Monday, March 21, 2016

HOW To Care About Politics: Concise Thoughts

Do you and I have the courage 
to admit that the biggest enemy 
of the gospel
and of God's Kingdom 
has NEVER been the ones 
with political power; 
but rather, 
the greatest enemy of the gospel 
and of God's kingdom
has ALWAYS been 
Christians who are 

The gospel flourished and spread 
under the reign of Nero, 
the Christian-butchering madman. 

The Kingdom of God
 flourished in underground churches 
all over the communist nations of the world, 
in the face of intense persecution and martyrdom.

The gospel can flourish and spread 
under whoever our new president may be.

IF we understand that the 
Kingdom of God can flourish 
no matter who is president, 

BUT we're still so upset about politics 
that we're willing to dump Christlikeness 
in favor of sinful attitudes and actions, 
in pursuit of political power, 

THEN we have no choice 
but to conclude that 
we aren't prioritizing the Kingdom of God at all,
but rather our own kingdoms, 
and we're rebelling against the One who told us to 
"Seek first the Kingdom of God, 
and His righteousness, 
and all these things will be added to you."

please forgive us 
for reviling others in Your name, 
instead of showing others that 
Your love and Your strength are enough 
to give us peace, and joy, and endless hope
no matter what!

Please forgive us 
for bringing such dishonor to You 
by being fearful, depressed by circumstances, 
hateful, spiteful, vengeful, and power-hungry. 

Who would want the god of people like that, 
when they can behave the same way 
(and sometimes better) 
with no god at all! 

Please help us 
to ask ourselves hard questions 
about why we act and feel as we do, 
and what it says about 
the powerless "little-g" god 
we so often believe in, 
when we should be exulting in 
the God of Calvary, 
and of the empty tomb, 
and of the coming Kingdom 
that shall never pass away! 

How different 
would this world be 
if we really lived 
(and talked, and Facebook-posted) 
from faith in our big-G God 
who reigns over all 
the circumstances of our lives?

Please make it so, Lord Jesus.
Please revive Your people.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

What Can You Give to God Every Day?

Photo by Robert Hurst 

Not long ago I felt inspired by this post from my favorite blogger, Tim Challies.  It is about consciously dedicating things like your time, energy, and enthusiasm to God every morning.  I decided to start praying through them in the mornings, and soon I found myself adding more.  I thought I should share these with you, because I find them very helpful in my own walk.  (Not that I'm an expert in living this way...far from it!  But this is the direction I believe He wants me to grow.)
Please let me know in the comments if you think of anything else that would be helpful to add to these morning prayers!

My morning dedications:

  • I dedicate to You the gifts and talents that You have given me, to be used for Your glory.
  • I dedicate to You the time that You have given me, for I am only time's steward in Your service.
  • I dedicate to you the energy You have given me, for pursuing Your will.  I will trust You to supply moment-by-moment energy when I have no supply of my own.
  • I dedicate to You my enthusiasm, for Your joy and Your promises to shine through.
  • I give to you my cares and anxieties over the circumstances You have given me, for the praise of Your peace and Your sovereignty.
  • I dedicate to You my reputation and honor, for You to raise or lower in the eyes of man as You see fit, because You laid aside Your glory for me, and You have promised to clothe me with Your glory forever.
  • I dedicate to You my weakness, to be used for the glory of Your strength, rather than using it myself as an excuse to bury what You have entrusted to me (Matt 25:14-30).
  • I dedicate to You my thoughts and imaginings, because Your thoughts are higher than my thoughts, and You have prepared blessings for me that are beyond imagining.
  • I place on your altar my self-sufficiency and self-confidence, to replace with Your sufficiency, and with confidence in You.
  • I dedicate to You my best-laid plans, for You to establish or overrule as You see fit, because Your plans are perfect.
  • I leave in Your hands every "sacrifice" I've given, not trying to control what You do with them.  If you are pleased to make them into obvious blessings, or to burn them to ashes on Your altar, I will rest in Your acceptance of them.  I will trust You that nothing is lost.
  • I dedicate my all to You, Lord.  You gave all to me, and You have told me that all things are mine in You (1 Co. 3:21-23).

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