Politics and God or should I say God and Politics?

We are quickly entering another political season. I'm sure we are all aware of the negativity that this season brings so on that note I'd like to share a story and a few Scriptures:

This year in Sonlight we got to read about Napoleon. As you know he was a French Emperor, who wanted to rule the world (by the way, he is dead now). One of his decisions while in power was to sell America the Louisiana Purchase. Well, when his brothers heard about it, they barged in on Napoleon taking a bath and told him what a foolish mistake he had just made. Napoleon stood up in the bathtub and threw such a tantrum that one of his servants fainted. Napoleon, in that moment of nudity, sealed one of his most foolish decisions. As we well know, that one decision forever changed the face of what America would become.

As I read this story, I couldn't help but think of the following Scripture:

Isaiah 40:15
15 The nations are like one small drop in a bucket;
they are no more than the dust on his measuring scales.
To him the islands are no more than fine dust on his scales.

The weight of a nation in God's eyes is like a drop in the bucket. That brings a little perspective to the whole picture doesn't it? Yet somehow, in America, we think that because we get to choose our leaders that democracy has changed the importance of a nation's politics in God's eyes. We also somehow believe that if our leader isn't our defintion of "Christianity" than the hope of our nation, at least for four years, has gone out the window.

But let us not forget that Jesus came "in the fullness of time." The "political fullness" occurred when the Romans had God's chosen people in captivity. Scripture makes it very clear that God is not restricted by nor afraid of who is ruling:

Proverbs 21:1
1The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord;
he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.

As I read through the biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer it became very clear that the church dropped their power and influence and exchanged it for nationalism. We are all well aware of the horror that resulted when the church forfeited its true mission and purpose. If we want to to learn anything from history, it should be that governments come and go but the one thing that will remain is God's kingdom.

God is not up in heaven biting His fingernails, worrying who America will vote for their next President. However, He does instruct His people in how they should be interacting with politics. We all know the following Scripture but I think in light of this next season, it is good to read again and to see what follows it:

I Timothy 2:1-6
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.

Top priority to God is the advancement of His kingdom, and the advancement of that is not dependent upon the political landscape of our nation. It is, however correlated to His people. As Christians, entering into this next political season, I urge you to keep your eyes fixed on God's reality. Yes, we are historically privileged to be able to have a voice in the choosing of our leaders. It is important to be informed and to vote. However, we need to first see and love people through their relation to God's kingdom and not through their political party association.


P.S. Don't forget about my contest to win a $25 Target gift card.  If at any time, you have already purchased my book, or you left a review please e-mail me so I can enter your name.

Fourth Sunday After Pentecost

Ezk. 36:22-27
22 "So say to the people of Israel, 'This is what the Lord GOD says: Israel, I am going to act, but not for your sake. I will do something to help my holy name, which you have dishonored among the nations where you went.23 I will prove the holiness of my great name, which has been dishonored among the nations. You have dishonored it among these nations, but the nations will know that I am the LORD when I prove myself holy before their eyes, says the Lord GOD.

24 " 'I will take you from the nations and gather you out of all the lands and bring you back into your own land.25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your uncleanness and your idols.26 Also, I will teach you to respect me completely, and I will put a new way of thinking inside you. I will take out the stubborn hearts of stone from your bodies, and I will give you obedient hearts of flesh.27 I will put my Spirit inside you and help you live by my rules and carefully obey my laws.

Psalm 133
1 It is good and pleasant
when God's people live together in peace!
2 It is like perfumed oil poured on the priest's head
and running down his beard.
It ran down Aaron's beard
and on to the collar of his robes.
3 It is like the dew of Mount Hermon
falling on the hills of Jerusalem.
There the LORD gives his blessing
of life forever.

Ephesians 1:13-14
13 So it is with you. When you heard the true teaching—the Good News about your salvation—you believed in Christ. And in Christ, God put his special mark of ownership on you by giving you the Holy Spirit that he had promised.14 That Holy Spirit is the guarantee that we will receive what God promised for his people until God gives full freedom to those who are his—to bring praise to God's glory.

John 14:16-21, 25-26
16 I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper to be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it does not see him or know him. But you know him, because he lives with you and he will be in you.

18 "I will not leave you all alone like orphans; I will come back to you. 19 In a little while the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you will live, too.20 On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and that you are in me and I am in you. 21 Those who know my commands and obey them are the ones who love me, and my Father will love those who love me. I will love them and will show myself to them."

25 "I have told you all these things while I am with you. 26 But the Helper will teach you everything and will cause you to remember all that I told you. This Helper is the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name.

In Christ,

A Chance to win a $25 Gift Card to Target

As a way to say thank you for your support I am running a drawing for a chance to win a $25 gift card to Target.

How to enter:
  • E-mail the name of the first person I acknowledge in the Acknowledgement's section of: A Bond of Blessing to forhisgloryalone@ymail.com.  
  • You will also receive an additional entry for each review you post to Amazon, your blog and/or Facebook.  Send links to forhisgloryalone@ymail.com
Drawing ends, July 15 @ 11:59pm.  Winner will be announced on July 16.


A Story to Embody: Second Sunday after Pentecost

Psalm 138
Thank you! Everything in me says "Thank you!"
Angels listen as I sing my thanks.
I kneel in worship facing your holy temple
and say it again: "Thank you!"
Thank you for your love,
thank you for your faithfulness;
Most holy is your name,
most holy is your Word.
The moment I called out, you stepped in;
you made my life large with strength.

4-6 When they hear what you have to say, God,
all earth's kings will say "Thank you."
They'll sing of what you've done:
"How great the glory of God!"
And here's why: God, high above, sees far below;
no matter the distance, he knows everything about us.

7-8 When I walk into the thick of trouble,
keep me alive in the angry turmoil.
With one hand
strike my foes,
With your other hand
save me.
Finish what you started in me, God.
Your love is eternal—don't quit on me now.

Genesis 3:8-15
8 When they heard the sound of God strolling in the garden in the evening breeze, the Man and his Wife hid in the trees of the garden, hid from God.

9 God called to the Man: "Where are you?"
10 He said, "I heard you in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked. And I hid."
11 God said, "Who told you you were naked? Did you eat from that tree I told you not to eat from?"
12 The Man said, "The Woman you gave me as a companion, she gave me fruit from the tree, and, yes, I ate it."
God said to the Woman, "What is this that you've done?"
13 "The serpent seduced me," she said, "and I ate."
14-15 God told the serpent:
"Because you've done this, you're cursed,
cursed beyond all cattle and wild animals,
Cursed to slink on your belly
and eat dirt all your life.
I'm declaring war between you and the Woman,
between your offspring and hers.
He'll wound your head,
you'll wound his heel."

2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1
We’re not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just like the psalmist who wrote, “I believed it, so I said it,” we say what we believe. And what we believe is that the One who raised up the Master Jesus will just as certainly raise us up with you, alive. Every detail works to your advantage and to God’s glory: more and more grace, more and more people, more and more praise!

16-18So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.
1-5For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven—God-made, not handmade—and we’ll never have to relocate our “tents” again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move—and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what’s coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we’re tired of it! We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less.

Mark 3:20-35
Jesus came home and, as usual, a crowd gathered—so many making demands on him that there wasn't even time to eat. His friends heard what was going on and went to rescue him, by force if necessary. They suspected he was getting carried away with himself.

22-27The religion scholars from Jerusalem came down spreading rumors that he was working black magic, using devil tricks to impress them with spiritual power. Jesus confronted their slander with a story: "Does it make sense to send a devil to catch a devil, to use Satan to get rid of Satan? A constantly squabbling family disintegrates. If Satan were fighting Satan, there soon wouldn't be any Satan left. Do you think it's possible in broad daylight to enter the house of an awake, able-bodied man, and walk off with his possessions unless you tie him up first? Tie him up, though, and you can clean him out.

28-30"Listen to this carefully. I'm warning you. There's nothing done or said that can't be forgiven. But if you persist in your slanders against God's Holy Spirit, you are repudiating the very One who forgives, sawing off the branch on which you're sitting, severing by your own perversity all connection with the One who forgives." He gave this warning because they were accusing him of being in league with Evil.

31-32Just then his mother and brothers showed up. Standing outside, they relayed a message that they wanted a word with him. He was surrounded by the crowd when he was given the message, "Your mother and brothers and sisters are outside looking for you."

33-35Jesus responded, "Who do you think are my mother and brothers?" Looking around, taking in everyone seated around him, he said, "Right here, right in front of you—my mother and my brothers. Obedience is thicker than blood. The person who obeys God's will is my brother and sister and mother."


For more information on why I include these readings weekly read: A Story to Embody

A Story to Embody: Trinity Sunday

This is six days late, sorry!  My wonderful parents came into town and swept my children and I away to a cabin on the lake, while my husband was out of town.  So I've been thoroughly spoiled and as a result I didn't send out last Sunday's readings. 

But one of my sweet friends mentioned that she actually missed the reading and that she looks forward to them.  So because of her comment, I had to publish it, so here it is (tomorrow's reading will still come out tomorrow).  Enjoy! 

Isaiah 6:1-8
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy , holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for. ”
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? ”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Psalm 29
1 Praise the Lord, you angels;
praise the Lord's glory and power.
2 Praise the Lord for the glory of his name;
worship the Lord because he is holy.

3 The Lord's voice is heard over the sea.
The glorious God thunders;
the Lord thunders over the ocean.
4 The Lord's voice is powerful;
the Lord's voice is majestic.
5 The Lord's voice breaks the trees;
the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes the land of Lebanon dance like a calf
and Mount Hermon jump like a baby bull.
7 The Lord's voice makes the lightning flash.
8 The Lord's voice shakes the desert;
the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh.
9 The Lord's voice shakes the oaks
and strips the leaves off the trees.
In his Temple everyone says, "Glory to God!"

10 The Lord controls the flood.
The Lord will be King forever.
11 The Lord gives strength to his people;
the Lord blesses his people with peace.

Romans 8:12-17
So, my brothers and sisters, we must not be ruled by our sinful selves or live the way our sinful selves want.13 If you use your lives to do the wrong things your sinful selves want, you will die spiritually. But if you use the Spirit's help to stop doing the wrong things you do with your body, you will have true life.

14 The true children of God are those who let God's Spirit lead them.15 The Spirit we received does not make us slaves again to fear; it makes us children of God. With that Spirit we cry out, "Father."16 And the Spirit himself joins with our spirits to say we are God's children.17 If we are God's children, we will receive blessings from God together with Christ. But we must suffer as Christ suffered so that we will have glory as Christ has glory.

John 3:1-17
There was a man named Nicodemus who was one of the Pharisees and an important Jewish leader.2 One night Nicodemus came to Jesus and said, "Teacher, we know you are a teacher sent from God, because no one can do the miracles you do unless God is with him."

3 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot be in God's kingdom."

4 Nicodemus said, "But if a person is already old, how can he be born again? He cannot enter his mother's womb again. So how can a person be born a second time?"

5 But Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, unless you are born from water and the Spirit, you cannot enter God's kingdom. 6 Human life comes from human parents, but spiritual life comes from the Spirit.7 Don't be surprised when I tell you, 'You must all be born again.' 8 The wind blows where it wants to and you hear the sound of it, but you don't know where the wind comes from or where it is going. It is the same with every person who is born from the Spirit."

9 Nicodemus asked, "How can this happen?"

10 Jesus said, "You are an important teacher in Israel, and you don't understand these things? 11 I tell you the truth, we talk about what we know, and we tell about what we have seen, but you don't accept what we tell you.12 I have told you about things here on earth, and you do not believe me. So you will not believe me if I tell you about things of heaven. 13 The only one who has ever gone up to heaven is the One who came down from heaven—the Son of Man.

14 "Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, the Son of Man must also be lifted up. 15 So that everyone who believes can have eternal life in him.

16 "God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life. 17 God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world guilty, but to save the world through him.

In Christ,

Being released from the fear of men

I like to be liked.
I'm a people-pleaser.

So the Lord has started putting me in situations where I sometimes have hard things to say to people - the result being they don't like me very much (for the moment, I hope:).  It drives me crazy.  I've been asking God to give me a new perspective on things and He has:

Isaiah 51:12-15 (NCV)
The Lord says, "I am the one who comforts you.
So why should you be afraid of people, who die?
Why should you fear people who die like the grass?
13 Have you forgotten the Lord who made you,
who stretched out the skies
and made the earth?
Why are you always afraid
of those angry people who trouble you
and who want to destroy?
But where are those angry people now?
14 People in prison will soon be set free;
they will not die in prison,
and they will have enough food.
15 I am the Lord your God,
who stirs the sea and makes the waves roar.
My name is the Lord All-Powerful.

This Scripture brought my perspective back into alignment with His perspective.

As I read it I saw the following things:
  • We don't need to be afraid of men
  • Because we worship the Creator of the universe 
  • God's ultimate plan is to bring freedom to the captives
  • Because of this we can put our trust in the All-Powerful God
I love how His ultimate plan is sandwiched between His Almighty character.  As I step away from fear, to trusting Him, He gently reminds me of what He is up to and gives me another reason why I can trust His ways.

This verse reminded me of a mental picture I've used the past couple of years as I have dealt with difficult people and situations:

My perspective has been:

                 ME --negative thoughts-- A person --judgement--The Cross

It should be:

                  ME --negative thoughts-- The Cross --love-- A person

What's the difference?
In the first scenario, I am trying to deal with the person first.  I see the Cross in the background and "the freedom" God has in store for the person, but I'd like to walk alongside that person and lead pull them with judgement to the Cross.  When we arrive, we can kneel down together and I can show them the right way:). 

In the second scenario, all my thoughts and attitudes towards the person is having to pass through the Cross first.  The end result is my perspective has been tailored into love for that person.  And I'll take love over fear any day. 

I'm thankful for God's Word reminding me that walking in His perspective towards others leads to mine and their ultimate freedom.

In Christ,

Daily Prayer

Disqus for For His Glory Alone


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...