A National Moment – Come, Let Us Reason Together

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In this highly charged moment of political debate prior to the November 8, 2016 presidential election, it would be wise for us to take a step back from the discord that divides us. Rather, why not look at our candidates from a different vantage point, the view from Above. Why not try to understand what God sees, rather than vilify the very ones who may take over the leadership of America?

As I write this, I confess to you that I have a hard time doing this very thing. I have a sneaking suspicion that I am not alone. So, maybe it is an exercise that we can accomplish together. If you are an American citizen, and have the privilege of voting for the individual who will become the next President of the United States, then take this moment to digest the freedom of casting your vote. We are a people of vast opportunity—voting is one of our highest honors as citizens of this great nation.

And yet, we get all consumed with what the candidates are NOT, instead of trying to view them through the lens of who they might BECOME. This is not idle chatter or wishful thinking. I know from personal experience that when we come to understand the reality that God is in control of everything, we can then have new hope for our futures, both personally and collectively as a nation.

Daniel’s famous quote is as true today as it was when God revealed a mystery to him in a dream that saved him and all the wise men of Babylon from King Nebuchadnezzar’s decree to have all of them killed. Daniel 2:20-23 reads as follows:

“Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever,

For wisdom and power belong to Him.

It is He who changes the times and the epochs (seasons);

He removes kings and establishes kings (and presidents);

He gives wisdom to wise men

And knowledge to men of understanding.

It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things;

He knows what is in the darkness

And the light dwells with Him.

To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise,

For You have given me wisdom and power;

Even now You have made known to me what we requested of You,

For You have made known to us the king’s matter.”

Whether we believe that Hillary Clinton (the Democrat with a liberal platform) is:

1) The status quo politician who cannot lead us forward because she wants to lead as Obama has for the past 8 years;

2) A woman who has broken the law, but seems to be above the law—both in using a private email server for sending and receiving classified documents, as well as using the Clinton Foundation as a vehicle for gaining political favors;

3) A patriot who has given thirty years of her life serving her country;

4) A seasoned politician who knows all the issues and can lead the country through her experience with the elite in Washington;   etc. etc. …

Or whether we believe that Donald Trump (the Republican with a conservative platform) is:

1) A man who won’t show his tax returns because he is hiding something;

2) A man who has made speech blunders and is not politically correct

3) An entrepreneur who has used his lifetime of skills to build buildings and corporations that employ thousands of men and women;

4) A man without political savvy/experience who loves his country enough to spend millions of his own income to move the country into a more job-producing, profitable, secure, financially sound and respected position in the world;  etc. etc.  ….

Let’s take a look at ourselves. What mistakes would we make on the national stage of public opinion? … Because we all would make mistakes. So, I point to the title of this article, “COME, LET US REASON TOGETHER.” As we think of ourselves as citizens of the nation of America, read what God said to the nation of Israel …

Isaiah 1:18-20   “Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool. If you consent and obey, you will eat the best of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.”

When we consent to doing things God’s way, we will prosper; when we refuse, we will be crushed.

Since we are able to exercise our freedom of religion, our faith, to ask with our whole heart whom GOD WILLS TO BE PRESIDENT, then we can hear from Him and vote accordingly. Remember, “He gives wisdom to wise men, and knowledge to men of understanding. It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things.” Ask Him to reveal the candidate you are to vote for. Then VOTE! Whoever the next President of the United States of America is—my prayer is that we will unite as One Nation under God.

DISOBEDIENCE

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Though we know defiance comes in many forms, let’s first look at why children disobey. When mom tells Johnny to stay out of the street, he doesn’t think about why—only that his ball has rolled across the street into the neighbor’s yard and he needs to retrieve it. His mind is on that ball … until he hears tires screeching to a halt just in time. Then he has an “ah-hah” moment.

Our adult “ah-hah” moments come in much the same way—after the fact. We know how to be responsible, how to teach our children the right way to do things, the right way to treat people, how to set a good example through our language, the books we read, the movies we watch, the things we say when others aren’t around, the honor code we use in conducting business, the importance of punctuality, respect, loyalty, i.e., how to live a God-honoring life. So, why is it we fail in the very same rules of life we are trying to teach our children? There is a good reason for the phrase, “Hind sight is 20/20.” We were born with a sin nature, but are we doomed to a life of defeat?

Romans 5:19–21 (NIV) explains “For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

The Message says it like this: “Here it is in a nutshell: Just as one person did it wrong and got us in all this trouble with sin and death, another person did it right and got us out of it. But more than just getting us out of trouble, he got us into life! One man said no to God and put many people in the wrong; one man said yes to God and put many in the right. All that passing laws against sin did was produce more lawbreakers. But sin didn’t and doesn’t have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. All sin can do is threaten us with death, and that’s the end of it. Grace, because God is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us into life – a life that goes on and on and on, world without end.”

There you have it … “man said no to God and put many people in the wrong.” How many times do we rebel against God’s way by saying no to Him? As a result of our rebellion, how many people are influenced to do something similar? When we decide to ignore the narrow way, and go thoughtlessly down the wide way because it suits our needs of the moment, we not only displease our God, but we inadvertently take others with us. Thank God for His grace through Jesus Christ.

What is Faith?

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Hebrews 11:1 (TLB) asks the question, “What is faith?”  The answer … “It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead.” This chapter goes on to list the names of great faith-followers in the Bible such as Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, David, and Samuel. In fact, the chapter is known as the Faith Hall of Fame, signifying the relationship between great faith and God’s resultant blessings on those who believed.

One of the most dramatic depictions of faith occurred when Abraham followed God’s command to offer Isaac as his sacrifice. As he trudged up that mountain, full of dread and fear and sadness, he was willing to follow God’s command, but full of consternation as to why God would take the very gift of life He had given to Abraham and Sarah in their old age. Tying Isaac up and placing him on the altar, he could not see the ram coming up the other side of the mountain that would become God’s provision of sacrifice. Because Abraham demonstrated his faith in the wisdom of God, he was rewarded with a solution he could not have imagined. How much we can learn from this event about trusting God’s Way even when there seems to be no way.

Practicing your faith takes not only an understanding of what faith is, but hearing and reading the Word of God. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ”—Romans 10:17 (NASB). We must learn God’s desires for us and His purpose for our lives. This takes intentional focus on God’s presence. As you begin to see how God worked with people in the Bible, it will give you direction for developing a steadfast faith that God can use today.

Peter is another example of faith, as he stepped out of the boat and walked on the water towards Jesus. It was only when he looked away from Jesus that he began to sink. Are you willing to “step out of the boat” with a decision you are facing? God wants to know if you are serious about trusting Him with your challenge. When we are completely honest with Him (remember that He knows everything, whether we reveal it to Him or not), then we are able to trust Him.

Faith, then, is a spiritual exercise. If you want to become a strong man or woman of faith, you will need to exercise. Invite God to direct your steps on a specific matter—it may be a problem with your spouse, stress at work, or the right way to approach a friend on an important issue. Ask Him to give you direction and then trust that He will. That is faith in action.

Chosen

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We form our opinions based, in part, on our own experience. Whenever I think of being chosen in the human experience, I think of the process of adoption. My first experience with it came when our daughter was unmarried and pregnant. After much agony in prayer and family discussion, she made the courageous decision to nurture the baby in her womb and seek adoptive parents. It was a very difficult decision, but one she never regretted. Beyond God’s choice to give this child life, two other choices were made. First, our daughter chose the couple she felt would give her son a loving home with both a mother and a father. Secondly, this couple chose him to be their son. He was chosen.

The second experience came when another family member, also unmarried and pregnant, realized she could not take care of a second child on her own. One day soon after I found out about the pregnancy, I asked for prayer for my family concerning this unexpected pregnancy during a round-table Bible study session. One of my good friends at the table reminded me that her daughter was still searching for a child to adopt. A few months later, my niece handed this couple in their late 40’s a beautiful baby boy … a bitter sweet moment, yet covered in prayer and confidence that the child had been given in love to a capable and loving couple who had prayed for years for such a time as this. He was also chosen.

You have been chosen as well. In John 15:16 (MSG) Jesus states “You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you.” This means that whatever we ask in Jesus’ name and for His kingdom will be done in His way, His time.

Ephesians 1:3–6 (MSG) exclaims “How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ.”

Romans 8:29–34 (NLT) punctuates God’s choice. “For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory. What shall we say about such wonderful things? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.”

It is both humbling and overwhelming to think of the nature and plan of God’s love for us. Yet, it is not enough that we have knowledge of His planwe must choose Christ. As you reflect on this idea, become one of the Chosen by accepting Him as your Savior and begin your new life in Him.*

*If you need more information on the subject of new life in Christ, please click on the Contact Us button on the home page of http://susanbutlerlive.com. Then, if you have questions, please fill out the form and we will be in contact with you within  24 hours. God’s best to you! Susan Butler