Tag Archives: president

Tending to the Flock

Tending to the Flock

And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.  Jeremiah 23:4

Several years ago as my bus was quickly traveling down a mountain road in Israel, I noticed just a few miles from Jerusalem several wide open places and sheep walking around, un-fenced, and on their own.  But they were not on their own.  There were men, shepherds, and their sheep dogs, guiding the sheep and leading them, from grassy fields to clean refreshing water.

The Lord promised to Jeremiah and the people of Judah to send pastors (shepherds) who would feed and protect the people.  In the context of Jeremiah 23, the Lord is speaking of governmental leaders; the people who were given responsibility and a charge to take care of the “flock” of God.”  This is a good passage to learn about the responsibility the government has – to care for its people in restoring peace for prosperity and protection from harm.  The promise even includes that people would not go missing (due to crime) because of the good leadership of the governmental leaders.

Interestingly enough, the word for “pastor” and the word for “which shall feed them” is the same Hebrew word.  It means “To provide pasture.”  In other words, one of the responsibilities of the government is to provide the means to conduct prosperous business ventures.  It does not mean “to spoon feed;” but to provide a place for growth and sustenance. The government is called to provide a field in which industrious people can safely work, toil, and grow in business.  Like sheep freely roaming a field.

The government is also to provide basic safety.  Not only is there the possibility of wolves harming the sheep, like predators from foreign places that are not part of the field, but sometimes there are already wolves in the field.  We all were probably taught to “Not talk to strangers.”

Jeremiah 23 goes on to describe the return of Jesus and how once He comes back to earth, He will set up His Millennial Kingdom and will rule with splendor and majesty.

In contrast, check out how the previous leaders of Israel had failed in Jeremiah 10:21.  “For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the LORD: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered.”  Because of a lack of godly leadership the nation of Israel and Judah suffered terrible.  “Brutish” is a Hebrew term which means to “kindle a flame or to consume with fire.”  Instead of looking out for the best of the people – the leadership was looking out for… itself.  Everything they touched, like a fire, they tried to consume.  Taxes, regulations, tolls, and more could be examples today.  Have you noticed much the same pattern in modern politics.  Many governmental leaders are successful at accumulating large amounts of money for themselves or for their pet projects.  I guess, some have even become rich by being full time politicians.

But one day.  One day, following the rapture, the 7 years of tribulation, and the battle of Armageddon, King Jesus will return.  He is the Perfect Shepherd this world desperately needs.  In the mean-time, praise the Lord for Jesus, the Great Shepherd Who is daily watching after His own sheep.  In this church age we are living in, the sheep are not confined to Israel, but to all those who are born again by faith in Jesus.  Take a moment to read Psalm 23 for more shepherding insight.  Be encouraged in Jesus today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Responding to Our Public Leaders

Responding to our Public Leaders

Romans 13:1-7 is a passage of Scripture devoted to the Christian response to our governmental leaders.  No matter which side if the isle and what model of leadership they offer, the Bible has a “one size fits all” approach the Christian should consider for his response to our public leaders.  Note the following Scripture:

“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.  2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

Application from Romans 13:1-7 includes:

  1. Be a Good Subject. We do not have kings in America, but we do have leaders that God has appointed to lead us.  Even if we disagree with the leader, it is God who has placed him there.
  2. Do Good Works. A citizen who is not breaking the law should have no fear of the government.  The government does not terrorize law abiding citizens.  Law breakers should be fearful of the consequences of their breaking the law.  The government was appointed by God to “bear the sword” or enforce the rules of the land.  People doing good should have nothing to fear.
  3. Have a Clear Conscience. The leaders are held accountable to God, by God.  We can vote people in or out of office, but ultimately any leader answers the God. We can have a clear conscience in the areas of showing respect, observing the law, and being proper in our response to the leaders.
  4. Show Honor. I have heard many “Good people” say jokes about various presidents or other political leaders.  It is not right to mock authority.  We are to show honor.  Even if the person is no longer respectable because of scandal, impeachment, or some other cloud hanging over them, the position they hold should be revered and respected.  God established and ordained the position they are holding. God put them in that position.  It is right to show honor, not name calling, mocking, or scorning.  Most people need to learn to disagree with grace.

Praying for our leaders is one final admonition for this post.  No matter if in “my” party, the “other” or no party, our leaders need our prayers.  We are on the same national team. It is God who “holds the Kings Heart.”  It is God who can work despite sinful men.  It is the Lord who shows mercy and grace every day.  We are to pray.  1 Timothy 2:1-2 declares: “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”

Have you prayed for our nation today?  Have you prayed for the outgoing and incoming president?  Posting to social media is not as important as praying to God on behalf of our leaders.  Will you have a proper Christian response to our leaders?

Prayer, Principle, and Participation

Prayer, Principle, and Participation

The Lord has given America’s people a unique opportunity in the electoral system.  Many people throughout history have not had a say as to who would be in authority.  Elections are a tremendous responsibility the Lord has given.  Participation in each primary and election is good stewardship of this unique opportunity.

The Bible has much to say about government.  Observe:

  • Ecclesiastes 10:20 “Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.”
  • Romans 13:1 “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.”
  • Proverbs 29:2 “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.”

The Constitution of the United States established this nation with a republic form of government.  Article IV, Section 4. states: “The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government.”  Even our pledge declares:  “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation under God, indivisible, With Liberty and Justice for all.”

Republic – is defined by Encarta as a “political system with elected representatives.”  The representatives take the needs and issues of those they represent and enact legislation, justice, and safety to be established.  The representatives are not to be padding their wallets – they are benefiting the people they serve.  Individual people vote for the persons or platform most likely to represent some of their values, positions, and understandings.

Democracy – is defined by Encarta as “free and equal representation of people.”  Democracy is what these United States are trending toward.  When each individual voice is heard louder than the representative’s voice, we tend to get a “mob rule” mentality.  The people shouting the loudest tend to drown out the rest and instead of a larger portion of society being protected and represented, individual rights trump what is collectively best.  This shift in thinking away from the Constitution could be a contributor to the mass protests, and social re-engineering that is taking place.

Many people today have an expectation of society and government that is different than what the Republic offers.  The fragmentation of America is seen in responses to the National Anthem protests from “professionals” all the way down to high school athletes.  There is a globalism goal as people today marginalize the America we have learned of in history.

One of our early Presidents, John Adams aptly stated:  “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”  This is a keen observation that is extremely relevant today.  In fact – we see this playing out in the news every day.  The majority of our nation has shifted away from Bible principles.  Because the fabric of America has shifted so drastically, we are seeing horrendous policy, detrimental games with the political electoral system, and much abuse of “power.”

I hope we have another election in 4 years.  If Jesus has not returned for believers by then, we may or may not have an election like we have grown accustomed to and may even take for granted.  This is why I am writing about participation today.

We have always been able to vote for the “lesser of two evils.”  Jesus has never been on a ballot.  If you think like me, the top of the ticket has people that I do not really like or approve of.  However there is much more at stake than liking the top of the ticket.  My feelings about individual candidates may not be the best way to make a decision.  I am choosing to vote based on future policy, not current personalities.

Perhaps it’s for the best that elections not be decided by our feelings.  The media is very successful at sensationalizing the candidates and causing secondary issues to be at the forefront of the conversation.  I challenge you to dig deeper.  See the facts and positions.  Avoid voting based on how you may feel.

Here are several factors that I am considering and hope you will prayerfully consider as well.  The first factor is on a personal level.  The second two factors are on a policy level.

For No Alcohol:  Proverbs 31:4-5 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.  Leaders must be especially careful to not be inebriated because they may be called upon for lifesaving measures at any given moment.  If a candidate is known as being a drunk or “tipsy” I choose to avoid that candidate.

Think of Daniel and Belshazzar in Daniel chapter 5.  Being consumed with alcohol leaves no room for good decision making.  That is why the police arrest drunk drivers.  Inebriated drivers place themselves and others in danger.

For Life, Not Death:  Psalm 127:3 “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.”  Psalm 139:13-14 “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”  Life is a gift from God.  Conception is a blessing the Lord gives a man and a woman.  It is a shame when children are viewed as an inconvenience and disregarded as garbage.  Some people treat their dogs and cats with more dignity than they treat the unborn.  The innocent unborn babies need a leader to cherish them.

The elderly can also become vulnerable.  They need a leader to ensure their lives are valued as well.  There could be a day – very soon, when health care is rationed out and the elderly are left to fend for themselves or die.  They need an advocate who values life.

For Nationalism, Not Globalism:  This is more evident each day as the Election Day approaches.  My prayer is “Even so come Lord Jesus” like John wrote in Revelation.  It is true that when the Tribulation begins, Antichrist will be revealed and he will consolidate all the countries, militaries, economies, religion, and more, into a One World Order.  Following the Rapture, the nations of earth will be ready for a United World.  I am not suggesting that we can stop or even slow down prophetical events.  I am suggesting that helping Antichrist today is not something that I am interested in.

The proposition of globalism is older than the Book of Genesis.  Nimrod consolidated the people of the world in order to control them and make himself their leader.  Following the global flood (Noah and his family survived on the Ark) God told the people to scatter the globe and repopulate the earth.  Nimrod rebelled and forced the people to live and serve him in Babel.  The Tower of Babel is the result.  This tall wonder stretched into the sky as man’s attempt to reach into the heavens and become a god.  The Lord put down the first attempt at a One World Order.  Read about it in Genesis 11.  Globalism is rooted in humanism.

This is already taking shape with carbon taxes, health care, surveillance, education mandates, and trade agreements.  I even heard on the news last week a USA military general say that he was willing to fight with Russia because the Russians are not wanting to assimilate with the rest of the world.  More laws, more central government, more dominions and greater rule of individual leaders are not the real need today.  As the government grows larger so does its control of the people.  As government widens it becomes more authoritarian; especially of ideas and movements leaders may perceive as a threat to their power.  The real need of the hour is more God – not more government.

Both the life issue and the nationalism issue will be greatly impacted by the Presidential appointees to the Unites States Supreme Court.  These issues will swing to either more death and more globalism or more life and more nationalism based on how many honorable judges will be appointed.  Have you seen the judges lately?  It is possible that nearly 3 could be replaced in the next 4 years.  Check each presidential candidates proposals as to whom they would nominate to this lifetime position if elected.

No candidate has ever been or ever will be a perfect choice.  The platforms may not be much better either.  Be sure to notice however the stark contrasts in each platform on these important issues.  You may not find agreement on many other issues, but the issues listed above are a great considerations as you plan to participate in this election cycle.  Listed below are some website to help you with the platforms.

PLEASE REMEMBER:  No matter who wins the election this year, the Lord is still God. Proverbs 21:1 encourages us by saying:  “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.” 

We probably would not have voted for David, Solomon, Nebuchadnezzar, or Pharaoh (Study their lives and policies to see what I mean), but God put them in their respective governments to fulfill His will.

Pray for mercy on this nation – then participate in the election.  Voting is stewardship of opportunity.

Below are several sites that offer articles and voting guides based on facts and not on how we feel.  I hope they will help you as you decide to cast your vote this year.