As we find ourselves in search of a new church home, my wife and I have had the opportunity recently to visit some new churches. It has been very interesting and refreshing to see ministers unashamedly declaring the gospel and taking a stand for Christ through His Word! Our society tends to be drawn to those who “tickle the ears” … not a new phenomenon, I know … as is evident by the mega-churches, TV preachers, etc. I am also intrigued by the “political machine” wherein a politician, on one hand, is expected to be the voice of his constituents, but not violate his own beliefs and values. I have thought, off and on, about one day entering the world of local politics, but this dichotomy has caused me to steer away; that and my current employment! The following is from Pastor Andy Anderson of New Life Church in Gainesville, Texas. We visited New Life a couple of times and receive a daily email now from which the below was taken and shared with Pastor Andy’s permission
“It’s interesting to me that people who desire to be politicians or governmental leaders, have a difficult time standing for what they honestly believe in. I’m sure if we asked them, they would be adamant that they stand for the truth, yet, will often change depending on the indicator of their popularity with the people. So are they more concerning about their job, their position, or standing than what they honestly believe is the truth? This is not a present day phenomenon, for it was even happening in the time of Jesus. Consider this Scripture: “Pilate called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people, and said to them, ‘You have brought me this man as one who subverts the people. But in fact, after examining Him in your presence, I have found no grounds to charge this man with those things you accuse Him of. Neither has Herod, because he sent Him back to us. Clearly, He has done nothing to deserve death.” Luke 23:13-15 Yet in spite of having nothing to charge Him for, he surrendered to the crowds and crucified Jesus, and let a Criminal go free. He admitted that he didn’t find any wrong in Christ, but wanted to appease the people. Yet, little did he know that He was doing God’s will, even though he was too weak willed to stand for the truth, God knew and used Pilate, to be the instrument of death for Jesus, so that He would go to His death, for you and me. Kind of like Joseph who would tell his brothers, ‘What you meant for evil, God meant for good.” I am not sure what God has in mind today, with the way those who call themselves leaders, play to the popularity and not the position of truth. Yet would this be for God’s purpose? Perhaps it’s because the love of many will grow cold, and brother will be against brother, all for the purpose of allowing the earth to disintegrate even further into sin, and to see who is strong enough to stand through all of this. But the good news is that Jesus is still on the throne, and you and I have this wonderful opportunity to be a bright and shining light in the presence of the darkness. Could this be for our benefit, for our test to see if we will stand for the truth, when it becomes even more popular to NOT stand for the truth. If the pressure continues to climb against believers, will there be any of us left to speak the good news of what Christ has done in our lives. By the grace of God, I will, and my prayer today, is that you will also, for we know the hope that awaits us, and popular opinion means nothing. Only Christ crucified, dead and buried, and raised to life again on the third day, This resurrection is within us, and we have a wonderful opportunity to be a beautiful example of His resurrection and now life in us, through the Holy Spirit.”
Father, may we always seek you first, in all situations and settings, not allowing public opinion or some sort of personal benefit keep us from you … The Truth! I pray we honor and bring glory to You in every aspect of our lives being directed not by the “winds that blow”, but by the very BREATH (Ruach, in Hebrew) of Your Holy Spirit!