Saturday, August 27, 2016

Christians Are to Take Their Political Responsibility Seriously

For the next few blogs, I will be discussing the Christian’s responsibility to vote and to share God’s truth about potential leaders and their responsibilities to other Christians and non-Christians alike. I know that this can be a difficult subject, because most American’s have been taught that we should not discuss politics unless we are willing to lose friends and acquaintances. This will not be a discussion on who you should vote for in the upcoming election, so don’t worry. Rather it will be a discussion on God’s view of what a good leader should look like and a discussion on how God expects Christians to know the truth and then vote God’s truth.

I will break this topic up over several blogs and try to keep the blogs shorter than my previous ones. I will still divide the blog into sections so that if you do not want to read the entire blog at one time you have natural breaking places. However, I strongly feel that it is important for all Christians and especially those who are engaged in Active Relational Christian Mentoring, to have biblical facts to share with others about the responsibility of leadership and our responsibility of voting as God would have us vote. In order to do so, we must take on the responsibility of learning about the candidates and of determining what they believe as well as how they have or have not behaved according to God’s commandments and laws.

I hope you enjoy learning what the Bible says about good leaders and our responsibility to search out the truth. I am sure that the biblical information gained will empower you to vote the way that you feel that God wants you to vote. We must always remember, too, that voting is truly a sacred responsibility, because God has given those of us in this country the right to vote our conscience and the right to not be coerced into voting someway that we do not want to vote. People in other countries are not necessarily that fortunate. We, however, are very fortunate to get to vote our conscience, so we cannot take that right to vote lightly or not at all. We must get out and vote even if we do not like either candidate, because not voting gives the one that is your least favorite the chance of getting into office. Moreover, we should never take our civic responsibility lightly.

Sharing God’s Word on Leadership and Voting

Most Christians have been taught that we are not to infringe upon anyone else’s right to vote their conscience and that is true. However, in this day and age there is a difference between infringing on another’s right to vote their conscience and in taking on the Christian’s responsibility of sharing the truth with those who do not look at the political arena from God’s perspective. Sadly, we have even gotten to the point today that pastors are afraid to tell the political truth in relation to God’s truth from the pulpit. But, is this how God wants Christians to behave? Are Christians supposed to give up their right to tell the truth from God’s perspective? No, we are to adhere to the truths of the Bible, which is God’s Word and His direction for our lives. We are to share this biblical truth with others. But, most people are afraid to open their mouths about politics for fear of causing controversy or worse starting a fight.

So, what are Christians supposed to do in this political year? Are we just to sit back and hope that the rest of America and those who are authentic Christians will somehow intuitively know how to vote for the truth? Are we also to assume that everyone else, including all Christians, will know the difference between truth and fiction or that they can tell when they should not vote their favorite party line, but rather should look closer at the person’s character and actions, and then vote for the one who seems to have the best interest of all American people at heart?

More importantly, are other Christians, and specifically Christian women, willing to put aside their own aspirations, hopes, and dreams of putting a woman in the office of the President for the reality of the truth that God wants us to know and adhere to. Shouldn’t we want to vote the way that God wants us to vote no matter how we personally feel about the candidate or a political party? In other words, are we willing to do what God would want us to do to represent Him to other people? Well, the answer to these and the previous questions is to first find out for ourselves how close we are to God and His Son, and to then search our hearts to see if we are willing to stand up for our belief and our trust in God by telling others what God has to say about certain leadership qualities that we are to expect from our leaders. If we cannot stand up for our belief in God and our Savior, then how can we share with another what God has to say about good leadership let alone share the Gospel message?

Once we discover what God says about good leadership and character development along with the commandments He has given us to live by, we can then determine whether or not either or both of the candidates are following God’s commandments and laws and if they have the character qualities needed for good leadership. Only then can we make a decision on how we should vote. But, how do we share what we have discovered regarding God’s truth, leadership, and character development? How do we explain to others about the importance of God’s criteria for good leaders without getting into personal preferences and party lines?

First, in discussing God’s truth as it relates to leadership and choosing a candidate, we should not use the names of the candidates or the ideology of either political party. We are not to vote for just a name or for the party, although we hope that the party that the person represents will also follow God's truths as well. We are to vote for the person. Nor, should we tell someone else what our preference is in regard to one candidate or another. Instead, we should focus on what God says about good leadership and character development, as well as what God says about certain things like lying, murder, etc. We should share this biblical information, and where to find it in the Bible, with other people. Once they have acquired the needed biblical information on which to make a good decision, we then allow the other person to think upon that information and then decide for themselves what they believe that God wants them to do. Moreover, we should always remain calm and neutral in all our discussions about the candidates while simply focusing on God’s truth.

But, how do we know how God wants us to vote? Well, to find the answers to those and other questions, we must be willing to dig for the answers. By digging for the answers, I mean that we have to first study the Word of God closely so that we will know what God expects from all His children and especially from our leaders. How does God expect all people to live and act? Then we must be willing to apply God’s truth and His answers to our own lives first. Only then can we apply those answers to our civic responsibility to vote. Additionally, it is every Christian’s responsibility to tell others of God’s expectations so that other women can know what they are to base their civil responsibility on, i.e., God’s truth.

Obviously, we should never tell someone else how to vote. However, we have a responsibility to share God’s truth and to help other women think through the current issues by sharing not only our biblical knowledge but also our knowledge about current events and the answers to important questions. Certainly, if we put our heads in the sand and pretend that we are not to say anything, then we should not be surprised that other Christians may continue to think like the political machine or party line and also like the media who want them to think like and vote for the person they are pushing and skewing the news to help win. The media and the party machine does not want us to vote according to God’s truth. But, it is so much easier to listen to the media and not do any research on our part. However, with not only God’s Word to live by, but now with the internet we can use to do research, we should always be able to apply the research to what God says and know how to vote. But, what is God’s truth in regard to the political scene? How does God want us to vote?

The Government according to God

The first thing that we need to understand is that God never wanted or expected the government to provide for all the needs of the people. In fact, God wants us to rely on Him and to know that He will provide for our needs, if we live according to His commandments and rules to become a productive godly individual. “For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.” – (2 Chronicles 16: 8. NASB). However, since humankind has demanded government leadership and cannot seem to totally rely on God, God has set down rules for positive government guidance. So, what is the role of the government? Well, government is supposed to be made up of ethical, moral, and caring people who are there to make things run smoothly and to give us order within our society. Early on, our nation’s government foundation was based upon God’s Ten Commandments. However, with the erosion of our culture, the Ten Commandments are no longer considered to be foundational to our government and leadership.

Our leaders’ character has also eroded to such an extent that congress is made up of many other false religions as well as those who no longer view honesty and truthfulness as a basis for moral character. Therefore, we now have a government that is made up of men and women who are out to get as much as they can for themselves and who forget about the overall needs of the nation. We also have to worry about those in leadership, such as our president, who want this nation to be a totally different kind of nation and are doing everything possible to make our nation a socialistic society that is looked down upon by other more powerful nations. Does one of the candidates also have socialistic tendencies?

As citizens, we should not have to worry about a government that lines the pockets of its leaders and politicians. Our government should be working toward helping all members of society to live together in harmony as best as is possible through common sense and godly laws. Justice should be a number one priority, and not justice for only the moment or for certain individuals, but justice for all. Most importantly, the government should not establish laws that are contradictory to God’s laws. Actually, the government should reflect the order and harmony expressed through the truth of the Bible. But, what does that mean?

Well, God first and foremost wants all people to follow His moral and ethical laws. This means that those individuals that are placed in office with the responsibility of leading others should live by those moral and ethical laws, while setting high standards for all. But what are those moral and ethical laws or standards that God expects His people to live by? Well, in order to discover God’s moral and ethical laws, we need to turn to the Bible. Obviously, the Ten Commandments set the stage and give us the standards for human responsibility toward morality and truth. So, if we turn to Exodus chapter 20 we can read the Ten Commandments, which are the foundational laws and standards for a society. There are many other laws within the Bible on how to treat people and on how to have good business dealings with others. However, these ten laws or commandments lay the foundation for all the other laws within the Bible. Moreover, these Ten Commandments have been established by the only supreme authority, i.e., God. God’s commandments say:

1.     Do not worship any other gods besides Me. 
2.     Do not make idols of any kind
3.     Do not misuse the name of the LORD your God
4.     Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy
5.     Honor your father and mother
6.     Do not murder
7.     Do not commit adultery
8.     Do not steal
9.     Do not testify falsely against your neighbor
10.  Do not covet

We know that these ten laws were established to show us that in and of ourselves we could not follow them all, nor could we become righteous before God without the saving blood of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior. But these laws were given to us as a foundation or a goal to strive toward and to also help us establish the bounds of a civil society. However, because no one can adhere to all of these foundational laws every moment of every day, and because these laws point out just how much we really fail God within our fleshly bodies, we can see from these laws that we are indeed sinners that need a Savior, i.e., Jesus Christ, to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. These Ten Commandments also give everyone, even those who have not yet received Christ into their heart, a goal to reach toward in living our lives on this earth in a good, moral, and truthful way.

With God's Ten Commandments we can see that we need a Savior. For, we have all failed to live up to all of these commandments at one time or another. Although you may not have murdered anyone, most everyone has coveted something sometime in their life. As teenagers, many have failed to honor their parents, too. At other times we have failed to honor God. So, we have all broken at least one of the Ten Commandments at some time in our lives. We have broken them, because we are all born sinners, but without Christ in our heart we cannot be cleansed from this sinful unrighteousness. With salvation, though, we can be made righteous before God as the blood of Jesus cleanses our sins. Yet, even though we have been made righteous before God, we still live in a fallen world full of temptations and fleshly desires, so we constantly have to make a concerted effort not to do those things that are sinful or that are hurtful to others. 

All people should be trying to live by these Ten Commandments, including the people that we elect to office. Therefore, we should expect our government leaders to try to live good lives honoring God and doing that which is moral, right, and true. No, a person running for a government office does not have to be a saint, nor could they be, but at the very least, that person should try to adhere to God’s foundational Ten Commandments. Which candidate seems to be trying to live by those Ten Commandments?

Looking at the character and Lifestyle of the Candidates

 How do we know, what kind of lives the candidates have led? Well, first and foremost, the media will certainly illuminate every negative aspect of a particular candidate’s life, i.e. the one they are not supporting. But, the question is whether or not the media has skewed their information to get one or the other of the candidates into office. This is where we need to use discernment and understanding and do some research to check out the truth of such statements by the media. Certainly, God will give us discernment and understanding if we are attentive to His words and work to determine the truth. In fact, we are told in Proverbs that we are to make “… our ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding; For if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; … Then you will discern righteousness and justice and equity and every good course. For wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;” -- (Proverbs 2: 2,3, 9, 10. NASB).

We are to also look at the character of the person running for office. Moreover, in looking at their character, Christians should be able to look at the candidate’s previous and present actions in order to determine whether or not that person has at least tried to adhere to God’s commandments or if they have totally ignored His Commandments to achieve their own desires. In other words, has the candidate been known to steal? (One candidate tried to steal items from the White House. Look it up on the internet).  Has one candidate advocated any type of murder or testified falsely against someone else? (One candidate advocates the murder of fetuses in order to provide an abortion for a mother who does not want to have a child). One candidate has taken money from other countries to line their pockets. (Is this called “pay to play”?) Will this candidate only cater to those who have given money once the candidate is in the White House? These and many other questions should be asked about all potential leaders. To find the real answers we must take our civic responsibility seriously and look up information about each candidate. But, how are we to know how a candidate has previously acted? How was their character developed? Well, again as Christians, it is our responsibility to do some background research. Moreover, with the internet, there is very little that we can’t uncover, if we really try to research a topic or a person.

Knowledge is Power and Empowerment

Have you heard the statement “Knowledge is power”?  Well, it is not just a cliché, but a well proven fact. If we gain knowledge we can make better decisions and better decisions can lead to empowerment. Such is the case with the knowledge that we acquire when we delve into the attitudes and characteristics of the candidates running for the highest office in the country. Once we have acquired true knowledge about the candidates, and not just the media sound bites that the media wants us to believe are true, we will be empowered to vote the way that God would want us to vote. For, with knowledge comes wisdom and God prizes wisdom in His children. Indeed, if we make the foundation of our lives to be the truth of God, i.e. His power, holiness, love, wisdom, goodness and salvation, we can build on God’s unerring and solid foundation for our life. Furthermore, it is a foundation that is solid, eternal and unchanging.

God wants Christians, or all people for that matter, to pursue knowledge and wisdom. Indeed, the Bible tells us that, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.– (Proverbs 1: 7. NASB). Moreover, the pursuit of wisdom also brings more knowledge, security and empowerment. In fact, the book of Proverbs tells us to “Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding.– (Proverbs 2: 2. NASB). For when we gain knowledge and wisdom, we can really understand the difference between many things including the difference between right and wrong, between truth and falsehood. We can even distinguish the difference between two political candidates and then our knowledge and understanding will give us the ability to make a knowledgeable decision on how we should vote.

To acquire some biblical knowledge that will help us discern how to vote on our potential leaders and individuals who want to be in power, let’s turn to the book of Proverbs in the Bible. As you read these proverbs, try to apply them to each of the candidates past and present actions as well as to their potential future actions. Remember, no matter how much you want someone to be the person they are portraying themselves to be, “a leopard cannot change its spots”. A person’s character is developed early in life and is firmly established by the time they are a young adult.

From the book of Proverbs:

1.     Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom, instead fear the Lord and turn back from evil– (Proverbs 3: 7. NLT).

First we need to determine what constitutes evil in the life of a candidate. Does the candidate associate with people that can be considered evil or against God? Has a candidate done something in their life that can be considered evil or questionable? Research is necessary to find the truth. Then, ask yourself if that candidate has truly honored God in their life and in the choices they have made or if they have throughout the years just pretended to be religious and gone to church for just the show and prestige.

2.     Don’t lose sight of good planning and insight … for they fill you with life and bring honor and respect. – (Proverbs 3: 21. NLT).

Which candidate is a good planner and has insight into situations that on the surface may seem to be okay, but their insight tells him/ her that the situation would not be the best for the nation. Which candidate’s good planning has brought good results? Ask yourself which candidate seems to be a good planner and consistently looks for the best information and advice on which to make decisions? Or is one candidate more concerned about political correctness and getting the vote than in determining and planning for what is truly good for the nation?

3.     Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it is in your power to help them. – (Proverbs 3: 27. NLT).

Government should be about helping all people within the nation to strive to be everything they can be. Government should not be about keeping certain groups or areas of people down through the government’s failure to educate, empower, and strengthen the social consciousness of the people. Are there areas of the United States or people within the United States that have been overlooked because the political party of one of the candidates believes that these people are to be given just enough to keep them in line, but not given the support or encouragement needed to empower them? Are there still other areas of the United States where the people will be in worse poverty because the government plans to take away their livelihood in the name of Global warming and better energy management? Will the rich get richer and the poor get poorer with this type of planning and with the withholding of good from those who deserve it?

4.     Here is a description of worthless wicked people: they are liars, signaling their true intentions to their friends by making signs with their eyes and feet and fingers. Their perverted hearts plot evil. – (Proverbs 6: 12. NLT).

Does either of the candidates color the truth or lie about things they have done or not done? How many lies has a particular candidate told to keep themselves out of trouble or to get what they want? Have they lied throughout the years to get what they want or to cover up what they have done? Does one particular candidate promise time and favors to those who make big contributions to their interests, then refuses to meet with those who have not contributed to their financial benefit or have not contributed enough? Have the choices a particular candidate has made caused hardship and hurt to others who have been the recipient of their anger, lies, and distortions? Research if you do not know the answers.

5.     There are six things that the Lord hates – no seven things He hates: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord among brothers– (Proverbs 6: 16-19. NLT).

Has either candidate been accused of lying consistently about things that he/she should not have done? Has either candidate strongly advocated the support of Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry that kills the innocent by promoting the right of the woman to control her own body? Is this something that God would approve of? Society has okay-ed abortion, but what does God say about killing the innocent?

Has either candidate told a false story or been a false witness pouring out lies about the reason for the Bengazi uprising and terror attack? Was this story true? Did this story ruin the lives of the ones on whom the story was told?

Which candidate lied about what she told the family of the Bengazi victims and then later when called upon the lie, said that the families in their sorrow misunderstood what was said. Is this "a false witness who pours out lies"?

Which candidate contributed to the death of many at Bengazi by refusing to send in troops to help those caught in the terror attack? Which candidate said, “what does it matter?” after these people were killed? Is this the killing of the innocent?

6.     People with integrity have a firm footing. – (Proverbs 10: 9. NLT).

Which candidate has integrity and has a firm footing on a life lived with integrity? What does God say about having integrity? What constitutes integrity in a good leader? Webster’s dictionary says that integrity is: the state of being of sound moral principle; uprightness, honesty, and sincerity.

In God’s Word, the Psalmist writes: “Oh Lord, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill? He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness. And speaks truth in his heart. He does not slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend; …– (Psalm 15: 1-3. NASB). Which candidate does not walk with integrity? Does one candidate have more integrity than the other one?

7.     The Lord hates cheating, but He delights in honesty. – (Proverbs 11: 1. NLT).

What constitutes cheating? Is cheating when you set up a foundation in a way that avoids income tax? Is cheating, setting up your own network server so that you can have access to national security items outside the state department without telling anyone that you are doing so? How would God feel about this type of cheating?

8.     Without wise leadership a nation falls; with many counselors there is safety. [provided one listens to the counselors]. – (Proverbs 11: 14. NLT).

Which candidate do you think will listen to counselors and be willing to take their advice? But, which candidate has set up counselors that are like-minded and thus gets little differing advice? Counselors must have the freedom to express their views even if different than yours.

9.     Truth stands the test of time; lies are soon exposed. – (Proverbs 12: 19).

Which candidate has had their lies exposed recently? How many lies have been exposed?  Can you live with this person continuing to lie as the President of the United States?

10.  A poor person’s farm may produce much food, but injustice sweeps it all away. – (Proverbs 13: 23. NLT).

Which candidate has helped institute laws that have lessened the income of their constituents? Which candidate believes measures to prevent Global warming take president over the poverty of those who will be put out of work when their energy source is no longer allowed to be mined? What injustice type measures has the present president instituted and will they be continued under one or the other of the candidates if they get into office?

11.  A truthful witness does not lie; a false witness breathes lies. – (Proverbs 14: 5. NLT).

Has either candidate been a false witness or told lies against other people or the other candidate, either through insinuations or supposed associations placed at the foot of the opposing candidate? How much of this can you believe? Perhaps you need to research the supposed associations to see if they are true. For example, I could go to a rally and end up standing next to someone I don’t really agree with. If my picture was taken standing by that person, does that mean that I have an association with that person or that I was just unfortunate enough to end up standing next to that person? Which candidate is lying to get the vote of the people. Will you believe their lies?

12.  The wise look ahead and see what is coming, but fools deceive themselves. – (Proverbs 14: 8. NLT).

Which candidate is realistically looking ahead in regard to ISIS and to the potential for terrorism in the United States as a result of refugees being brought into the United States. Does wishful thinking and political correctness provide wisdom for the one who plans on bringing in over 500,000 more refugees than Obama did. Which candidate can truly see what is coming down the pike? Putting their head in the sand for political gain, will not benefit the country.

13.  Only simpletons believe everything they are told! The prudent carefully consider their steps.  – (Proverbs 14:15. NLT).

As a citizen, do you believe everything that the media or a particular political party tells you? If so, perhaps you should reevaluate what you have been told by doing your own research and then carefully considering your steps before voting.

14.  Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker, but those who help the poor honor Him. – (Proverbs 14:31. NLT).

There are many different ways to oppress the poor, including establishing laws that negatively affect the poor or the middle class, while giving the political cronies advantages over those less fortunate. What about those who cannot afford Obama’s healthcare because of the high deductible and the rising rates. Which candidate believes that the status quo is just fine and that Obama’s healthcare is great.

16. The wise are known for their understanding, and instruction is appreciated if it is well presented– (Proverbs 16: 21. NLT).

Which candidate shows wisdom in their understanding of the economic situation in the United states? Which candidate has been willing to take instruction and learn from that instruction in order to make changes in his/her plans? What constitutes a candidate who has wisdom or is searching for wisdom? The Bible says that the fear of the Lord is wisdom. It also says that if you seek wisdom and “… you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God.– (Proverbs 2: 4, 5. NASB). Is one candidate searching for wisdom?

Which candidate, has said that getting rid of religion (i.e. God and Christianity) would be a great benefit to this country?

Which candidate said: “Far too many women are denied access to reproductive health care and safe childbirth, and laws don’t count for much if they’re not enforced. Rights have to exist in practice — not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will. And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”

Does this mean that this candidate repudiates God’s Word? Does this candidate believe that God’s moral code and Word should be changed? What will this candidate do to Christianity and those who believe in God if they are elected to the office of President.

15. It is senseless to pay tuition to educate a fool who has no heart for wisdom. – (Proverbs 17: 16. NLT).
Which candidate wants to give every student free or reduced college education? Which candidate wants the government (we the people) to pay for everyone’s education? Why should every person have the right to go to college even if they don’t have the desire, the ability, or the wisdom to use the education they have been given. Perhaps, working for an education is a better way of ensuring that those who are determined to get wisdom will do so and that fools will not become educated derilicks.

16.  The Lord despises those who acquit the guilty and condemn the innocent– (Proverbs 17: 15. NLT).

Will one of the candidates continue Obama’s decree to release the prisoners from Guantanamo Bay and acquit the guilty? Which candidate has condemned the innocent fetus or child inside the womb to imminent death if the mother doesn’t want it?

17.  Any story sounds true until someone sets the record straight. – (Proverbs 18: 17. NLT).

Which candidate has stories that sounded true until things began to come to light? What about the supposed story surrounding the reason for the Bengazi terrorism? Wasn’t this story about a video tape that caused Muslims to get mad and kill? What about the story surrounding a special personal internet server that supposedly didn’t have important and sensitive documents on it, but has now been proven to be a false story? The server did have many sensitive and potentially harmful documents on it, including one that may have caused one of our CIA operatives to be killed.

18.  Many beg favors from a prince; everyone is a friend of a person who gives gifts. – (Proverbs 19: 6. NLT).

Which candidate has received large financial gifts for a foundation; gifts from princes and kings from around the world? Isn’t this the “pay to play” scenario set up to get people to contribute to the foundation?

19.  If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord and He will repay you. – (Proverbs 19: 17. NLT).

Has either candidate helped the poor or been known to help someone in need? Was the help given for show, or was it done quietly with no expectation of receiving accolades for having given the help.

20.  The Lord despises double standards; He is not pleased by dishonest scales.  – (Proverbs 20: 23. NLT).

Which candidate has a double standard in regard to their own millionaire way of life, yet throws darts at other millionaires who have struggled hard to make it to where they are today. This candidate wants the top 1% to be taxed even more than they already are, but has found ways to avoid the same taxing of themselves.

21.  A prudent person foresees the danger ahead and takes precautions, the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences– (Proverbs 22: 3. NLT).

Which candidate foresees danger ahead with ISIS and with the illegal aliens coming across the borders? But, which candidate believes that political expediency and political correctness are more important than taking precautions against possible hidden terrorists within the large refugee numbers that she is wanting to bring into this country? Does she foresee danger or just want the vote of those who feel for the refugees? 


22.  Charm is deceptive and beauty does not last– (Proverbs 31: 30. NLT).

A candidate eight years ago swept this country away with his charm. Where has that charm gotten this country? Did the charm last? Neither candidate today has great charm this time, but don’t let your idea of charm cause you to vote for a candidate that could continue to do what the president has done--to harm this country all within the last eight years.


I will stop here for now, but I hope I have given you something to think about. I will continue my blog next time with how Christians are to study, know God’s truth, and vote accordingly. Until next time, I hope that you not only do research in the Bible, but also do research on the internet about the candidates. Don’t forget to check out the candidates known associates in college and in early life. What beliefs have become the core beliefs of each candidate? Does either candidate truly respect the Lord? These are all things that are necessary to know in order to vote the right way. You can do it! You can do the research, and you can share your research with other women who need to know the truth. Remember, Knowledge is power in all aspects of life and especially in Active Relational Christian Mentoring.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

We Have Only Been Given a Lifetime to Work for the Lord

What is a lifetime? For some it is only a few years. For others it is nearly 115 years. Yet, for most of us a lifetime is somewhere in between. But, the most interesting thing about our lifetime is that most of us will never know when our lifetime will be up, until it actually is. However, people live each day as if there is no end in sight, but in reality we should be living our lives as if the end is the very next moment or the very next day. If we lived our lives that way, we would focus on the most important things in our lives rather than on focusing just on the “feel good” moments or on our determination to have fun and acquire as many things as we can before we die.

So, what are the important things in life? Well, the most important thing in life is to find God and His Son, Jesus Christ, as your Savior, so that you can go through this life with love, peace, and joy. Once you have accepted Christ as your Savior, then you can focus on sharing that love, peace, and joy with those that are near and dear to you. Certainly, we want our loved ones, i.e. our husbands, parents and relatives to experience the same love, peace and joy that we have received through Christ and the indwelling of His Holy Spirit. We also want to be good parents and be able to raise our children to grow up to be happy, healthy, well-adjusted individuals who also know Christ as their Savior. Then, in addition to living our lives for the Lord, we should branch out and share Christ with our friends and acquaintances, as we intermingle with other people and share God’s love, morals, values, ethics, and wisdom. All these things should become a part of who we are as authentic Christians representing Christ to the rest of the world. Christ said it best, when He answered one of the Pharisees who had asked Him what the greatest commandment in the Law was. Jesus said to Him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it. ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”  -- (Matthew 22: 35-39. NASB). Obviously, these are the most important things in life.

What does it mean to love our neighbor as ourselves?

In “loving our neighbor as ourselves” we have to want our neighbor (i.e. anyone with whom we come into contact) to know Christ and to experience the gift of Salvation, so we are to work diligently in sharing the Good News with others. But, there are other things that we can do for our neighbors, (A neighbor does not have to be someone who lives next door to us. It can be any acquaintance, friend, or in some cases even a stranger that needs our help.) and the kingdom of God besides or after sharing the Gospel message. That is because if we truly love others as we love ourselves, we should be able to see that even though a person may already know Christ as their Savior, they may still need help, instruction, compassion, or care within some area of their life.  This is when Active Relational Christian Mentoring can become a great way of loving others as ourselves and of serving both God and others.
As people and certainly as authentic Christians, we have been given a set amount of time to help other people and to help those who are perhaps destined for hell because no one has yet told them about the free gift of Salvation. That set amount of time is our lifetime. We just do not know the amount of time that we have in our lifetime to help others, because most of us do not know when our lifetime will be over. We could die today or tomorrow. That is why we need to serve the Lord and to lovingly serve others during our own personal journey within our lifetime. We also should want to help people during our lifetime no matter how long or short that lifetime turns out to be. In fact, we have each been given gifts to use to help, encourage, and empower other people during our life journey. As authentic Christians we need to focus on these personal gifts and then share our gifting to help others so that the entire kingdom of not God is not only enlarged but benefits from the the brotherhood of love and support that is to be given to fellow Christians.

The Apostle Paul tells us about our gifting and our responsibility to the kingdom of God in Ephesians 4: 7-16. Paul said, “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says:

‘When He ascended on high, He took many captives and gave gifts to His people.’

(What does ‘He ascended’ mean except that He also descended to the lower earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)

So, Christ Himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip His people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the head, that is, Christ. From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.– (NIV).

Both the Apostle Paul and the Apostle Peter have gone on to list various types of spiritual gifts that we can be given by the Holy Spirit once we have accepted Christ as our Savior. These spiritual gifts are in addition to the natural gifting that God has given us through our DNA and natural talents. You can find various lists of these spiritual gifts in Romans 12: 6-8, I Corinthians 12: 7-30, Ephesians 4:11, and in I Peter 4: 10-11. However, these may not be the only spiritual gifts that we can receive as no two of these lists are identical, leading one to believe that each list is not exhaustive. However, no matter the type of spiritual gifts we personally receive, we can be assured that Christ wants us to use these spiritual gifts to serve others. We are to instruct, encourage, equip, edify, and empower other women to be all they can for Christ, their family, and for themselves so that they may in the process not only help others but glorify God. Among other services and ministries that can utilize our gifting, we can serve the kingdom of God through the service of Active Relational Christian Mentoring.

God gave us these gifts so that we would have a special type of power. It is called “people power” and this power is to be passed forward through every individual who in turn helps and empowers someone else. For, it is through our relationships with other people that we have been given not only the power to share the Gospel message but the power to help others in many different ways. In other words, we are to help other people through the sharing of the glorious truth of Christ and the truth of God’s Word. For, we have all been given the grace to do so as it says in Ephesians 4: 7. “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.” – (NIV). This grace and subsequent “people power” is part of God’s plan to build up the body of Christ.  For, we all have a specific purpose given to us through Christ’s grace which is used for “…the whole body joined and held together by every supporting ligament, (as it) grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”— (Ephesians 4: 16. NIV).
Because of this gifting, everyone has been given a job to do within the kingdom of God. To put it another way, none of us are to sit on the sidelines waiting for our turn. Instead, we are to engage in service for the Lord on a daily basis whether it is bearing another’s burdens, teaching, encouraging, helping, sharing, caring, or loving those who are hurting or who need support. We are to pray for each other and at times we are to not only weep with each other, but laugh with each other as well. Most of all we are to be there for each other and are to challenge each other to turn from sin and not fall for the ways and deceptions of the secular world. But we only have a lifetime to help our Christian family and to share the Gospel with those yet to know Christ as their Savior.

The Reverend Billy Graham said, “The lukewarm Christian can accomplish nothing with a whole life in which to do it. If you have lived for sin and self… your witness will have [a] telling effect on all who have known you.”  -- (p. 139 Billy Graham in Quotes). Are you a lukewarm Christian? Or, have you let your authentic Christ-light shine through your loving relationships with others and through your service to the kingdom of God?

At what point do you engage in your service for the Lord? Is it when you think that your life is nearly over? Is it when you think that you will now have more time? Perhaps you have told yourself that you will engage in Christian service when you get your children raised. Remember, though, that there is always a reason not to engage in Christian and Kingdom Service. But the reasons not to serve the Lord and others are a dime a dozen. It is only when we step forward to help others and share the Gospel message that we have truly added value to our lives. We will get to see that value when Christ returns and gives us our rewards for working for the kingdom of God. Our failure to serve Christ and others will be embarrassing when Christ returns and we stand before Him with nothing to show for our lifetime of living. Just as importantly, we will have missed out on the rewards and crowns that Christ has awaiting authentic Christians who live for Him and who have followed the commandments to love the LORD and others.

What will you tell Christ when He returns?

In Revelation 22: 20 Jesus said, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” – (NASB). Although we do not know what day or hour that Jesus Christ will return, this verse and several other verses tell us that we should live as if Christ will return at any moment. Verses like the verse in Revelation 22: 12 which says, “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done– (NASB), and the verse in Luke 21: 36 which says, “But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things (i.e. nations rising against nations, earthquakes, famines, plagues, terrors and great signs from heaven) that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” all tell us that we are to watch faithfully with hope and joy in our hearts for Christ’s return. In fact, Christ said several times that we are to diligently watch for His return and be ready, because we do not know the hour or day that He will return. If we do not know the hour or day that Christ will return, and we just continue putting off until tomorrow what we could be doing today for the Lord and others, we may suddenly be very surprised and shocked. For, Christ could return at any moment and certainly before we actually take up our cross to serve Him and others. Then the lifetime given to us to live and work for Him will have been wasted and no rewards will be received on that day.

Being aware that Christ could return at any minute should keep us spiritually alert and focused on serving others and the kingdom of God. Because we do not know when Christ will return, we should be focused on living productively for the kingdom of God. By living productively, I mean that we are to live in obedience to God’s Word and be determined to obey and serve Him. Part of that obedience for Christians is to step forward and both work at telling others of Christ’s gift of Salvation, i.e. the Good News, and work at helping those who need our help with wisdom, instruction, love, care, compassion, etc. If we are doing those things through our servanthood for the kingdom of God, then we will be ready no matter when our lifetime is over or ready at all times for the moment when Christ returns. For, Christ may return at any moment.

What a glorious gift Christ and His Father have offered to the world! The gift of Salvation through the blood of Christ on the cross, which will take away the unrighteousness and the sins of all who will believe on Christ and ask for His forgiveness as they repent of their sins and ask Christ to come into their heart. Those who ask Christ to come into their heart, and in repentance ask Christ to cleanse them from their sins, will be saved from eternal death and damnation. In other words, we who have believed on Christ as the Son of the Living God will one day get to spend eternity with God and His Son, Jesus Christ.

Have you ever thought about the fact that Christ could have decided to immediately take home to heaven anyone who accepted His offer of Salvation? But that was not His plan. So, why did Jesus leave authentic Christians here on earth after we are “saved”? Why do we not immediately go to heaven once we are saved? Well, the answer is simple. We all still have work to do for the Lord and the Kingdom of God. But what kind of work do we have to do?

To answer that question, I like the words of the Reverend Billy Graham. First he said, “Be a good witness by the way you live. The way we live is often more convincing than the words we say.” Then, The Reverend Graham went on to say, “We witness in two ways: by life and by word. … God’s purpose … after we have been converted is that we be witnesses to His saving grace and power. We are to be commandoes for Christ. We are to be minute-men for Him.”  -- (p. 138. Billy Graham in Quotes). I would add that part of being “commandoes for Christ” is to be active relational mentors in our day-to-day life by using God’s Word, i.e. the Bible. We can use the Bible in both sharing the Gospel message and in our mentoring and help of others.

Service Work During Our Lifetime

The first kind of work or service that every authentic Christian is to do for Christ is to tell others about the atoning death of Jesus Christ and the love that God had for us in sending His Son to die for our sins. For, although Christ arose and conquered eternal death and is now back in heaven with His Father, He still had to face torture and a horrendous death on the cross. We cannot even imagine the depth of love for us that it took for God to allow His Son to die such a cruel death for us.

The next part of our “commando” life is to testify about the change in our lives that has occurred with our Salvation. In other words, we are to tell others about how our “re-birth” has given us a new life of love, peace, and security in knowing where we will go when we leave this earth. We are to testify through our words and through our deeds, as we become living examples of what Christ has done in our lives. For, as long as their remains one person on earth who hasn’t heard the Good News, Christians have work to do. Furthermore, one of the most powerful testimonies of what Christ can do for another person is through our personal testimony and story of what Christ has done for us. What is your story or testimony? If you are uncertain how or what you would tell someone else about your life and your “re-birth” into a new person, sit down with paper and pen and write it out first. Then tell or read your story to someone in your family, so you can practice on giving your testimony. Be sure to write about the peace, love, and security that has entered your life since you gave your life to Christ, for that should be a part of every Christian’s testimony.

Our lives may not be perfect, because we live in a fallen world where sinfulness and decadence abounds along with tragedies and pain. So, our story may have ups and downs, which are fairly normal for living in this world. But, it is a matter of how we handle those ups and downs and Who we trust in that will tell others how God and our Salvation has made life worth living. Moreover, with Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we have the knowledge, security and assurance of knowing that God will bring us through any trial or tribulation this world throws at us with His grace and our subsequent greater spiritual growth.

God will never forsake us, and He will bless His children, i.e., those who have accepted Christ into their heart and then throughout their “Saved” lives have lived trusting in Him with faith and obedience. Living for Christ and knowing that we are loved and watched over brings such peace and joy as well as immense security and assurance for the fact that we will someday either see Christ when our lifetime is over and we go home to eternity in heaven, or when Christ returns to take us home, if He returns before we die. Through our Salvation, we have such peace and security in knowing that we will be taken care of and loved, while there is a sadness for those who have rejected Him and will spend an eternity in hell.

If we love our neighbor as ourselves, we do not want anyone to spend eternity in hell simply because we failed to tell them about Christ and the Gospel message. Obviously, only each individual can make a decision for or against Christ, but it is our responsibility to see that they get the facts in order to make a decision one way or the other. That is why we must always find ways to witness to those less fortunate than we. It is also why we must develop godly relationships with others so that we can share our life story and mentor them, if needed.

As authentic Christians we are part of the body of Christ. This means that every Christian has a job to do within their lifetime. In other words, we do not have the right to simply be spectators or to sit back and think that other people can do the work while we bask in our assurance of eternity. Just like the Apostle Paul told the Ephesians, “the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”  -- (Ephesians 4: 16. NIV). So, then, each authentic Christian has a work to do. This means that every authentic Christian has a job to do for the Lord and for the entire family of Christ’s. By engaging in the service of Active Relational Christian Mentoring, we can cry or laugh together, as we bear each other’s burdens. Through active relational mentoring we can encourage one another as well as challenge and help each other to stay focused on living for Christ. We can also pray for each other and support each other when the world throws stones at us. Supporting each other through thick and thin gets us out of the spectator box and onto the field as a participant in the journey of our lifetime in living for Christ.

How would you answer Christ if He returned this very minute?  Would you be able to tell Him that you have done everything that you could to participate in your lifetime journey of living for Him? Or would you have to tell Christ that you let the world entice you to give up the truth of the Bible and live as the non-Christians live? Do you have the idea that we are just to live and let others live without standing up for the truth of God’s Word? If so, have you given up your rights as citizens and calmly accepted the new liberal views of the Bible and the liberals’ new truth, which is not God’s Truth? Would you be able to tell Christ that you helped others grow closer to Him or would you have to admit that you just left other people alone to flounder and fall away for lack of faith or knowledge of Christ? Whose fault is it that many lukewarm Christians have reverted to non-Christian theologies? Could it be our fault, because we have failed to teach and mentor our family, children, friends, and acquaintances?

Obviously, all authentic Christians will be able to tell Christ that they have tried to do their very best to live for Him and have tried to be a working part of the body of Christ. Authentic Christians know that they are not islands in and of themselves. Rather, we are to be interconnected and we are to be there for each other as well as to help others find their path or their way in Truth. We can do that with many of the different services that we can perform for the body of Christ including Active Relational Christian Mentoring, which is also a great way to reach and help others as we serve the Lord with all our heart and as we await the return of Christ.

I believe in you. I believe that You can do it! You can step up to the plate and engage in a lifetime of work for the Lord as you work to help others either come to know Christ as their Savior or help others grow closer to the Lord. Either way, you can be a strong “supporting ligament that grows and builds itself up in love”.


If you are reading this blog and you have not yet asked Christ to come into your heart, it is a very simple thing to do. First you must understand that we all are sinners. In fact, the Bible tells us that “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  -- (Romans 3:23). Moreover, there is a price to pay for the sins that we have committed. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” -- (Romans 6:23). That death is the second death. After this first earthly death, the second death is the eternal death for those who have not repented of their sins and have not asked for Christ’s forgiveness, i.e. the eternal death of hell. However, we do not have to experience the second death, if we believe on Christ and repent of our sins. For, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” – (John 3: 3). So, all you have to do is believe in your heart that Christ is the Son of the only living God and that He was sent by His Father to die on the cross for your sins. Then you also need to believe that Christ indeed arose from the grave conquering the eternal death of hell for those who will believe on Him, and that He is alive and now sitting at the right hand of His Father back in heaven. If you believe in your heart that Christ died and arose for your sins, then you must tell someone that you believe on Christ and have accepted His free gift of eternal life, for then you will be “Saved”. You will be “born-again” into a new spiritual person who can grow ever closer to God through the Son, Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul put it this way: “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, ‘Anyone who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.’”  -- (Romans 10: 9-11. NASB).

Christ tells us that He knocks on the hearts of people asking them to come to Him. Indeed, Christ said, “Here I am, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with Me.”  -- (Revelation 3:20).

Has Christ been knocking on the door of your heart? Has that still small voice been urging you to make a decision for Christ. If Christ has been knocking on your heart, ask Him to come in. Your life will explode with peace and joy as well as security and the assurance that you will enter into a heavenly eternity with Him when your lifetime on this earth is over. Please don’t wait to answer the door, because you do not know when your lifetime will be over, and once you die it is then too late to open the door to Christ. Moreover, by not answering the door you have essentially made a decision to enter into the second death of hell. I hope that isn’t your choice and that you will decide to open the door to Christ. If you do, you will never regret it. Remember that “Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be Saved.”  -- (Romans 10:13)