Party, Politics, & Jesus

"One of these things is not like the others...one of these things just doesn't belong..."

After the dust of the 2016 general election settles, we will certainly discover we're in the same place we've been since Cain killed Abel...selfish, angry, divided, fearful, and in need of help.

Party and politics are very much alike. They feed our common weaknesses and highlight our common flaws. More than dividing people politically, it often divides us emotionally – severing our ability to discuss what matters most. It has a blinding effect on our life – causing us to see nothing but the bad in others and the good in ourselves. But worse, the void (even for Christ followers) gets a whole lot larger because no system or person can satisfy the soul.

Let me confess: I've been twisted around the axel of party and politics in my past. I've won battles but lost people who could have been friends. I've declared "the sky is falling" only to discover the sun did come out again. I've seen "my guy" get in, only to watch him get carted off to prison. I've had suspicions confirmed and I've had convictions surprised. This is why I've decided to tackle all things political through the spiritual. I've finally learned that seats are changed by votes and hearts are changed by God – and changed hearts is what will change the world.

We ultimately must exercise our right to vote, and I sure did. Too much blood was spilled for this great freedom. Even run for office if God calls you to that battle. And when it comes to candidate selection, pull that lever with passion. But remember, you just voted for imperfection.

Don't take the bait. The more we hold high or try to tear down a party or a politician, the smaller we become. Even the best party platforms and elected candidates are deeply flawed. And don't allow your passion for/against party or politician exceed how much you champion our great savior.

When all the dust settles in our nation as a result of this contentious battle, we'll still be a ripe harvest field with truck loads of people who are hurting and hungry to hear a message of hope that can transform their lives from the inside out. Only God has a history of making promises and delivering on every one!

"For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him." (John 3:17) Boom!

Aren't you glad Jesus is "not like the others"?

Party, Politics, and Jesus

"One of these things is not like the others...one of these things just doesn't belong..."

After the dust of 2016 settles, we will certainly discover we're in the same place we've been since Cain killed Abel...selfish, angry, divided, fearful, and in need of help.

Party and politics are very much alike. They feed our common weaknesses and highlight our common flaws. More than dividing people politically, it often divides us emotionally – severing our ability to discuss what matters most. It has a blinding effect on our life – causing us to see nothing but the bad in others and the good in ourselves. But worse, the void (even for Christ followers) gets a whole lot larger because no system or person can satisfy the soul.

Let me confess: I've been twisted around the axel of party and politics in my past. I've won battles but lost people who could have been friends. I've declared "the sky is falling" only to discover the sun did come out again. I've seen "my guy" get in, only to watch him get carted off to prison. I've had suspicions confirmed and I've had convictions surprised. This is why I've decided to tackle all things political through the spiritual. I've finally learned that seats are changed by votes and hearts are changed by God – and changed hearts is what will change the world.

We ultimately must exercise our right to vote. Too much blood was spilled for this great freedom. Even run for office if God calls you to that battle. And when it comes to candidate selection, pull that lever with passion. But remember, you just voted for imperfection.

Don't take the bait. The more we hold high or try to tear down a party or a politician, the smaller we become. Even the best party platforms and elected candidates are deeply flawed. And don't allow your passion for/against party or politician exceed how much you champion our great savior.

When all the dust settles in our nation, we'll still be a ripe harvest field with truck loads of people who are hurting and hungry to hear a message of hope that can transform their lives from the inside out. Only God has a history of making promises and delivering on every one!

"For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him." (John 3:17) Boom!

Aren't you glad Jesus is "not like the others"?

God can build a fire in your soul...

What's happening when we seem to be doing all the right things but life feels dull at best? Why has the promise of abundant life felt elusive? And why do we begin to hear voices in our head that we shouldn't expect too much from God? Keep asking these questions because without real answers we'll fall into spiritual apathy. But what if we've already become spiritually apathetic?

We can be apathetic toward a lot of things that have no real impact on our life. But spiritual apathy can be scary. A lack of interest, enthusiasm or concern for spiritual things can make us feel like we're at risk - and we are. What's happening when we feel apathetic to God and his gospel? Well it's really nothing more than a symptom of a curable spiritual deception. Apathy is just a step away from abundance but it feels like a million miles. A lack of interest in God and his work in us is simply because we hold God at arms length and no closer. Spiritual apathy is like doing laps around a festive party and never going in. We see shadows, movement, and we hear mumbling with occasional laughter, but we never fully grasp the celebration - nor do we really care to. But one move can change everything, because spiritual apathy is the consequence of circling life-in-Christ but never entering in. This truth is beautifully captured when Jesus was speaking to religious people who suffered from spiritual apathy. Here's his words, "You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life". They were religious about religion, but apathetic about abundant/eternal life.

It's true, we can be very religious and yet dead to the things of God. Checking off a mental list of religious activities is not close to being fully alive in Christ. The deception that has led us to spiritual apathy is that we can be filled up with religious activity. But only proximity to Jesus can give us true abundance. The closer we walk with Jesus, the less likely spiritual apathy will haunt us. God has an invitation for each of us. It's two words - step in! There is no life found by circling Jesus, but abundance flows when we humble ourselves and step into Christ. 

Do a "180 Now". Turn around and step into Jesus. This requires two tough barriers to be broken. We must be willing to be known and we must be ready to surrender control. But here's a vision for stepping in. Life with Jesus gives us a look at the world from God's perspective. We see hope, possibility, eternity, healing, conquering, growth, and legacy. Why step in with Christ today? Apathy can't breath in the presence of God and God can build a fire in your soul!

John 5:39-40