Poetry Saturday—A Mother’s Day Wish

When I consider how my life is spent
The most that I can do will be to prove
‘Tis by His side, each day, I seek to move.
To higher, nobler things my mind is bent
Thus giving of my strength, which God has lent,
I strive some needy souls’ unrest to soothe
Lest they the path of righteousness lose
Through fault of mine, my Maker to present.
If I should fail to show them of their need
How could I hope to meet Him, face to face,
Or give a just account of all my ways.
In thought of mind, in word, and in each deed
My life must prove the power of His grace
By every action through my living days. —Nelle Reagan (President Ronald Reagan’s mother)

Alien Government

Are we submittingPerhaps you can relate to one or more of these quotes about our government:

  • “Government is like a baby: …a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.” —Ronald Reagan
  • “If you ever injected truth into politics you have no politics.” —Will Rogers
  • “The word ‘politics’ is derived from the word ‘poly,’ meaning ‘many,’ and the word ‘ticks,’ meaning ‘blood sucking parasites.’” —Larry Hardiman
  • “Politics have no relation to morals.” —Nicolo Machiavelli

But if you are a Christian, the Bible calls you to not give in to the cynicism that many feel toward our government. As aliens and strangers on Earth, we are called to to interact with government officials in a peculiar way.

In a single word, the Bible calls us to submit. The Greek word that both Peter (1 Peter 2:13) and Paul use (Romans 13:1, 5) has a couple of definitions. On the one hand it carries a military meaning to arrange troops under the command of a leader. On the other hand, it’s also a voluntary attitude of cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden for the common good.

No where does submission imply letting leaders abuse us, or remaining silent and uninvolved if their activities are immoral or unbiblical. Instead submission recognizes that government officials have been placed in their positions by God (Daniel 4:25, 32the Most High is sovereign over all the kingdoms of men, and gives them to anyone He wishes), and that they are God’s servants (Romans 13:4, 6) who have to give an accounting to God for their actions.

Our alien response of properly submitting is our way of supporting them in their God-given responsibilities. How do we do this?

  1. Treat them with respect (Romans 13:7; 1 Peter 2:17).
  2. Separate the person [loved by God] from the policy [may or may not line up biblically], then disagree with the policy, not with the person.
  3. Pray for them (1 Timothy 2:1-4).

This way of interacting with them will bring glory to God (1 Timothy 2:3; 1 Peter 2:15).

Here’s a good question to ask ourselves: Are we submitting like servants of the King of kings?

Politics & Religion

Aliens and StrangersAs requested, here are some of the quotes I shared this morning in my message on how Christians are to interact with our government officials.

First the humorous quotes—

“Government is like a baby: …a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.” —Ronald Reagan

“If you ever injected truth into politics you have no politics.” —Will Rogers

“The word ‘politics’ is derived from the word ‘poly,’ meaning ‘many,’ and the word ‘ticks,’ meaning ‘blood sucking parasites.’” —Larry Hardiman

Then a sadly serious one—

“Politics have no relation to morals.” —Nicolo Machiavelli

And finally, the very thoughtful quotes—

“Church and state are supposed to work together. The Church…does not set up the voting booths, but it motivates and it equips people to go into them and make a difference. The Church does not write the laws, but bears witness to the truth of God to which those laws must correspond. Politics is not our salvation; Jesus Christ is. But fidelity to Him includes doing our part as faithful citizens, and to exercise our rights as citizens appropriately, we have to understand the relationship between the Church and the state, and how both of these entities are responsible for protecting and safeguarding….” —Father Frank Pavone

“I close with three words of pastoral advice—

“First, to Assemblies of God ministers: Politics reflects culture, and culture reflects religion. If you are concerned with the political drift of American culture, preach the gospel! As it sends out roots in the lives of believers, the seeds of the Gospel will change hearts and minds.

“Second, to Assemblies of God adherents: You are privileged citizens of a blessed nation. Use your citizenship well! Seek the common good. Advocate for the last, the lost, and the least. Speak the truth in love. And vote for candidates and issues that reflect a biblical perspective. The difference in so many conflicts in American politics and culture turns on who turns out to vote.

“Third, to all Christians: If you are troubled with the Supreme Court’s [Obergefell] decision, keep perspective! In this and every other matter, always remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ: ‘In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world’ (John 16:33).

“Let us all pray for a great spiritual awakening in our country!” —George O. Wood

10 Quotes To Help Celebrate Independence Day

DSC_0015I love the United States of America! As we celebrate our country’s birthday, here are 10 quotes from my files about America.

“Throughout our history Americans have put their faith in God and no one can doubt that we have been blessed for it. The earliest settlers of this land came in search of religious freedom. Landing on a desolate shoreline, they established a spiritual foundation that has served us ever since.” —Ronald Reagan

“America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.” ―Harry Truman

“A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.” —Edward Abbey

“If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.” —Samuel Adams

“If American democracy is to remain the greatest hope of humanity, it must continue abundantly in the faith of the Bible.” —Calvin Coolidge 

“The strength of a country is the strength of its religious convictions.” —Calvin Coolidge

“It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favors. … The Hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations.” —George Washington 

“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all thee blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!” —Abraham Lincoln

“We’ve staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government. Far from it. We have staked the future upon the capacity of each and every one of us to govern ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” —James Madison

“There is not a single instance in history in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire.” —John Witherspoon

Links & Quotes

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“The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.” —C.S. Lewis

My thankful lips shall loud proclaim the wonders of Thy praise,
And spread the savor of Thy Name where’er I spend my days. —Isaac Watts

“A sure sign of spiritual growth is that you take every problem and crisis immediately to Jesus. You have learned that you have a place to go.” —David Wilkerson“If you want to walk as Jesus walked, you can’t allow your human passions to be inflamed by headlines. Christ died for every lost soul on this earth, including abortion doctors, murderers, rapists, child molesters.” —David Wilkerson

Proud of our State Governor Rick Snyder for signing the bill that protects our freedom of religion.

Another man I have always admired is Ronald Reagan. Yesterday was the anniversary of his powerful speech at the Berlin Wall. The Daily Signal has some pictures from that memorable day, and here is the video of President Reagan’s words—

Links & Quotes

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“Never live on memories. Do not remember in your testimony what you once were; let the Word of God be always living and active in you, and give the best you have every time and all the time.” —Oswald Chambers

“A man may lose the good things of this life against his will; but if he loses the eternal blessings, he does so with his own consent.” —Augustine

GOOD NEWS: Abortions have dropped 12% across the country.

Today would have been Smith Wigglesworth’s 156th birthday. Relevant Magazine has a list of some of his quotes. If you would like to read some of the quotes I have posted from Wigglesworth’s books, click here or here.

Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln are two of my favorite historical leaders. Here’s a great post: Churchill, Lincoln And The Fragility Of Freedom.

Ronald Reagan is another one of my favorites. Check out 4 Liberal Myths About Ronald Reagan Debunked.

Links & Quotes

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Some really good reading (and watching) from this weekend…

“The Constitution was never meant to prevent people from praying; its declared purpose was to protect their freedom to pray.” —Ronald Reagan

“I hope that when you’re my age you’ll be able to say, as I have been able to say: we lived in freedom, we lived lives that were a statement, not an apology.” —Ronald Reagan

Senator Ted Cruz reminds us: Never Forget The Gift Of Freedom.

Want more proof that Planned Parenthood’s singular focus is death? Check out the awards they hand out.

“We lack a comfort in just being alone with our thoughts. We’re constantly looking to the external world for some sort of entertainment,” says Malia Mason, a psychologist at Columbia University. A study finds: Many people would rather endure physical pain than be alone with their own thoughts.

[INFOGRAPHIC] Stats on homelessness.

“For if a man is always busy talking and yet is slow to act, he shows by his acts how worthless his knowledge is: besides it is much worse to know what one ought to do, and yet not to do what one has learnt should be done. On the other hand, to be active in good works and unfaithful at heart is as idle as though one wanted to raise a beautiful and lofty dome upon a bad foundation.” —Ambrose

“Faith feeds on the Word of God. Without a steady diet it gets weaker and weaker. If you are dissatisfied with your Christian courage and joy and purity of heart, check the way you are feeding your faith.” —John Piper

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