How Must Christians Respond

November 10, 2016

Hello Servants of Christ,

I pray you are finding the joy of the Lord[1] to be your sufficient strength today[2] as you seek to live in a manner that is worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ.[3] How easy it is to be emotionally tossed to and fro by the waves of this ever-changing and often confusing world.[4] If we are not careful, we can easily become distracted by what happens around us, which instigates doubts about what God has said to us, which often leads to denying what God has called us to do. There are so many examples of this negative chain reaction throughout the Scriptures[5]that it is incumbent upon the believer that he keep his eyes on the Lord,[6] and his heart in the Word,[7] while his feet are planted in this world.[8] Distractions that seek to derail us from trusting in God’s Word have been, and will always be, one of the greatest traps set to tempt and ensnare Christians.[9] Listen, we are not ignorant to the schemes of Satan so as to be outwitted by him,[10] because the Scriptures show us his ways,[11] and therefore we must be wise and gird up our minds[12] for engaging the truth war that rages both around us and within us.[13]

How Must Christians Respond

 prayer

In light of these truths, and in light of the days now before us following this week’s election, I would like to redirect our thoughts to how saturating our minds with and submitting to Scripture will guide us and guard us from being distracted by the current events of our society. I fully understand that there are a myriad of emotions and thoughts pervading our congregation as we consider the results and potential ramifications per the outcome of this presidential election. However, it is most critical that we not live in, and be enslaved by, the fear of what might be, but that we live in the peace that comes from knowing and trusting in the God who was, is, and is to come.[14]Thus, our first response must be to rest and revel in the sovereignty of our good God, and this begins to happen as you remember how He has always used political leaders to help fulfill His plan.[15] The Bible is filled with examples that should both encourage and edify our understanding of how God will often work through political leaders and pagan nations.[16] Never forget that the Bible also teaches us that God will often have His people in places of influence to help guide and direct national and world leaders.[17] I am confident that has already happened, and will continue to happen, even within our current political structure, and that encourages my heart and is just another reason we can praise God for those in authority over us as we are commanded to![18]

The second response that is demanded of all believers is that we pray for President-elect Donald Trump and all those who will be in high positions of governmental influence.[19] Pray that God will give him wisdom and humility to understand the great stewardship of responsibility and power he has now been given. Pray that God will continue to bring wise and godly people into his life to help, guide, and guard him as he leads our nation. Pray that he will use his God-given authority to protect the helpless, to guard the innocent, and as God’s servant, to punish the guilty.[20] Pray that God will use this time in his life to reveal his deep need for Christ and drive him to complete and utter dependence upon the Lord.[21] So how must we as followers of Jesus Christ respond to this election and every election? We must praise God for who He is as our sovereign King[22] and sufficient redeemer[23] while we seek to submit to[24] and honor[25] the lesser authorities God has placed over us. Moreover, we must proactively and regularly pray for all those in authority, that God will save them, use them, grow them, protect them, and strengthen them for the daunting and difficult task of leading a people, and or, a nation.

Because of the priority of prayer both in the life of our Lord and Scripture, as well as our deep need for it as a church and a people, we will be establishing a regular concert of public prayer here at Belcroft. Starting in January, we will be meeting once a month on Sunday evening for the sole purpose of prayer and supplication as we specifically bring our requests to God corporately. You will be hearing more about this as time gets closer, but I hope you will prepare your heart and life so that you can be involved! I look forward to seeing you, Lord willing, on Sunday, as we begin our study of the book of Ruth by considering the historical realities that set the scene for this amazing story of covenantal loyalty and faithful love. When did this story take place and why? Is Ruth really the main character, and how important is it that she is from Moab. What are the origins of Moab, and how does that help us understand the impact of sin as well as God’s grace? How critical is this story in further helping us understand both the heart of God and the lineage of Christ? These and many other wonderful truths await us as we journey through Ruth together and see a faithful God at work in world that often looks frustrating.

Yours for the Master,

Pastor Matt

 

[1] Neh 8:10

[2] Phil 4:13

[3] Phil 1:27

[4] Eph 4:14; Js 1:5-8

[5] Gen 3:1-6; Ex 32:1-6; Num 13:25-14, 14:39-45; 1 Sam 13:8-15; 15:1-35; 2 Sam 11-12; Lk 22:47-62; Acts 5:1-11; 2 Tim 4:10; 2 Jn 9-10

[6] Ps 16:5; 86:11; Lam 3:20-27; Col 3:1-4; 2 Cor 4:16-18

[7] Ps 1:1-6; 119:36-37

[8] Jn 17:16-17

[9] Gen 3:1-6; Lk 4:1-13; 1 Tim 3:7; 2 Cor 11:13; 2 Tim 2:26; 2 Thess 2:9-10; Lk 22:31

[10] 2 Cor 2:11

[11] Gen 3:1-6; Job 1-2; 1 Chron 21:1; Zech 3:1; Jn 8:44; 13:2, 27; Acts 5:3; 10:38, 13:10; 2 Cor 4:4; 1 Thess 2:18; 2 Thess 2:9-10

[12] Eph 6:10-18

[13] Acts 13:10; 2 Thess 2:9-13; 2 Cor 4:4; Acts 28:17-31; 1 Tim 2:4; 3:15-16; 2 Tim 4:3-5; Titus 1:9-2:1; Jude 3

[14] Isa 44:6-8; Rev 22:12-13

[15] Dan 2:21; 4:34-35; Prov 21:1

[16] Jerm 27:4-5; Ex 9:16; Jer 27:5-7; Isa 45:1-7; Gal 4:4

[17] Gen 41:1-57; 50:19-20; Dan 3:29-30; 5:13-6:3; Est 7:1-6; Neh 2:1-8

[18] I Tim 2:1-7; 1 Pet 2:17; Rom 13:1-7; Titus 3:1-2

[19] 1 Tim 2:1-7

[20] Rom 13:1-7

[21] 1 Tim 2:1-7

[22] Rev 1:12-18; Col 1:12-14, 2:8-15

[23] Rom 8:28-39; 1 Cor 1:30-31

[24] Mk 12:17; Titus 3:1

[25] 1 Pet2:17

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