Thursday, November 6, 2008

Placing Ourselves Under Leadership...

What a week! It's been a busy and crazy beloved Skins decided to take the night off Monday (at least it was just a Monday Night Football game and only about a billion people watched it...especially all the Steelers fans in our church!!), then Tuesday night offered a lesson in history and if you read Tuesday's Blog you will know the night didn't turn out as I had hoped. Even so, I am confident that God is control, and I assure you that I will be praying for President Obama, his family, and our country. It is an incredible testimony to the U.S. that we finally elected a black man as president (not to pat ourselves on the back too much) after all that transpired in our history. I thought that both Obama and McCain did great in their speeches to try to bring voters back to a single focus. If you want an excellent read about responding when "your guy" didn't win, check our Dr. Al Mohler's blog from yesterday (he's the president of Southern Seminary).

All that being said, it really ties in well with the overall topic from today's passage, Romans 3:1-20. We have all, at one time or another, had to submit to the authority of someone else. Perhaps it was a parent, an employer, a school system or the government (we all must to some extent). We don't always like the rules or regulations that we are submitting to, though if we are going to live in the U.S., we must follow the laws of this country. If we are going to work for a particular company, we must follow the Employee Handbook of that company. And Paul is sharing with us here that if we want to be a Christ follower, a Christian, then we must place ourselves under (the very meaning of submission) the leadership and guidance of God. Paul emphasizes, though, that this is not just following the Law, or The Ten Commandments...these commandments bring us the "knowledge of sin."

Paul does share that "...we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law...", so if we never truly place ourselves under the Law, we can't really get a full knowledge and understanding of sin. We fool ourselves into believing that we're "pretty good," or as they would say in Biblical times, that we are righteous just because we may think that we follow the 10 Commandments. To correct this thought, Paul quotes from Psalm 14, sharing that "there is none righteous, not even one...". WOW! Not my sweet grandma? Not even one! Not my cute little daughter? Not even one! Not my PASTOR?!?! Not even one!

We'll stop at this point for today, but not to worry, the fact that NONE of us are righteous is not the end of the story! For today, though, consider a few things: 1. Have I submitted my life to God's leadership through His son, Jesus? 2. Have I acknowledged that I am not righteous (or good?) 3. Have I been led to believe that if I just live by the Commandments everything will be alright? Consider these points today, and tomorrow we will build on this thought is going somewhere, and the destination is incredible!

Have a blessed day!
In Him,

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vote Well!

Romans 13:1 is a verse that can speak to all of us today in America: "Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God." NASB

This truth is one that can help calm any fear or anxiety over what is going to happen at the polls today...God already knows the outcome of every election (He doesn't even have to worry about any "hanging CHADs"!). Not only does He know the outcome, He is allowing every election to occur. This is hard to comprehend so many times as we see individuals who openly and unashamedly stand for the very things that God is against to be elected into positions of power. But...Paul assures us here in Romans that God is not surprised by the outcome of any election. He is not walking around Heaven today with his candidate button on, "hoping" that everything turns out okay. No, God already knows that things are going to turn out just as He has allowed them to turn out.

As for me...I will be going to vote this afternoon with Annette and Brian (he registered with ACORN!), and I can just tell you that Annette and I both will be voting for individuals from both major parties. We have, and will continue, to base our votes on the most important issue that could ever be considered: the value of a human life. We will vote for the dog catcher, mayor, congressman or presidential candidate who also cares about a human life, whether born or unborn! I've had great discussions with many people whom I love who disagree with me on this matter, but I must vote as the Lord leads me to.

Today, as you go to vote, think about why you are voting for whomever you choose. As you consider the reasons, I'm sure they all come down to wanting to vote for the person whom you believe will help you and your family out the's a quality of life issue at its core. I challenge you today, then, to consider the quality of all life, especially the life that cannot speak or fend for itself!

Now, I respectfully remove myself from my personal soapbox and will stay up too late tonight to hear who it is God has allowed to hold the highest elected office in our GREAT country (as well as the other many important positions being decided).

Have a blessed day!
In Christ,