With the midterm elections coming up, tragic mass shootings, inflation, and gas prices, our country is in political turmoil more than ever. So how are we as Christian’s to respond? When it comes to our leaders, the apostle Paul tells us we are to submit. Because those in power are put there by the power of God. And honoring the Lord means living in submission to the authority He has placed over us. Yet that doesn’t mean we are always to obey. When the apostles were commanded by the Council in Jerusalem to stop preaching the gospel they refused saying, “We must obey God rather than man,” (Acts 5:27-29) The Bible is clear. We are to be law abiding citizens, unless those in authority want us to go against God’s will. And always be praying that our leaders make decisions based on the will of God.
Visiting the cemetery on Memorial Day has always been a family tradition. And each time I go I’m struck by the rows of flowers and flags, the somber feeling, and the looks on the faces of those lost in thoughts of remembrance and grief. The pain is palpable, as is the pride of the sacrifice made by so many. Without fail, John 15:13 always enters my mind, “Greater love has no other than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”
It’s easy to take for granted the freedoms that we enjoy as Americans. Freedoms that come at a steep price. And it’s just as easy to forget those who are left behind to deal with the crippling pain of loss and with the task of rebuilding their lives. They need our love, compassion, and help. And as we all have faced trials of our own and have found comfort through the Lord, it is our duty as His ambassadors to provide for the needs of those who are hurting. For as 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 reminds us, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
Our Father understands our grief, and promises to love us through our pain. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matt. 5:4) “He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.” (Ps. 147:3) Why does God understand? Because the greatest Soldier of all who sacrificed everything was God’s only begotten Son; our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus gave up everything He had and knew to lay down His life and free us from bondage. He came to defeat the enemy of death, loving us more than He loved Himself. “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (1 John 3:16)
Romans 13:7 tells us to give honor to whom honor is due, and I can’t think of better recipients than those who gave their lives fighting to protect our land, lives, and freedoms; and to those dealing with the grief of losing a loved one. I read a saying once that said, “Grief is never ending. Yet although it never ends, it does change. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor is it a lack of faith. Rather, it’s the price of love”. We know that love is a gift from God. And He loves and grieves with each of His children. Nothing is lost on Him for, “precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones”. (Ps. 116:15)
So on this Memorial Day when we are enjoying the ones we love, take the time to remember those who have gone on ahead of us, and those left behind. Remind the ones struggling, and yourself if need be, that one day we’ll be reunited with those we have lost. We will all be together in the kingdom of God, living, loving, and worshiping Him forever with not a tear or sorrow in sight! I personally want to thank those who fought and died for me. Whose boundless bravery is a shining example for all to see! May God bless you and keep you.
Many are the ways and forms in which God sends us help. And one of the most powerful is His Word. The Bible contains the history of creation, the Good News of Jesus Christ, and the wonderful promises of God. It’s also a blueprint for life, giving us valuable advice and practical applications for any and all situations. Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying, “I believe the Bible is the best book God has ever given to man. All the good of the Savior of the world is communicated to us through the Book”. I couldn’t agree more. No matter what I’m going through, God’s Word is there. It’s the first place I turn to when I am afraid, weary, lost, happy, and most of all, when I want to be close to God. It fills me with joy, nurtures my soul, heals my wounds, and protects me from the Enemy’s attacks. More than just a good book, the Bible is God’s life preserver to all and instruction manual for life!
I love stargazing with my son. And there’s nothing more frustrating than just missing a shooting star. Jesus says when He returns, there will be no missing it. The sun and moon will go dark. Stars will fall from the sky. Even the very heavens themselves will be shaken. And everyone from the four corners of the earth will witness the glorious spectacle. All will see the Son of Man descending to earth on the clouds of the sky. All will see His great power and glory revealed. A wonderful and joyful sight for Christians. Yet those who don’t know Jesus as their Savior, will mourn at seeing the Lord. For the second coming of Christ marks the end of the age. And unbelieving hearts will feel deep regret at not receiving His gift of pardon when they had the chance!
One of the greatest qualities of God is His long suffering kindness. No matter how we May fail Him, He never withholds His goodness and love. And as Christians we need to reflect that same goodness and love to the world around us. But to be able to do this takes daily work on our part. Work to cast aside the pull of worldly desires, and put on the righteousness of Jesus. Hard to do on our own. Thankfully, we never need worry about accomplishing our goals in our own power. For God in His unmerited love, gives to us all we need to perform any task set before us. He gives strength to the weary, and power to the powerless. So put your trust in Him. “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” (2 Cor. 1:25)
Whenever we come before God in prayer, He wants us to pray from a position of authority and power. Look at the prophet Elijah. When he put the false idol Baal up against God Almighty he cried out, “Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that You, O Lord, are God.” (1 Kings 18:37) And God answered in a big way, sending fire from heaven. Through the blood of Jesus, we are seated at a place of authority. The privileged place of the right hand of God. So when we pray, and in the name of Jesus, we are claiming His power and asking the Father to act in the name of His Son. God wants us to be bold with our intercessions. To have faith that when we ask Him to move in ways that bring Him glory, He will respond mightily. So pray with braveness and persistence. And prepare yourself to be blown away by God’s power!
The Bible describes a stronghold as a belief which is strongly defended or upheld. They are formed from the lies and deception of the Enemy. And one such stronghold is self importance. Everybody wants to be seen, known, and loved. And we live in a world that values self importance. But as Solomon so famously cautioned, pride goes before a fall. Look at Satan. Because he wanted to be like God he rebelled against his Creator. And it was ego that he used to cause Adam and Eve to fall, tempting them with the thought of being more like God. Throughout the Bible, we are warned against the love of self. For God is the only One who deserves our worship. And if we let Him, through His power we can break down all wrong thinking and sinful barriers.
Human love is fickle. The person that swears to never hurt or leave us, can be the same one to do just that. But as Christian’s we never have to worry about losing God’s love. For His is an unconditional and permanent love. And as Paul reminds us, one that absolutely nothing can break. There isn’t a thing we could ever do to either earn or change God’s devotion to us. And no plan of either Satan nor man can overcome the power of God to love His children. The children He purchased with the precious blood of His Son. We have a bond to our Heavenly Father that is eternal. And even when we reject Him, God is never unfaithful in His love or in fulfilling His promises. So no matter how hard the world or the Enemy may try, no one can snatch us out of the hand of God! (John 10:29) And we never need wonder. Yes, God loves you!
Nancy Pelosi Barred From Taking Communion Due to Abortion Stance
San Francisco’s Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said Friday he would bar House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from receiving communion in her home diocese. Pelosi, a Catholic, has been at the center of a Democratic push to codify abortion protections in federal law after a draft Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade leaked this month. She has spent decades framing her political career as an expression of her faith, all the while working to expand abortion access in defiance of Catholic doctrine. Cordileone added that Pelosi’s position on abortion is risking “danger to her own soul.” Read more about his stance here.
Angel Studios Announces $100 Million in New Family Content
The entertainment studio behind the hit series The Chosen announced more than $100 million in new original content during an investor’s event last week, saying it wants to produce stories that “amplify light” in a world filled with darkness. Angel Studios CEO Neal Harmon told a live streaming audience during “Illuminate ’22” that more than a dozen new family-friendly projects are on the horizon, including Season 3 of The Chosen, a new project about the founding of America and multiple new titles for children. Angel Studios was founded as an alternative to Hollywood. The projects will be financed via crowdfunding and venture capital firms. Read more about the projects here.
A third-party investigative report released Sunday found that over the years, many Southern Baptist leaders have worked to stop lawsuits against potentially abusive pastors. The report from Guideposts Solutions found that the men who controlled the Executive Committee, knew there were problems with some pastors, but they didn’t do anything. In fact the report states that for almost two decades, survivors of abuse and other concerned Southern Baptists have been contacting the Executive Committee to report child molesters and other abusers who were in the pulpit or employed as church staff, only to be met, time and time again, with resistance, stonewalling, and even outright hostility. Read more about the report here.
Man With No Flying Experience Lands Plane After Pilot Collapses
A passenger with zero flying experience recently pulled off a “miracle” landing of a single-engine plane after the pilot passed out. Darren Harrison, 39, was on a flight home when the pilot, 64-year-old Kenneth Allen, lost consciousness. after he suffered a tear in his aorta during the flight. Harrison went into action, reaching out to an air traffic controller, Robert Morgan, in Florida, who would eventually guide him in safely landing the plane at Palm Beach International Airport. Meanwhile, Allen’s friend, also a passenger on the plane, helped Harrison remove the unconscious pilot from his seat. Harrison managed to land the plane safely and offered up “the biggest prayer I’ve ever said in my life. The hand of God was with me. Read more about his heroic landing here.
Martin Luther once said, “The power of God cannot be so determined and measured, for it is uncircumscribed and immeasurable, beyond and above all that is or may be.” Have you ever experienced something so glorious, that words just couldn’t do it justice? That’s how Job felt when trying to describe the awesomeness of God. But then, what words could come close of being worthy to describe the One who makes the pillars of heaven tremble and quiets the sea with His power? And as mighty and great our God is, even more amazing is how He makes that power available to each of us. Through prayer, the blood of Christ, and the Holy Spirit, we have immediate access to the same power that allowed Jesus to walk on water!