The fight isn’t over
The world is messed up. Although, we still seem to make it out to be worse than it actually is. There are so many problems in the world and we become discouraged because of how bad things appear. It is at that moment in which we have at least a couple of options in how we react to difficult circumstances. The first and seemingly natural instinct is for us to just give up. The second option is to turn to God in prayer and deed, regardless of our circumstances. “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12
Many years ago, in one of the most notorious prisons in the nation, one prisoner in particular was known for being the best fighter behind bars. For the sake of the story, let’s refer to this prisoner as Jim. Jim was involved in so many fights that fighting became second nature for him. One day, several other prisoners decided to teach Jim a lesson. They locked him in the mess hall and proceeded to fight. Slowly, one by one, each of the prisoners came out of the mess hall, bloodied and bruised. Jim had whipped each one of them.
The Warden spoke with Jim about the most recent conflict. The Warden said, “You have been to my office so many times, you could probably recite my lecture back to me. I didn’t bring you in to lecture you again. I brought you here to ask you a question… How do you win all of these fights?” Jim replied, “It’s very simple warden. The fight ain’t over until I win.”
Different circumstances, same reaction
Obviously, the moral of the story is not about advocating violence. Rather it teaches us to never give up, regardless of how tough the fight may be. We should never stop depending on God and we should never quit the good work he has planned for us.
We face so many different types of challenges in life. Whether we experience tragic loss or just have a tough day at the office, life circumstances can be difficult to overcome. For some reason, when it comes to political challenges, we often crumble under pressure. How many times have you heard someone say that they are done with politics, after “the wrong” President is elected? Notice that God didn’t tell us to overcome evil, by ignoring the world’s problems. “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21
We shouldn’t let the outcome of elections dictate how we live our lives. Besides, there are many other things we could do in politics than just vote. For example, we can contact our elected officials and hold them accountable or even share the Gospel with them. Instead of focusing on what we can’t do, we should be focused on what we can do. Whether our challenges come from politics, friendships, family, sports, careers, He called us to do good works and to not give up… “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
Jesus never gives up on us
If we are truly seeking God and His Kingdom first, then we will not give up on doing good. We should not let our discouragement get the best of us. As Christians, we have Almighty God on our side…”What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31
Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins. He bore our sins in our place. He paid the penalty of sin for us. Jesus did not give up on us and he never will. He loves us! Therefore we should love others as he loved us. We should never give up on doing good for others… “It [love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:7
On this Good Friday, be sure to reflect on what Jesus has done for us. His sacrifice should remind us of our need for a savior and also that we should not take our freedoms for granted. For He has made us free. May we resist the temptation to give up and instead remain focused on Him and the good He can do through us. Fight the good fight! The fight isn’t over until we win!
The two party system has failed
The Democratic Party was founded around 1828. The Republican Party was founded in 1854. And those two parties have dominated American politics for the last 162 or so years. Through the years Americans have witnessed lies, scandal, failed policy, and in some cases even tyranny to some degree, with the two party system. And both Democrats and Republicans have contributed to the failures in the oval office. While arguments can be made about which party is “better”, neither party seems to be loyal to the Constitution.
The truth is that as voters, we have been more loyal to a party than we have to the Constitution. It can be argued that as voters, we have been more loyal to a party than our individual consciences. Instead of voting for a candidate who represents our values and beliefs, we vote for the lesser of two evils. And to be honest, it is getting more and more difficult to tell the difference between the two evils. The current election cycle is a great example of this, as the likely nominees from both parties (Trump and Clinton) do not represent Constitutional ideals.
A competitive Constitutional party is needed
Neither Democrats or Republicans hold themselves to standards higher than their own party. It seems as though the Libertarian Party and the Constitution Party view the Constitution as their standard, at least, to a higher degree than Democrats and Republicans. Whether it is the Libertarian party or the Constitution party, we should at least consider voting for a candidate from a party that has a standard higher than itself.
We must realize that no politically established party will be perfect, but we must also be willing to hold those political parties to reasonable standards. The Constitution is the standard that God established for our nation (Romans 13:1). Therefore, our government should be held to that standard as well. When we allow political parties to represent us significantly short of that standard, our government will ultimately fall significantly short as well. We need to remember the importance of selecting men of character for office. “But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.” Exodus 18:21
A third party candidate could win, eventually
We all know that 1% of the popular vote is not nearly enough to even be considered competitive in a Presidential election. And yes, we may not elect a third party candidate this year, but maybe we could in the near future. We need to resist the temptation to believe that a third party candidate cannot win the election, because they won’t get enough votes. You are only in control of your own vote, so stop voting based on polls and media guidelines and starting voting according to your faith.
While it may not seem like a third party candidate has a viable chance to win a Presidential election any time soon, it could be more likely than you may think. Gary Johnson ran for President as the Libertarian Party nominee in 2012, and he received more votes than any other Libertarian nominee in the history of the party. He only received approximately 1% of the popular vote, but it was the most successful outcome for a third party candidate since Ralph Nader finished with almost 3% in 2000. And many Libertarians are expecting a dramatically improved outcome in this year’s election.
What would happen, if individually, we changed our thought process when it comes to voting? What if more and more people started voting their conscience as opposed to party line? We need to be in prayer about who God wants us to vote for, regardless of the outcome. May we never forget the words of John Quincy Adams, when he said…”Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”
The good news
The United Nations is viewed by many Americans entirely as a humanitarian organization. After all, the United Nations World Food Programme distributes food to those in need around the world. World Food Program USA raises U.S. support for the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP), the largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger across the globe. According to the World Food Program USA website, WFP provides food assistance to over 80 million people in 82 countries.
It is wonderful that the U.N. food program is helping people across the world. However, it is difficult to know the intent behind the program. Maybe the U.N. is generally concerned about those who are hungry across the world. Or maybe the U.N. is using the program to advance a particular agenda or multiple agendas.
The U.N. claims to protect human rights, promotes sustainable development, upholds international law, and maintains international peace and security. Those things all sound good on the surface, but should be more clearly defined. And while in some ways the organization may seemingly demonstrate compassion, it can be argued that the “good” that is accomplished isn’t rooted in anything greater than itself. In other words, some speculate that the organization is self serving, to say the least.
The bad news
Recently, the United Nations has been under fire for a global sex scandal, in which hundreds of Haitian women and children were reportedly raped by United Nations “peace keepers”. However, this is not new behavior for U.N. troops, as a similar instance occurred in Mali approximately one year ago. And of course, the story of Katanga has not been forgotten for those affected in that particular province of the Congo.
The U.N. is promoting a small arms treaty in which specific firearms would be registered throughout the world. Many skeptics of the small arms treaty believe that registration would eventually lead to confiscation. According to Article 5 of the treaty, all countries are mandated to participate in the treaty and they “shall establish and maintain a national control system, including a national control list.”Of course, the details of the small arms treaty are nothing new to those who have read State Department document 7277.
Agenda 21 is a U.N. sponsored program, which is supposed to promote “sustainable development”. However, it has been criticized by property rights activists and for good reason. Essentially, the United Nations is planning “to co-opt, via individual governments, and eventually, a one-world government, privately held land under the auspices of ensuring its sustainability” according to Tiffany Gabbay of The Blaze.
The U.N. has recently affirmed that abortion is a human right. The U.N. has also been promoting gay marriage as a part of their human rights agenda. Regardless of how you feel about these issues, it is concerning that the U.N. is now defining what a human right is. The reason for concern is that the source of their definition for human rights goes no further than their own agenda. Their morals and values are defined based on whatever benefits their own organization.
Concern about the true agenda
Since its inception, the U.N. has been led by those who wish to build a new world order, and at least some of them have very suspicious pasts. Alger Hiss, who helped establish the U.N., was accused of being a Soviet spy and later convicted of perjury in connection with that accusation. Former Secretary General, Kurt Waldheim served as a first lieutenant in Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia in 1942. Referring to that time, he said “I did my duty like hundreds of thousands of Austrians”.
We should be willing to look deeper into the history and future of the United Nations. We should be concerned with the U.N. agenda to build a new world order for several reasons. First of all, we should be concerned that the organization as a whole does not seem to include God in their efforts. We should be concerned about the amount of power the organization is trying to obtain and how it will eventually use that power. We should be concerned that our nation’s sovereignty is suffering due to the globalized politics that the U.N. has proposed.
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” Matthew 7:15
One cause of apathy
Apathy among Christians is one of the greatest problems facing the church in the 21st century. Some Christians are apathetic to sharing the gospel, loving people, caring about society, and a whole laundry list of other things. While I believe there are many reasons for our apathy, it seems that there is one common denominator among those who are apathetic. We believe the lie that says, since we are only one person, we can’t have an impact on society.
We avoid doing the good works that God has planned for us, because we don’t believe anyone or anything will be changed based on what we do. Even though that completely contradicts the true meaning of faith… “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 We do not see how anyone or anything will be changed, so we do not act. That is not faith!
There are times when people may tell you that you can’t accomplish something because you are only one person. That is only a partial truth. Yes, of course you are only one person, but the implication is that you cannot have any affect on society because you are only one person. Have we forgotten that we serve a might God?
Individuals from the past
William Wilberforce was only one man. Wilberforce opposed the slave trade while serving in Parliament during the late 1700’s and early 1800’s, when almost no one else around him supported abolition. He said, “So enormous, so dreadful, so irremediable did the [slave] trade’s wickedness appear that my own mind was completely made up for abolition. Let the consequences be what they would: I from this time determined that I would never rest until I had effected its abolition.” And he never rested until God did a mighty work through him by abolishing the slave trade.
When being commanded to go to Egypt, Moses responded to God’s commands with excuses. He said, “…Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” Exodus 3:11 In other words, Moses was saying that he couldn’t do what God wanted him to do on his own. In a sense, Moses was right. He couldn’t do it on his own. However, God could do it through him.
Esther was only one woman. Mary was only one woman. Noah was only one man. Abraham was only one man. David was only one man. Daniel was only one man. Paul was only one man. One man or one woman can accomplish great things if he or she is fully committed to his or her relationship with God. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33
We have common ground
What did these biblical and historical men and women have in common? It’s what we all have in common. We were all created by an amazing, perfect God, who lavishly loves us. One man died on the cross for the sin of the world. Jesus did what no one else could do because he is God in the flesh. Jesus was obedient to his father in heaven and took the burden of sin upon himself for our gain. Do you know him as your lord and savior?
Trust in the mighty power of God in everything you do. Stop settling for a the status quo and start trusting in God’s greatness. Stop believing the lie that you are alone and can’t accomplish anything, and instead know that you serve a perfectly righteous and all powerful God. “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13