Political-Ad Parishioners

It’s the day after the election.  My facebook feed is consumed in people celebrating, not the elections, but the calm after the storm of political-ads coming through phone calls, door-hangers, mail, commercials, and the like.

I’ll be honest, it’ll be refreshing to get the mail today without half of it centered around one candidate ripping apart another.  It’s not that I didn’t notice it before, but it seemed like in this election, more than others, I became so much more sensitive to the immense slander going on.  Maybe it was because I personally know a couple of candidates.  I’d see carefully designed graphics with strategically crafted words meant to stir your heart and your vote.  I felt my heart grieve. Thoughts like, “This isn’t anything close to the person (candidate) I know” began to fill my mind.  Yet the relentless onslaught continued commercial after commercial, postcard after postcard as political parties attempted to devour each other.

It soured me and, according to my facebook and twitter feeds, soured a lot of people.

nomoreads

I now find myself in my local coffee shop pondering a deeper issue.  I speak to Christians from every denomination.  I call out to every Christ-follower.  As tired as you are about a political season of candidates opening fire upon each other…

…the world around is just as tired of us opening fire on each other.  Let’s take that a bit deeper: I believe it grieves the heart of God.

I can’t say I’m not guilty for it. I’ve been there and, unfortunately have done it.  I see it all over social network.  I’ve overheard it in our coffee houses.  I get emails about it.  Take your distaste of the political ads that hit for a season and stretch that out over the course of a year.  What believers do to fellow believers is 10 times worse than the ripping apart a candidate or a political party.  You are dividing The Kingdom of God and making a mockery of His Church.

Just shut up and stop it.

We (Christ-followers) are so successful fighting over methods and styles.  We rip pastors/church leaders, congregations, denominations, fellow church attenders, etc. over(if we’re really honest) matters of preference. Through every avenue (conversations, social media, email, etc.) we voice our opinions about everything wrong with the Body of Christ.  It’s out of this mindset that, somehow, the Lord was going to use us and our opinion as the sickle to clear the ground so a new harvest can be planted.  But instead of an antiseptic to a sickness, it’s become septic to a greater body.  Psalm 133 says that in the midst of unity, God commands his blessing.  Have we held back the hands of blessing, not because of the diversity of methods and styles, but because of our we’ve allowed diversity in our hearts? 

Do we have the right to voice our opinion?  It seems so…after all this is ‘merica. But just because it’s our “right” to voice the opinion doesn’t necessarily make it right.

“But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.” Galatians 5:15 (NLT)

We, The Church,  participate in God’s mission of impacting the world.  But that get’s lost in “devouring one another.” To quote Bill Hybel, “There is nothing like the local church when its ‘working right.’ When a church is working right it is indeed the hope of the world and when it’s not working right, it brings hopelessness to the world.”  We are more concerned about how others are DOING “the mission” than we are about engaging the Jesus in what He’s wanting to do in our lives AND the world. We’ve forgotten that our hope isn’t found in the “doing/method”, but it’s found in Jesus.  It in in Christ, we are new creations; The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. It is through Jesus we live, and move, and have our being.

It’s time for the Body of Christ to stop the “self-mutilation” and present a unified under the lordship of Jesus. Instead of building denominational empires, we need to build His Kingdom.  But until the church (you and me) has a heart for Him, His Kingdom, and His righteousness (not our own), the church will not be the hope of the world.

Can we have the “day after an election” experience EVERY DAY amongst us Christ-followers where personal attacks can stop? Can we lay down opinions/weapons we once used upon other believers and turn our efforts and attention on furthering His Kingdom?  Can we, together, collectively lift our hands in exaltation of Jesus, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords? Can we rally together under the hope we have in Jesus and bring the hope to the world?

With the Holy Spirit’s help, I think we can.  I think we will.

To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. 1 Timothy 1:17

Thanks for letting me ramble…

2 Minute Marriage Devo – Day 13

Welcome to our 2 Minute Devos. This month we are in our Annual Marriage Series at Kalamazoo First Assembly of God and we’re going through devotions for couples. Take the time to read through the passage of the day and listen to the 2 Minute Devo.

John 3:16

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

2 Minute Devo: “Faithful in a broken world”

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We started a new series this month called “His Faithfulness” We are looking at the faithfulness of God revealed to us in the scripture.  Take time to read the passage here on the blog or in your own bible.

Today’s scripture: Isaiah 25

O Lord, you are my God;
I will exalt you; I will praise your name,
for you have done wonderful things,
plans formed of old, faithful and sure.
2 For you have made the city a heap,
the fortified city a ruin;
the foreigners’ palace is a city no more;
it will never be rebuilt.
3 Therefore strong peoples will glorify you;
cities of ruthless nations will fear you.
4 For you have been a stronghold to the poor,
a stronghold to the needy in his distress,
a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat;
for the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall,
5     like heat in a dry place.
You subdue the noise of the foreigners;
as heat by the shade of a cloud,
so the song of the ruthless is put down.

6 On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,
of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.
7 And he will swallow up on this mountain
the covering that is cast over all peoples,
the veil that is spread over all nations.
8     He will swallow up death forever;
and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces,
and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the Lord has spoken.
9 It will be said on that day,
“Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us.
This is the Lord; we have waited for him;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”
10 For the hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain,
and Moab shall be trampled down in his place,
as straw is trampled down in a dunghill.[a]
11 And he will spread out his hands in the midst of it
as a swimmer spreads his hands out to swim,
but the Lord will lay low his pompous pride together with the skill[b] of his hands.
12 And the high fortifications of his walls he will bring down,
lay low, and cast to the ground, to the dust.

2 Minute Devo: “Open Ear”

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We started a new series this month called “His Faithfulness” We are looking at the faithfulness of God revealed to us in the scripture.  Take time to read the passage here on the blog or in your own bible.

Today’s scripture: Psalm 61

1 O God, listen to my cry!
Hear my prayer!
2 From the ends of the earth,
I cry to you for help
when my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the towering rock of safety,
3     for you are my safe refuge,
a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.
4 Let me live forever in your sanctuary,
safe beneath the shelter of your wings! Interlude

5 For you have heard my vows, O God.
You have given me an inheritance reserved for those who fear your name.
6 Add many years to the life of the king!
May his years span the generations!
7 May he reign under God’s protection forever.
May your unfailing love and faithfulness watch over him.
8 Then I will sing praises to your name forever
as I fulfill my vows each day.