Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Pastor Able Baker

Who and what is shaping your world view?

Pastoral Perspective
As a Christ follower, there is a very distinct effect that my faith has had on my political convictions. When I read about the person and work of Jesus in the Bible, I am absolutely amazed at how we as Christians allow our televisions to shape the way we see the world. I am convinced that much of this has to do with the frightening reality that we do not actually read our Bibles as much as we allow folks to tell us what the Bible says. 
I would like to share some kingdom values with you that should help any Christ follower become a bit more in touch with the heart of God and his coming kingdom. 
Compassion: “Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest’” (Matthew 11:28, NLT): Compassion is a dangerous kingdom value that will make our country vulnerable.  While considering our future president, a Christ follower should ask themselves, “In what way will this candidate intentionally or unintentionally reflect the compassion of King Jesus to the nations not just our own?”
Peace: “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9, NLT): A question of the approach a candidate will have to conflict and global aggression should be on our hearts and minds as we prepare to vote. We should therefore consider: “King Jesus values peace, so how does this candidate plan and promise to sustain and create peace as a world leader?” 
Help: “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me’” (Matthew 25:45, NLT): When you hear from each candidate, take note on how they plan to spend the money that God has blessed you with. Ask: “How will this candidate care for those in our country who are in need of a hand up?”
Neighbors: “The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:31, NLT): Jesus was not a nationalist, he didn’t love only those within the boarders of his own culture or only those who spoke Hebrew. A question we must ask ourselves when preparing to vote as Christ followers is, “Will our president isolate us from our neighbors or create good relationships with them?” 
Gospel: “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NLT): In my mind, the message my Church proclaims is of greater importance than my own nation. I’m not sitting around waiting for Jesus to come back and sit on some American throne or any throne of this world for that matter. His kingdom is coming here and all the nations of the earth will be judged by him. Our Church proclaims the Gospel to Hardin and to the nations. 
We want a good relationship with the world around us as a country so that we might be able to go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom (Matthew 24:14). 
When we pray “thy kingdom come” are we truly willing to be the change we want to see? As Christians are we willing to vote counterintuitively? We must vote compassionately, peacefully, helpfully and neighborly with a heart to see “the pearl of great price”, Jesus’ Kingdom (Matthew 13:45–46), expressed to all nations. 
In light of compassion, cruelty still exists. In light of peace, terror still exists. In light of help hurt exists.  In light of neighbors, isolation exists and in light of the good news, bad news exists. How can Christ followers make a difference? 
Pray that God will open our eyes and give us the wisdom and guts to seek first the kingdom of God in light of what we are most afraid of.