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Sunday, November 6, 2016

Sunday Words of Encouragement Sunday November 6, 2016

This morning our Sunday School teacher continued his lessons on Spiritual Warfare. We had “home” missionaries (from our own congregation) visiting from their South American mission field. They shared how we can pray for their safety in a country full of crime (drugs) and corruption. They noted that the country where they are serving was not founded on Christian values. The people are social, helping each other and open to relationships. They live in systemic poverty and need the message of hope that is being brought by the missionary team. This helped give us a different perspective on our own country.

Our Pastor’s sermon was geared toward preparing for our national election this Tuesday. He emphasized that we should each exercise our right to vote. While we are praying for foreign countries we need to be praying for our nation too. People are afraid; beyond nervous. Will some of our current rights be stripped away? What might happen to the supreme court? How will benefits or assistance be impacted? But we must be mindful that we are not responsible for the actions of the government.

We are told how we should act through the Bible. “Be strong and very courageous….” Joshua 1:7 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” Matthew 6:34

We can be reassured if we remember that God is in control and He is with us always. The Church has been through bad governments before. It was horrific then and maybe moving to horrific today. We have things comfortable in our nation while around the world, millions of Christians are living under tyranny today and many are suffering persecution. The Church continues to move forward and at times of trouble and repression the Church may pull together stronger. We are told to be under authority. Christians in government are frustrated because they are unable to accomplish good things. Our job is not to govern but to convey the gospel.

As Paul noted in Ephesians 6:12, we are not fighting earthly enemies. The task of the Christian is to ‘Go into the world and make disciples” Matthew 28: 20. Politics is divisive to relationships and distracting to our mission. Do not let it distract from mission to make disciples. We are called to be evangelists. We must keep politics in perspective.

The Church has often been used and abused in political situations. Some churches bend the principles and values from God’s word in their attempts to be ‘inclusive’. This too is a tool of the enemy to divide true believers. Do not let politics destroy your relationships. Jesus matters more than politics. The Gospel is our highest priority. Governments cannot legislate heart changes but lives can be changed if people embrace the message of the gospel: salvation through grace in the death and blood of Christ.

God is sovereign. He is not political. His priority is building the church of believers. Time is short but we know how it ends. Revelation 6:9 states that a certain number of saints will be martyred before Christ returns. We do not know when that number will be reached but we can rely on God’s sovereignty until that time comes.

In the meantime, we are called to pray. 2 Chronicles 7:14. (We return to church this evening for prayer for our nation and leaders.)
So here is what we do: Do not fear. Pray. Vote. Be a witness.

I think this song fits today’s message: Testify to Love!
A Verse for today:
Romans 13:1 NIV
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

Heavenly Father – I give thanks that I have assurance in Your control of all circumstances and events, including this coming election. You are able to use all things (and people) to work together for good for those who love you. Even when things look like trouble or worse – we can trust in Your great love.

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