none at the last. God reserves the right to take up at the last where He began at the first, and you are in the hands of God whether you will or not.
This knowledge should humble us and encourage us, too. It should humble us when we remember how frail we are, how utterly dependent upon God; and it should encourage us to know that when everything else has passed we may still have God no less surely than before.
Adam became a living soul, but that becoming was not of his own volition. It was God who willed it and who executed His will in making Adam a living man. God was there first. And when Adam sinned and wrecked his whole life God was there still. Adam did not know it perhaps, but his whole future peace lay in this – that God was there after he had sinned. The God who was there at Adam’s beginning remained there at his ending. God was there last.
It would be great wisdom for us to begin to live in the light of this wonderful and terrible truth: God is the first and the last.
The remembrance of this could save nations from many tragic and bloody decisions. Were notes written by statesmen against the background of such knowledge they might be less inflammatory, less arrogant; and were kings and dictators to think soberly of this great truth they might walk more softly and speak less like gods. For after all they are not really important and the sphere of their freedom is constricted more than they dream.
Shelley tells of the traveler who saw in the desert two vast and trunkless legs of stone, and near them half-buried in the sand lay a shattered face with a “wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command.” On the pedestal where once the proud image had stood were engraven these words: “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.” And, says the poet, “Nothing else remains. Round the decay of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare the lone and level sands stretch far away.” Shelley was right except for one thing: Something else did remain. It was God. He had been there first to look in gentle pity upon the mad king who could boast so shamelessly in the shadow of the tomb; and He was there when the winds of heaven blew down the statue and by the swirling sands covered with a mantle of pity the evidence of human decay.
God was there last.
from The Root of the Righteous by A. W. Tozer
Merciful and Loving God, You are our Lord and our King and we long for the day when You will receive us into Your Heavenly abode. Until then, we place this nation of America at your feet and ask that You might once again look upon us with favor. May we repent and begin once again to serve You. Yet, for the honor of Your holy name, we pray that Your will be done in this great land. Our confidence is in You. Blessed be Your Name in all the Earth, Amen.
This is our 40th day of prayers for this President and this election. I will continue to post and pray until we have a final conclusion to our presidential race. I hope you are continuing to pray with me.
2 Chronicles 6:40
“Now, my God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place."
God is on board
Habakkuk 1:5 – Look among the nations and see, wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.
Those who “go down to the sea in ships” know that the time to plan for a storm is before it hits. They know it is good to have a written plan to rely on when it is time to start locking the hatches, securing the port holes and setting the anchor. When the severe weather is at hand, the checklist keeps the sailor calm as he prepares. An unprepared boat will likely break free.
Corrie Ten Boom once wrote, “In order to realize the worth of the anchor, we need to feel the stress of the storm.” The American ship of state is being tossed about on very stormy political seas. In his book, God’s Chaos Code, Dr. Lance Walnau, author and professor, writes: “The American storm is larger than racial, gender, and political division. When the disciples feared that the storm would sink the boat, they cried out and awakened Jesus who arose to rebuke the storm. The challenge for us is that there is no physical Jesus to awaken—it is the sleeping body of Christ that must awaken and speak to the storm. Angry waves have overtaken the ship, and demonic winds may lash the vessel violently, but God is on board this boat. To quell the ferocity of the storm, it’s going to take all of us finding our place in the midst of the crisis, the chaos, and the call of God.”
O Mighty and Righteous God, the condition of America is no surprise to you. To have watched us build to the position we are in through years of setting You aside from national discourse to now when You and we are mocked, ridiculed, and, in some cases, persecuted. Jesus said that in this world we would have troubles, but we need not fear, for He has overcome the world. We place our reliance on You today to guide us in overcoming. Help us stand strong for You, to contend for the faith, not to give in to the “demonic winds that lash the vessel violently,” but to maintain our reliance on You and the work You are doing. We await in anticipation of what You are performing. Guide us into the part You desire us to have, we pray. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
The Great I Am - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgpoOhoc4Hs
The mountains shake before him
The demons run and flee
At the mention of the name
King Of Majesty
There is no power in Hell
Or any who can stand
Before the power and the presence of the Great I Am!
AND REMEMBER HE HAS A BRIGHTER DAY PLANNED FOR US!
"What you did on Calvary makes me wanna love you more"
What is your strategy?
Psalm 5:11 – But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy.
Every professional golfer, and many amateurs, know that the best strategy when it comes to sand traps is to avoid them completely. But that doesn’t happen. Getting out of a sand trap can be one of the hardest shots to master in golf. The right loft, spin, and impact are tricky. The golfer’s number one decision when he finds himself in that situation is to choose the right club. Then take the right set-up, find the right grip, make the right shot, and follow through. Another seldom considered strength is for the golfer to keep the right mindset. And consistent practice is essential.
For many Christ-followers, they prefer living the life of faith as one smooth fairway shot after another, and an easy putt into the cup time after time. Just one blessing after another! Even as you talk about being thankful for the blessings that God gives, when you are honest, you will admit that the spiritual sand traps are out there, and they can sometimes be hard to avoid. James says, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds” (James 1:2), when you fall into those sand traps.
Using the golfing metaphor, then, to extract yourself from those things that interrupt the flow of joy in your life, use the right tool—your Bible is the first place to go for answers. Then take the right stand…don’t shift about from one foot to the other but find your balance in the wisdom of God. Get a grip! Pray. Seek the Lord in all things. Having the right mindset means putting your thoughts on things above, not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2). Keep at it. Then look for the joy and put a smile in your heart, for God is continuing to bless you, to teach you, to comfort you, and to protect you.
Holy God, today’s verse from Psalms says to sing for joy. Makes me think of an old hymn: “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear. What a privilege to carry everything to Him in prayer.” And “Have you trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? You should never be discouraged. Take it to the Lord in prayer.”
Coming to Your very throne room and placing ourselves at Your feet is certain joy. Knowing You hear us because You love us and You care about what concerns us, brings us joy. Thank You for giving us that joy which is unspeakable and full of glory. You are a good and loving Father, and we love you. Amen.
Are you in a rut?
2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you.
When the clouds were dark over Europe and the British Isles and it looked as though Germany was winning, Prime Minister Winston Churchill recognized his countrymen were being overcome with a political inertia that endangered their future. The definition of inertia is a “lack of movement or continuous movement in a particular direction unless affected by something that alters that direction.” For many in the Christian community, a spiritual inertia has set in, and it will be a danger for America’s future if allowed to continue.
You can identify spiritual inertia by its apathy, a lack of joy, the dullness of vision, functional depression, and an abdication of servanthood. Many Christians wring their hands in despair and isolate, not because of the coronavirus, but because they sense a personal lack of effectiveness.
God wants you in motion—and powerfully so! If you are feeling that spiritual inertia today, recognize your spiritual dryness and pray for a reconnection with God Almighty. Don’t procrastinate. Remember what He has already done for you in the past, Faith isn’t expected to be blind. Look back and see God’s faithfulness to you. Let go of the things that stand in the way of your usefulness to God. Then be sober and vigilant, staying alert for the things that are determined to kill your soul. Lay hold of the power of God. Move forward!
What does God expect from us in times like these?
First, we are called to pray. This may seem obvious, but it is important enough to restate this crucial action with so many distractions vying for our attention every day and every hour. In telling Timothy to pray and intercede for those in authority, the Apostle Paul uses the very words… “first of all” (1 Timothy 2:1). There can be no greater mandate.
Next, we are called to stand for righteousness. Culture and social pressures are drawing our attention away from God. Our convictions are drifting, too. These seemingly small changes are the sirens of the world trying to chip away at our values. We must be resolute and uphold Godly truths. “Contend for the faith,” it says in Jude 1:3. In Ephesians 6:10, it says “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.”
Finally, we are called to bring light to the world as shining ambassadors for Christ in the darkness of this present time. “For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). Let us be seen and heard that God’s glory and honor be praised.
Dear Heavenly Father, we confess that we frequently become stuck in a spiritual rut and have allowed the things of this world to cloud our vision of You and the pathway that You have set out before us. We ask that Your Holy Spirit awaken us out of our torpor and let us feel the force of Your power in our lives. Prod us along in our journey with You when we need it. Give us a fresh vision and new energy to overcome the inertia we have allowed to sink in. It is our desire that our lives honor You. We acknowledge You and ask You to direct our paths today, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
WEEKLY PRAYER NEEDS: November 19th – November 25th, 2020
PRAY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP AND HIS ADMINISTRATION
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with the Istanbul-based spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians during a short trip to Turkey, which upset Turkish officials as no meetings were scheduled with any of them. His talks have centered on religious freedoms.
Rodney Scott, the head of the U.S. Border Patrol, said the constructed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border has surpassed 400 miles and is expected to total 450 miles by the end of 2020, with speculation the work will continue into 2021.
Pray with thanksgiving for the focus of the president’s administration on religious liberty at home and abroad.
PRAY FOR OUR CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California warned that some members want to expand the use of the proxy vote employed during the pandemic into a fully remote vote-by-text operation, which he called unproven, unsecure, and unconstitutional.
Representative Chip Roy of Texas said Congress needs to do more to honor America’s veterans and those currently serving in the military with clarity and commitment as fewer than half of 1 percent of Americans serve in the Armed Forces.
Pray for members of both House and Senate as they still have work to do in the current session.
PRAY FOR OUR JUDICIARY
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito criticized his colleagues’ decision not to consider two lawsuits in which churches fought state coronavirus worship restrictions that he said “blatantly” disregarded the First Amendment.
The First Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Harvard University’s race-based admissions, rejecting a challenge that alleged the school’s policy discriminates against Asian-Americans.
Pray for the nation’s courts as they hear and rule on cases that involve discriminatory actions of any kind.
CURRENT EVENTSWARS AND TERRORISM
ISIS-linked terrorists beheaded and dismembered more than 50 people over three days in a mass killing at a soccer field in Mozambique after burning down homes and kidnapping and raping women and children.
Islamic extremists in northern Uganda killed a well-known Christian pastor and radio preacher after he compared Christianity and Islam in a radio broadcast, beating and strangling him to death for saying Allah is not God.
Pray for Christians in Africa who are contending for their faith in the face of terror from Islamists.
FOREIGN INTERESTS AND CONFLICTS
Hong Kong’s pro-democracy opposition lawmakers said they would resign in protest against the dismissal of four of their colleagues from the city assembly after Beijing intensified its crackdown on dissent in the city.
Thousands of Ethiopian refugees flooded into Sudan as Prime Minister Ahmed’s federal troops battled well-armed local forces in Tigray and protests against the northern region’s leaders were planned elsewhere.
Pray for people across the world who desire freedom rather than oppression and the actions they are taking to support these positions.
ISRAEL AND THE MIDDLE EAST
Al Qaeda’s second-in-command, accused of helping mastermind the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa, was killed in Iran in August by Israeli operatives acting at the behest of the U.S., according to a news report that cited intelligence officials.
Israel’s ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan urged the United Nation’s Secretary-General to work with him to eliminate anti-Israel bias that permeates the international body. “The bias against Israel has become institutionalized,” Erdan said.
Pray for those fighting the global spread of anti-Semitism and the resultant evil that comes with it.
Prices for single-family homes across the U.S. increased 12 percent in all 81 measured metropolitan areas in the third quarter, the biggest annual jump in seven years, adding to affordability concerns, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Mortgage applications have fallen to a six-month low, but homebuyer demand is still strong overall and the housing supply is inadequate, especially for first-time buyers and lower-income buyers, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports.
Pray for stability in the U.S. housing market as well as for other sectors of the overall economy.
ACROSS THE STATES
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont said that he doesn’t have any immediate plans to lock down the state or reinstate any additional restrictions, even as coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, and deaths increase in Connecticut and across the country.
New daily coronavirus cases ticked down to just over 7,000 this week in Ohio as Governor Mike DeWine explored a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew on many businesses in a bid to further slow the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, pray for state governors and health department officials to make the right decisions for their citizens.
VERSE OF THE WEEK
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. – 1 Peter 2:15-16
“And remember, where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control. History has proven that.”
– John Dalberg-Acton
“No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting against it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness — they have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means — the only complete realist.” - C. S. Lewis
From a psychological experiment in Journal of Applied Psychology: (full article in link below)
The experiment involving the adults found a similar relationship between moral identity, ethical behavior and innate aggressiveness. Assertive people who scored low on the moral-identity scale were more likely to say they’d cheated their employer in the past week than more passive types with similar moral-identity scores. But among those with high moral-identity scores, the assertive people were less likely to have cheated.
In sum, the study found, power doesn’t corrupt; it heightens pre-existing ethical tendencies. Which brings to mind another maxim, from Abraham Lincoln: “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”
The cure is humility.
Luke 14:11 – For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
There are subtleties behind some of the divisions you see in America today. The scribes of Jesus’ day had a similar problem. In fact, Jesus told the people to be wary of them because of their love for recognition and respect, and because of their religious hypocrisy. They were exploiting the people with false messages—but they believed they were the ones who were right. They were, in a word, self-righteous.
The “I’m right and you need to agree with me” attitude that prevails in some circles, even among some Christians, is self-righteousness, and it is dangerous. It stems from a psychological place of fear, and leads to indignation and anger. Polarization in the United States is at an all-time high; it has been fueled by self-righteous politicians and protesting groups, and it results in pugnacious contempt.
You cannot change what other people do; but you can change how you respond. To hold a self-righteous attitude comes at a high cost. You may, indeed, have the moral high ground, but you might better serve yourself and your Savior by doing what He says and humbly serve one another with the time and energy you would have spent on demonizing them.
Heavenly Father, I confess that sometimes it seems that I am too ready to put down some people and politicians who, to my mind, “just don’t get it,” and whose ideals and goals are not in alignment with what I think they should be. Forgive me when I am self-righteous. I remember how you said in Proverbs that a man’s pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honor. Guide me by Your Spirit to be more humble. Lead me with Your righteousness, for it is sufficient for me. For the sake of Jesus and His kingdom, Amen.
While I wait - Lincoln Brewster www.youtube.com/watch?v=FODGdZoTkyE
"I live by faith, and not by sight.
Sometimes miracles take time"
"So while I wait, I will worship
Lord, I'll worship Your name
Though I don't have all the answers
Still I trust You all the same"
We are now two weeks removed from Election Day, and we are still waiting for election results on races throughout the country. Take solace, though, in the things we DO KNOW:
1. God is in control. We know that God appoints princes and kings and that He is at work in America. Now is the time for patience and prayer.
2. There was no national blue wave. Although the process is still unfolding in the Presidential race, we can be thankful that so many of the projections from the Left did not come true.
3. Conservatives gained seats in the U.S. House of Representatives - not just conservatives in name, but conservatives who will lead the fight for outcomes on issues like the right to life.
4. Despite the Left spending millions to affect redistricting - not one state legislature was lost! This outcome is critical in shaping the nation for the next decade -- and for generations to come.
5. The voters have awakened. Incredible voter turnout took place on both sides of the aisle, and a record number of people -- almost 3.5 million voters -- went to the polls armed with iVoterGuide.
6. Just by using and sharing iVoterGuide, we made a huge impact.
The preliminary results of the 7,582 candidates in 3,067 races nationwide show that the voters were thrilled to use the 30,000 research hours iVoterGuide put into the 2020 elections. We made the difference in 150 elections -- not just affected the outcome, but provided the winning margin for conservatives -- in the following:
7. We're using our money much more wisely than the Left. iVoterGuide's election cycle budget of $1.5 million heavily influenced 150 races with 3.5 million voters for about 42 cents/voter with each voter impacting 4-20 races on their ballot. . . and that is just where we exceeded the winning margin!
All the above is just the big “drop in the pond” without any of the “ripple” effect our voters have on other races. Those of you who use iVoterGuide don't use us for just one race, but generally check out candidates up and down your ballot. The ripple is exponential.
In short, even though we don't yet know the end of the story in many cases -- and are even prayerfully waiting as the election process continues in the Presidential race -- we have reason to be thankful.
I know that as I wait, pray, and trust in God, I am reminded that Paul urges us in Thessalonians to not only "pray without ceasing" but also to "give thanks in everything."
If you're like me, maybe you needed a reminder today of everything we have to give thanks for -- and the difference we’ve already made.
SOURCE: iVoterGuide family
Heavenly Father, You are so good. You do not leave us to struggle alone with the thoughts that sometimes overwhelm us. Even when we are waiting for a long time! All through Your Word, You remind us that our strength is found in You. My faith may falter and feel weak, but I am, oh, so thankful that Jesus doesn’t measure me by the strength of my faith, but by its honesty. You are my Lord, and I submit to Your will. Settle my heart and mind today by Your Word and Your love, to the honor of Your glory, Amen.
Several states are in the process of recounting, reviewing and/or verifying their vote counts. Contested states have until December 8 to finalize their results. Legal challenges may keep some states from officially certifying their election results. State voting results can project the president-elect, but the legal determination is set when the Electoral College cast their votes for their respective state*. We will continue to provide daily encouragement, verses, and prayers, as you to pray alongside fellow believers each day.
December 8, 2020:Deadline for certified results in contested states.
December 14, 2020:State electors cast their final votes for President of the United States of America* and the Pray the Vote 2020 prayer initiate comes to a close.
December 23, 2020:Deadline for certified of electoral votes to be received by the president of the U.S. Senate.
January 3, 2021**:Swearing in of 117th United States Congress. B.O.L.D. (Beside Our Leaders Daily) 2021 prayer initiative begins.
January 6, 2021:Joint sessions of Congress formally count Electoral College votes and declare election results.
January 20, 2021:Presidential and vice-presidential inauguration.
January 21, 2021:100 Days of Prayer initiative over the President of the United States and his administration begins.*In the event of a tie in Electoral College votes or if one or more states cannot certify their results to reach a total of 270 or more votes for one candidate, the House of Representatives is tasked with choosing the president and the Senate is tasked with choosing the vice-president.
**Dates that fall on a Saturday or Sunday are subject to change per legislative appointment.
So, we had a rally in Grapevine yesterday. A rally for free and fair elections and to support President Trump. It was well attended and there was a lot of joy in fellowshipping with like-minded patriots. We were flag waving, smiling, singing, and praying all while walking down Main Street towards the 114 overpass. We had so many honks, waves, shouts of encouragement all around us for most of the rally.
Even though we had a few people flip us the bird or scream obscenities at us, our excitement did not decline. We were buoyed by the others around us. The Democrats keep saying “No Hate Here” and “Love is Love” and “Kindness is Everything”. So when I was cursed at or flipped off I responded with a hearty shout of “I love you!” and blew kisses to them. Not sure they were received in the spirit which I sent them but at least I tried
Today, one of the people attending the rally posted a brief video on NextDoor and titled it Patriots Gathered Today. From the response you would have thought we were murdering people in the streets in that video. The extreme hate, vitriol, and offensive comments were shocking since these are the people who claim to be tolerant and loving. I knew the post would be banned and so it was after just 6 short hours. (I did save the entire thread –if I’m going to be on a list then I’ll have my own lists to which I may need to refer.)
Are we being persecuted for our beliefs? Yes and it’s certainly not new in America or the world. And if the Dems get the White House I hear that the persecution will be stepped up tremendously. Have you heard, “No Jab, No Job”? which says that if you refuse the covid vaccine you will not be allowed to work.
Normally, I would be irritated, angry, saddened, threatened, etc… by us being persecuted but the message below tells me maybe I should be rejoicing!
One of the greatest paradoxes in Christian history is that the church is most pure in times of cultural hostility. When things are easy and good, that is when the church most often goes astray. When Christianity seems identical with the culture and even when the church seems to be enjoying its greatest earthly success, then it is weakest. Conversely, when the church encounters hardship, persecution, and suffering… then it is closest to its crucified Lord, then there are fewer hypocrites and nominal believers among its members, and then the faith of Christians burns most intensely. - Gene Edward Veith
I know that my faith has grown this year and I've walked more closely with the Lord. I know that it is more important than ever to me that I seek His will and His guidance in everything I do and say. Maybe that’s true for you as well. We all see that many churches look just like the world and we pray that will change. Well, maybe that’s exactly what is happening right now!
You have already been set free!
2 Peter 2:19 – They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.
The second chapter of Peter’s second epistle shines a bright light on false teachers, manipulators, and those who make false promises. God wants you to be clearly warned of those who would seek to influence your mind into having you believe or do what you might not otherwise have thought or done. In other words, God does not want you to fall for deception. “See that no one deceives you,” Jesus said in Matthew 24.
Today’s verse in 2 Peter says these deceivers promise you freedom, but it is a freedom they themselves do not have. Galatians 5:1 says that it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. As with generalized freedom in America, your freedom in Christ gives you the liberty to make many decisions for yourself. The best choice you can make is as you are instructed in James 4:7, to willfully submit yourself to the loving hands of God. Having done that, and living in the abundance of His grace, your challenge is not to turn your freedom into selfish opportunities, but through it serve one another (Galatians 5:13).
When you received Jesus as Savior, you also received the Holy Spirit. He is a guide and teacher and will bring to your mind the power of discernment and instruct you on living in righteous freedom.
Holy God, You have given us so much liberty, and it is often taken for granted by us, especially living in America, the land of the free and home of the brave. Set a guard on our minds so that we can be aware of the false teachers. Draw our eyes back to You and back to the truth. In these days of so many politicians and commentators wanting to influence the nation, keep us from falling for deception. Grant that we might live righteously before You and others, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
For the leading of the Holy Spirit in discerning what is true.
Can you discern facts from opinion?
Romans 14:1 – As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.
Issues or opinions? The nation—and perhaps the whole planet—is fractured, and it is happening because of opinions. Based on opinions in common, groups come together giving its members a sense of belonging that psychologists are calling tribalism. Those tribal divides are in every corner of American society today. Yet, most Americans—regardless of their opinions—can agree on what the real issues are, like defeat the virus, restore the economy, live in harmony with each other.
Cross-check your own opinions today to make sure they conform with God’s Word and His standards. Recognize that, even though your opinion may differ from your neighbor’s, both of you are entitled to hold them. But take the time to listen to one another and look deeper for the real issue. Do as God instructed and don’t let your opinions be a stumbling block or a hindrance for someone else. Be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, and be a source of love toward others in your words and actions.
God, You are so patient with us. You see the quarrels and the dividing opinions among us, and yet You gently tell us to be slow to speak but quick to listen. It reminds me of what my mother used to tell me about having two ears and one mouth, and how to use them with those numbers in mind. Help me today to be more willing to look for the deeper issues and not to settle for just my own self-established opinion or the opinions I’m hearing from others. Drive me to the places in Your Word where my opinions might need correcting, for I desire to always be transformed by Your Spirit. In Jesus Name, I pray, Amen.
Lifting our elections up to the Lord helps all of us keep the focus on the most important topics as well as softens our hearts to love everyone, even those with whom we may disagree. Believing differently shouldn't stop us from sharing God's love and His Word with others.