It has been a very warm and busy summer for us here at the ministry. Election campaigns are in full swing here in America as we gear up for our 2008 presidential elections later this year. Oil prices have hit record highs as local analysts and prognosticators forecast an economic shift (for the worse) and an inevitable recession. Multitudes have found themselves in uncertainty and are crying out for change.
Just recently (July 4th), we celebrated America’s independence with fireworks, parades and outward displays of patriotism as we remembered once again how God has made us into a great, powerful and blessed nation – a nation that takes great pride in its liberties and freedom. I couldn’t help but feel a deep sense of gratitude and awe as I stood with my family among the congregation of worshipers one Sunday as we sang the national anthem – The Star Spangled Banner.
As we were singing this great anthem, I began to reflect on the words of Jesus in the Gospel of John when He said to his disciples, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). In Jesus’ understanding, true love is demonstrated through corresponding actions. We can claim to love God as much as we want, but unless our actions correspond to our confession, our confession is vain. In the same way, we can claim to love our nation and country all we want, but unless we demonstrate it though corresponding actions – not just in wearing the t-shirt, purchasing the flags or showing off our nation’s colors – our words and our songs are in vain. True love for one’s country goes beyond the patriotic act of paying the ultimate sacrifice in death; rather, it is more accurately demonstrated through our conduct, character and compassion in life.
We claim to love our country, but how many of us are guilty of cheating on our taxes? – A nation’s major source of revenue for subsidizing the needs of the country and developing the necessary infrastructure necessary to sustain it. To cheat on your taxes is to show utter disregard and contempt for your country’s welfare and existence, yet many do it without considering the negative effect it can have upon the entire nation. How selfish and hypocritical of us?! It does not matter who is in government or if you like them (voted for them) or not; it is everyone’s responsibility to pay taxes and support the nation. Not even Jesus was inclined to shirk this God-given responsibility (Matt. 22:17-21).
How about obeying your nation’s laws? We’ve already discussed cheating on our taxes, but what about something as “insignificant” as obeying the speed limits? Does your complete disregard of your local, municipal, county, city and state laws and speed restrictions accurately reflect an attitude of love and respect for your nation and fellow man? Are you aware of the negative effects that your actions are having upon the nation? How about your kids? What sort of values are you communicating to them when they see that the only time you conform to the legal speed restrictions is when a policeman or sheriff is present (or in the vicinity)? What are you communicating to your kids about authority and citizenship when you keep a radar detector in your vehicle; that it’s okay to disobey just as long as you don’t get caught? What kind of behavior will they model when they grow up to be “responsible” adults?
I know we say that we love our nation, but it’s time to demonstrate our love by keeping the laws of the land and living as respectable and model citizens. Stop criticizing the government and its policies and start praying and confronting the spirits and issues that are threatening to pollute or destabilize the nation. You can confront the issues and make your voice heard without being overly critical, harsh or judgmental against the government and its leaders. The words of Jesus still ring true today both in respect to God as well as to our nation: If you love me, keep my commandments.
I want to encourage you to get involved with your country’s destiny and course of direction. Go out and vote on Election Day for the candidate(s) who represent the kind of values which are beneficial for this nation and are not in clear violation of the Judeo-Christian principles of the Word. Sometimes it becomes a matter of choosing the better of two evils, but seek God for His direction. There will never be a “perfect” candidate, at least not in the majority’s eyes.
There are many calamities and disasters taking place all over the world. People’s hearts are failing them for fear even here in America as the economic horizon looks dim and there is talk of a recession. I want to encourage you that even though we may be in this world, we are definitely not of it. We are ambassadors in a foreign nation, and as such, we have a right to claim diplomatic immunity from the laws of poverty, fear, recession and lack that are operating in the earth. Stand firm upon the promises of God as citizens of the Kingdom, for there is no fear, recession, poverty or lack there. Learn to live and operate from an eternal dimension.
We are doing just that as we look to expand and increase during a time of “famine”. Like Isaac of old in the place called Gerar, we are sowing our seed and expecting God to multiply back to us a great harvest, and to prosper us and our ministry as we seek to establish His Kingdom (Gen 26:1-6, 12-16). Why not make a similar faith stand this season and sow in expectation that the Lord (Jehovah Jireh) will prosper you abundantly?
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Until next time…
For His Kingdom,Robert & Alicia Paul
177 Apostles Way, Box JSanta Rosa Beach, FL 324591-888-NOW-4KAI (1-888-669-4524)
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