Tuesday, July 7, 2015

God’s King is the Only King

In the last blog we looked at the consequences of choosing and following an earthly king. God allows people to choose who they will follow. By the way ALL earthly kings and leaders will fail! They may not fail morally or politically but they will all eventually die. Most will also fail at least some of the people they serve. 

Today we are going to see that God does establish and ordain all authority and His ultimate authority is found in only one person.

5 Essentials Truths of God's Authority

1.    God’s way will ultimately win, every time.
We may not see this and we may not want this but God's plans will ultimately prevail. Having to wait is not easy for humans. We watch clocks and calendars and think that God is not doing anything but He is in charge and He is working for His purposes in this world, even if we don't see it.
Trust God’s timing.

2.    God establishes all authority
The Bible makes this very clear in several passages but two are very important.
Romans. 13:1 "Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are instituted by God."
John 19:11“You would have no authority over Me at all,” Jesus answered him, “if it hadn’t been given you from above. This is why the one who handed Me over to you has the greater sin.”
When we obey earthly authority we are obeying God. When we disobey earthly authority we are disobeying God, unless they are telling us to do something contrary to God’s word.

3.    The success of God’s authority is tied directly to a relationship with God
A relationship with God is key to any success. This is the reason Jesus is the ultimate King, because He is in a perfect, harmonious, and eternal relationship with God because He is God. Earthly leaders will come and go. Some will be good leaders and some will be bad leaders but Jesus will last forever. 

4.    God always confirms his king

Jesus was confirmed by the many prophesies about Him found in the Old Testament. In fact, Daniel gave us the exact year the messiah would show up on the earth. There is only one person who could have confirmed the truth of who He was through prophesies foretold about Him. God’s king has been confirmed and He is Jesus. You don’t have to wonder about Jesus.

5.    God's blessings follow our obedience to His commands. 
The great thing about serving God is that He will not call us to do something that He won't first provide the way and ability for us to accomplish His call. If you haven't trusted that God's way is the right way just let Him give you that trust that you don't have yet. When we submit to His authority He always blesses! Make certain you are obedient to what God calls you to do!

Know, trust, and obey God’s authority, His king – Jesus!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Choose Your King

Choosing your supreme leader has not always been an option in our world, geo-politically speaking. In fact, taking a look at history as a whole, the right to choose who a person would follow is a fairly recent option. For centuries, kings would ascend their throne by either force or family lineage and sometimes by a combination of those two. It wasn’t really until the birth of the United States of America that the world saw an opportunity on a large scale for a people to choose their ruler. There were some elections before the United States but the wide spread choice came to popularity at that time.

          It is interesting to me that God allows people to choose Him as their supreme leader. God’s desire has always been for people to willingly choose Him so He could show His glory in and through their relationship with Him. There are some major consequences in choosing to follow an earthly king rather than choosing to follow God. We can learn about some of those consequences when we look at the Children of Israel in the Old Testament. Today our choice of an earthly leader rather than choosing God is really a choice between God and self-rule. When we self-rule bad things happen, every time. So, let’s look at these consequences in light of self-rule.

5     Consequences of Choosing a King

1.   Choosing earthly leaders might look good at first but they always turn selfish. This is true of political leaders but it is very true when we choose to follow our own desires rather than God’s plan. God always has our best interests in mind when He gives us direction. When we choose our own path it often leads to failure.

2.   Choosing earthly leaders is ultimately a choice of rejecting God. God has always provided a way of safety and salvation for people who follow Him. When we choose to follow our earthly plans we, by default, choose to reject Him and His leadership. Jesus said it best, “No one can be a slave of two masters.” 

3.   Choosing earthly leaders is a free choice. God will not force anyone to follow Him. God allowed the Children of Israel to follow an earthly king even though he knew it would not work out well for them. God is that way with us today as well. He knows our plans will not work out but He allows people to follow their own path. If I were God I would not do that but that is just one reason why I am not God. ;) 

4.   Choosing earthly leaders always has negative consequences. Death and taxes, the two ubiquitous aspects of life. It wasn’t always that way. In fact until people began to choose their own path, death and taxes didn’t exist. Isn’t that ironic? When the Children of Israel chose to have an earthly king God told them they would have taxes and when they complained about those taxes God said He wouldn’t listen to their complaints. 

5.   Choosing earthly leaders is ultimately rooted in selfishness. No matter what the issue, when we choose to follow anything that is not of God it is ultimately about selfishness. When the Children of Israel chose to follow an earthly king, they gave three main reasons and all of the reasons are dripping in selfishness. First, they said they wanted to be like all the other nations. We call that “keeping up with the Joneses” today. Secondly, they said the king would settle all of their issues. And lastly, they said the king would fight their battles. When we choose to follow our own path today it is a selfish choice.

So, today, make the choice to follow God’s plan and path. 
He has your perfect interest in mind and He has made a way for you to follow Him through a relationship with Jesus.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

God's Love, Our Love

Last week I wrote a blog on the 5 Tests of True Love. I made the point that true love is only possible through a right relationship with God. Once we enter a right relationship with God through the work and person of Jesus we actually have God’s love that we then can share with others. When we allow God's love to pass through us to other people, that is actually a test of our relationship with God. If we want to make sure we are passing the test we need to know that we are loving with God's love. So, how can we know it is God's love and not our love?

6 Signs a Person Has God's Love

The first sign of God's love is being in a right relationship with God. As I mentioned above this is the key unlocking God's love to flow through us. The way to a right relationship with God is through a relationship with Jesus Christ. 

The second sign of God's love is Jesus working through us. Jesus must become the boss of our life. We must get to know Him and what He is like, what He desires, and we must begin to emulate Him. This will show us the kind of love that God has for the world.

The third sign of God's love is a complete understanding of why Jesus came to the earth. The essentials of the Christian faith are key to allowing God's love to be fully understood. Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a perfect, sinless life, healed the sick, taught the truths about God, willingly gave Himself as a sacrifice for sin, died on a cruel cross, rose again after three days, appeared to many people after His death, and then ascended to be with God the Father. Jesus came to the earth for this purpose: to place on full display what God's love really looks like.

The fourth sign of God's love is the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Jesus left the earth, but He sent a helper to guide us in all truth. The Holy Spirit directs our steps but most importantly the Holy Spirit is the conduit of God's love through us to the world. 

The fifth sign of God's love is not living in fear. If you could give everyone a truth serum they would admit to fear of the unknown and fear of what comes after death. Fear is a natural part of life. Those who are in a right relationship with God however, have overcome that fear with the love that God has for them. You can only experience that love and lack of fear when you are in a right relationship with God. There may be moments of doubt but a follower of Jesus lives in love not in fear.

The sixth sign and most obvious sign of God's love is seen in how we treat people. Despite false claims, Christians have accomplished great things for those in need throughout history. These acts of kindness, care, and compassion are borne out of the love Christians experience from God and the desire to pass that love on to others.

"Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God." 1 John 4:7