Tuesday, November 06, 2012

An Election Day Reminder from God's Word

The psalm that many of us will be reading together this coming Sunday, Psalm 146, is perfect for this election week! (Funny how often God works out these "coincidences"!)

The psalm includes these lines:
Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals in whom there is no help. When their breath departs, they return to the earth; on that day their plans perish.

Happy are they whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God, Who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them; Who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed; Who gives food to the hungry. (Psalm 146:3-7)
Who our president will be is far less important issue than Who our God will be.

It's only God Who can give us what we most need: forgiveness, life, and hope for today and for eternity.

The Bible makes it clear, of course, that the Christian's duty is to honor those holding the reins of political power.

Government leaders serve an important function in God's plans, battening down the chaos that would otherwise engulf the world when our sins against one another had the freedom to do its worst.

God appoints governments to coerce those unchanged by and resistant to the grace He gives through Jesus Christ to leave neighbors unmolested and to protect those who voluntarily accede to Christ as King of their lives. (Otherwise, Martin Luther once wrote, Christians would live in the world as hapless sheep among ravenous wolves.)

So, whoever is elected today should, according to the Bible, have the prayers and the loyalty of all Christians.

After all, if Jesus told His followers to render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar and if Peter and Paul, in the face of persecution, could tell Christians to pray for the emperors of a despotic Roman Empire, then we Christians in America today can surely pray for and honor the democratically elected leaders of a politically free country, whether we voted for them or not!

But the really important thing for Christians to remember today and every day is that, no matter how much we may like or dislike those elected to be our political leaders, it's stupid to put our hope in governments, politics, or leaders.

The God we know in Jesus Christ has become one of us, has died on the cross, and risen from the dead. He offers life to all who throw in with Him. The God we know in Jesus Christ will still be standing when the last king or president on earth has drawn a breath.

And if we will surrender our lives to Him, accepting His offer of forgiveness for all our sins and of new and everlasting lives to all who trust in Him, we can live in the confidence that nothing in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God, given in Jesus Christ.

That's a lot more important than an election.

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