A New Day

Well today begins a new way of thinking in the nation, as an inauguration takes place, or a least a new way of governing for the past four years. But the thinking of individuals that are supposed to be united are still just as divided as they ever were. There is something good about a two party system, because there will always be plenty who challenge the status quo. Those who want things differently.  But a couple of things I would like to note this morning. There is really a three party system in place here in America, or at least should be. There is the Democratic party, the Republican party, and the Christians. Even though Christians closely align with one party more than another, some Christians remain divided also in their desire to see one part over the other. Here is the point I would like to make. We, as believers, are not to be a part of the world, we are not part of a “party”, but we are set aside from the world. We can partake of things of the nature of how our nation runs, and we should, but in the end, our allegiance is always to God first, not party first, or man first. We are to be followers of Christ. Listen to what Peter writes to the believers, the “temporary” residents on this earth: “Therefore, since Christ suffered in the flesh, equip yourselves also with the same resolve – because the one who suffered in the flesh has finished with sin – in order to live the remaining time in the flesh, no longer for human desires, but for God’s will. For there has already been enough time spent in doing what the pagans choose to do; carrying on in unrestrained behavior, evil desires, drunkenness, orgies, carousing, and lawless idolatry. So they are surprised that you don’t plunge with them into the same flood of wild living – and they slander you. They will give an account to the One who stands ready to judge the living and the dead. For this reason the gospel was also preached to those who are now dead, so that, although they might be judged by men in the fleshly realm, they might live by God in the spiritual realm.”  1 Peter 4: 1-6  We know that as long as we live in this body on earth, we struggle with sin.  We can put it to death in our minds and in our actions, even though it will be a constant battle all through this life.  The nation wants us to form with them on one side or the other, showing that we will be a part of one party or the other, but doesn’t that become a wonderful opportunity to stand for Christ? It’s not about joining with the world in the battle against what one side determines is right and the other wrong, but it’s a battle against good and evil, and we must stand for the good that comes from a pure heart. So even if we do sin, our hearts will be toward God and not a man. Let’s make sure our stand is for faith, for a way of life that will live out that faith in all we do. Perhaps we can then be an effective witness to all sides for the cause of Christ. Yes, we will probably be persecuted by both sides, but if we stand for what is good then we never have to waiver trying to figure out which side is good and what side is evil. Because in our hearts we know that the only good side is the side of Christ. That is a spiritual life, and a steadfast life in which we stand ready to be the people God made us to be fearless in faith, strong under the mighty control of our Lord and Savior Jesus, who knows full well that the battle is His, and not ours. Pastor Andy

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