By Series - How To Pick A President

How To Pick A President

Friday

November 11, 2016

Stand Up!

Read

Proverbs 31:8, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed”.

Jeremiah 6:15, “’Are they ashamed of their disgusting actions? Not at all—they don’t even know how to blush! Therefore, they will lie among the slaughtered. They will be brought down when I punish them,’ says the Lord.”

Think

Standing up for what is right isn’t an option within the Christian faith. Our values and integrity are what set us apart in this lost and dying world. Many are blinded by moral relativism. Sadly, they will completely miss their true calling, the life God had in store for them. When one’s morals are on a sliding scale, when they attempt to be inclusive of all beliefs and proclivities, they are excluding God. And without knowing Jesus, they are literally in grave danger.

As Christ followers, what must we do to be the change that we want to see in our nation? We stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. We protect and provide for those in legitimate need and stand firm in biblical truth. Although we don’t necessarily approve or choose to celebrate certain lifestyles or behaviors we accept everyone. We pray for our nation to return to God. We pray for our leadership. Even if we don’t respect the person we honor the position. And finally, we strive to shine Christ’s light in the darkness. We fish for people, becoming walking, talking, living, breathing billboards for what God has done in our lives. When we do these things, God will give us the trajectory to change the world one life at a time. If we can change a life, we can change a family. If we can change a family, we can change a community. If we can change a community, we can restore our nation and eventually change the world bringing glory to God.

Pray

Thank God for His Word and ask Him to point out any duplicity in your life. Pray for Him to speak into your life and for opportunities to share Christ with others.

Act

Read Matthew 5:13-16. What does this say about your duty as a Christ follower? Salt isn’t only a seasoning, it’s a preservative. You are here to preserve biblical truth—how salty are you (in this case you can never be too salty)? And how brightly are you shining the light of Christ before unsaved coworkers, friends, and neighbors?

Thursday

November 10, 2016

The Prize of Being Wise

Read

James 1:5, "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you".

Proverbs 1:7, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction".

Think

Even non-believers associate the word wisdom with King Solomon. And wise he was! In fact, the Bible says his wisdom exceeded all others before him and after. It's important to note that his wisdom originated from God in prayer. After inheriting the throne from his father David, God appeared to him in a dream and said, "Ask Me". So Solomon asked for wisdom and the ability to discern between good and evil. God was pleased by his request. Early in his life, Solomon's heart beat for God. He obeyed the commandments and was greatly blessed for it.

Unfortunately, Solomon failed to live out that wisdom and he gave into all sorts of insatiable appetites. God had specifically told him not to marry foreign women or involve in their pagan practices. However, lust and pride led him to marry 700 women and take on 300 concubines, many of whom were idol worshipers. His heart turned from God and he too began to worship false gods. And like us, God did not override his free will or force him to obey. He suffered grave consequences and God judged His wisest man as the biggest fool. Eventually Solomon saw the error of his ways and realized that his life apart from God was not worth living. In summation, we cannot allow our lives to be negatively effected by negligence and carelessness. And instead we must establish our hearts and minds in the wisdom of God's Word.

Pray

Father God, I acknowledge that You alone are the source of wisdom. Convict my heart and mind to not be foolish, but wise by the power of Your Spirit. Please help me to maintain focus on You and not the things of this world. I love You and yield to Your almighty power in Jesus' name. Amen

Act

Read I Kings 11:1-6 and Ecclesiastes 12:13-14. Although we don't literally worship false idols, anything that takes precedence over our relationship with God is idolatry. What is currently encroaching upon your time spent with God in prayer? What are you "worshiping" aside from God?

Wednesday

November 9, 2016

Occupation Proclamation

Read

II Thessalonians 3:10, “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: ‘The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat’”.

Proverbs 16:27-29, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece. An evil man sows strife; gossip separates the best of friends. Wickedness loves company—and leads others to sin”.

Think

Everything that happens each weekend across all of our campuses doesn’t just happen out of thin air. It’s easy to just show up and enjoy the experience for an hour and leave. However, all of the work done behind the scenes is not. It takes tremendous effort by our staff and numerous dedicated volunteers to pull it off. Hard work honors God and reflects His intent for humanity. Conversely, He sees idleness and unwillingness to work as a grave offense.

Because of our inherent sin nature, we deserve nothing from God. The moment we begin to feel entitled, as if the world owes us something, the enemy rushes in and says, “It’s okay to slack off a little. You deserve it. God will take care of you no matter what, so sit back, and relax”. Don’t buy Satan’s lies! Idleness only allows more time for wrongdoing. If we believe in Jesus—if we believe He did the preemptive work of forgiveness on the cross for us—then it is our responsibility to take action. No matter if we’re a dishwasher, a student, or a brain surgeon we must approach everything we do with excellence as an act of worship. God cares more about our attitude and willingness to work hard than He does about our profession or achieving perfection.

Pray

Father God, convict my heart to take action when I exhibit idleness. Protect my thoughts from the enemy and guide me to the best of my ability to emulate Jesus’ fortitude and diligence at home, at work, and when serving in the local church. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Act

Evaluate your work ethic. In what areas do you tend to slack off? In what areas should you put forth greater effort to pursue excellence? Conversely, if you are extremely driven in most everything you do, when can you carve out time for stillness and reflection before God?

Tuesday

November 8, 2016

Speaking the Truth in Love

Read

I Corinthians 16:13-14, "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love".

I Corinthians 13:13, "And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love".

Think

When a child misbehaves a parent might say, "I love you too much to tolerate that kind of behavior". And as grown ups, there are times we have to deal with certain personalities that we find almost intolerable to be around. Unfortunately, now we are even saying that about the current presidential candidates. But the word tolerance has far greater implications than any specific behavior or characteristic. It is the willingness to accept feelings, habits, or beliefs different from our own. As believer's, we must accept everyone. Why? Because, we will never lock eyes with anyone that Jesus didn't die for. Everyone matters to God.

In today's culture—a world sinking in a sea of moral relativism—truth is subject to individual feelings and proclivities. Everybody must not only accept everyone else's beliefs but approve of them and celebrate their differences. However, we cannot confuse acceptance with approval. Hence this faux tolerance contradicts exactly what it espouses. Those who are so emphatic about the approval of all lifestyles claim that anyone who speaks to the contrary is being intolerant. But aren't the 'tolerance watchdogs' being just as intolerant? It's crazy, so what do we do? We accept everyone, but we don't have to approve of their actions. Remember, Jesus loved the religious elite enough to call out their blatant hypocrisy. Thus, we aggressively love one another enough to speak the truth in love.

Pray

Pray for our country in the midst of the current divisive political climate. And yield to God as you pray for His sovereign will to be done.

Act

Every vote counts! So if you haven't voted yet—today's the day!

Monday

November 7, 2016

Where is Truth?

Read

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” - John 8:32

Think

In the existing culture we live in there seems to be varying definitions of what truth is. The phrase “that may be true for you, but it’s not true for me” is regularly tossed about. But if that is the case, what is truth? What is right and what is wrong? The popular opinion seems to be one of Moral Relativism - The belief that there are no absolute or objective standards for moral values, which are used to determine right and wrong. This seems to be the overlying sentiment of our current election year too. With candidates who are infinitely flawed, how do we determine who is right and who is wrong if there is no absolute truth? This lack of truth has created immense chaos and division in our country. We need an anchor of absolute truth to ground us as individuals and as a nation.

With the current election upon us, it is more important than ever to find that absolute truth – that anchor - outside ourselves. The Bible is the only anchor that we can truly depend on to understand what direction to turn. This election will have lasting implications well beyond the next 4 years. Before casting our vote we must examine the choices before us with our Bible in one hand and the platforms of the candidates in the other. We must understand what God says about the issues and then measure that against what our future could hold. His truth will set us free.

Pray

Heavenly Father, thank you for this nation we live in. Thank you for the opportunity and privilege to elect our leaders. We ask that you help us choose wisely based on Your absolute truth and not on our own relative truth. We ask that you protect our country and turn our hearts to you as a nation. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Act

As you prepare to vote take time to understand the platforms of the candidates and decide which one lines up closest to God’s truth. Pray for God’s guidance.