You gotta love this time of year in NWA. For some of you, you might need an extra strong dose of God’s creative beauty because of the results of the election. Others of you are as happy as can be. Let me tell you why I think today is a beautiful day.
God Rules over All
5 I am the Lord, and there is no other,
besides me there is no God;
I equip you, though you do not know me,
6 that people may know, from the rising of the sun
and from the west, that there is none besides me;
I am the Lord, and there is no other.
7 I form light and create darkness,
I make well-being and create calamity,
I am the Lord, who does all these things.
As our statement of faith so appropriately puts it…
God, from eternity, decrees or permits all things that come to pass and perpetuates, upholds, directs and governs all creatures and all events through His providence, yet He is not the author or approver of sin. He does not in any way destroy the free will and responsibility of any who will stand before God in judgment.
The Church in America NEEDS Distinction
The scriptures are clear that we should be the “called out ones” (or “holy”). The American evangelical church has been entrenched in nominalism so long that our distinction as believers is more closely associated with a segment of a political party rather than members of the household of God. We need shaking so the dross will fall away and the luster of God’s grace may more clearly shine…as the “city on a hill” that we are supposed to be to a darkened world / culture.
A pastor friend of mine made the statement this morning that the “backdrop has changed” and what a chance for the church to become more “high-definition” Christians. I thought it was an appropriate response and that he’s right.
The lottery is now legal in Arkansas. It will provide a very marginal amount of income for education (which lets the state off the hook for funding). It will provide a greater amount of financial stress on the poor and an increase in crime. The numbers are just too obvious in the other states. This is an opportunity for the church to be distinct! We must support ministries like 2nd Mile and care for each others as members of the church. These are hard times, but they are much harder on those who have little. Let UBC ALWAYS remember the left and right hand of social ministry. We should NEVER provide a drink to one who is thirsty without introducing them to the “fountain of living waters” (Jer.2).
I believe that the sanctity of marriage and life of the unborn will be more greatly challenged in these days than ever before. The church should respond by making sure our biblically defined marriages are lights of the gospel and vibrant! We should evangelize those in our community and city who are homosexuals by introducing them to the Creator who can re-create them…and do so with grace and mercy.
We should continue to fight for the unborn and the abandoned. Fortunately it looks like adoptions and foster care will remain in the homes of married couples. The church should rise up and adopt these children without parents and provide foster homes. The home is the greatest field for evangelism and discipleship on the face of the planet!
I really could go on, but suffice it to say…THIS IS A BEAUTIFUL DAY! The church needs to be distinct. Let’s grow weary of trusting in earthly means and be a people set apart! Let’s pray more together for the Spirit to move rather than trying to lobby political pundits in our favor (if God is on our side….). Let’s share the gospel as if eternity matters more than the temporal American landscape (because it does!).