Politics and the Church – Safe Harbor, Restoring the Church #4

So just how do we describe ourselves in our identity and new life in Christ.  In His words to us He explains that we are:

Adopted as a child of God [Eph. 1:5-6]

Deeply loved by God, the Father [Rom. 1:7; Eph. 2:4; Col. 3:12]

Living and serving under the authority of Jesus Christ  [Eph. 1:10-11]

An ambassador of God  [2 Cor. 5:20]

Joint heir to the kingdom of God  [Rom. 8:17]

Complete and whole  [Col. 2:10]

Possessing the mind of God  [1 Cor. 2:16; Eph. 1:17-18]

Free from condemnation by God  [Rom. 8:1; Eph. 1:7]

Set free from the power of sin over our lives  [Rom. 8:2; Col. 2:11]

Guaranteed eternal glory  [2 Tim. 2:10]

Set apart…”holy”…to experience God and do His work  [1 Cor. 1:2, 30; Eph. 1:4]

Permanently connected to other followers of Christ, through Him  [Gal. 3:28]

Defined by a spirit endowed with power, love, and self-discipline but not fear  [2 Tim. 1:7]

A conqueror through His love and power  [Rom. 8:37]

Blessed with every spiritual blessing available from God  [Eph. 1:3]

A member of His Church…the cumulative followers of Christ  [Eph. 5:29-30]

In the end we’re not just ‘struggling Joe’s’ out on the streets, trying to get by.  We’re no longer another well-intentioned person trying to figure out how to live a meaningful life or leave a desirable legacy.  God tells us that we are His very own masterpiece!  [Eph. 2:10].  National research consistently underscores how off the mark people’s self-identity really is.  Studies show that people define themselves according to their education, profession, age, skills, talents, relationships, socioeconomic status, nationality, family, marriage, and hobbies.  {I must admit that I am sometimes guilty as charged.} How silly that seems when we realize that the God who created the universe and everything in it has established our identity through our relationship with Him.  Once we truly grasp the fullness of our genuine, God-given identity, our personal growth can soar to new heights, and our impact on the world will amaze each of us.

Taking time to read and reflect on these elements of true identity will help us to be capable of discerning our purpose and priorities like never before.  We will better comprehend how our life purpose is about our relationship with God.  We will gain a firmer grasp on what it means to love, obey, serve, and glorify Him.  Our daily focus will shift from how to satisfy ourselves or appease the world in favor of devoting ourselves to pleasing and honoring God.  I frequently ask myself how many human babies died today as a result of the silence of the Church?  As a society we seem to show more concern for a starving dog.  With purpose clearly in mind, we will also be capable of appropriately determining our priorities.  Nobody can tell us what God’s priorities are for us.  We are His cherished creation, one whom He bought for a steep price, prepared for important acts of service, and purposefully introduced into the present spiritual battle for such time as this.  And don’t be deceived.  The battle that politics is waging against the Godly principles of His Word is a spiritual battle.  The political battles we see going on today are not of God.  This is not His plan for government.  In His wisdom and mercy He has assigned us to a special purpose that only we can fulfill…and which we will find incredibly rewarding…if we commit ourselves to discerning and fulfilling it. [George Barna, The Power of Vision: Discover and Apply God’s Vision for Your Life and Ministry, rev. ed. (Ventura, CA: Regal, 2009)].  Remember,  nobody else can tell us what God’s priorities are for us.  It is up to us to discern what our calling is and then respond to that calling.  God has given us such a great and blessed nation…not perfect…and it is up to us as Christian citizens to maintain that gift. As we see the state of politics today it is easy to be discouraged and believe there is nothing we can do to correct it.  If we maintain such an attitude, then that inability is correctly arrived at.  We must remember “A time to keep silence, and a time to speak “[Ecclesiastes 3:7b].  In times such as these the time for silence is not now.  As Christians we never attain retirement from doing God’s work on earth.  When we see wrong, as previously pointed out, we have an obligation to speak.  To do otherwise is a failure in our obligations.

Next week we will look at some possibilities in seeking transformation.  We must not exhibit fear but show our love for others by fearlessly speaking out for the Godly principles provided in His Word.  Lord, help us to take a stand against wrong!  I put much confidence in the Church to reinforce this effort.  If not there, then where?

– Bob Munsey

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