April 11 – Church and State

Read Matthew 5:13-16

I’ll be honest with all of you. I’m not a politically minded individual. I don’t get involved in political debates and, quite honestly, I ignore 98% of the political stuff that I come in contact with. Now, during election season, I’ll do just enough research to know where candidates stand on certain topics and that influences my vote.

After my vote is cast? Out of sight, out of mind.

I know that, if I put more than my toes in the water of politics, I will get entrenched in it and I won’t be able to shut my mind off. I’ll constantly be thinking about the divisiveness of our country and the lack of hope that appears apparent. I won’t be able to stop. I’ll literally drive myself insane. It appears that is happening to a lot of people these days.

There are two topics which cause divisiveness like none other and can turn friends into enemies. You will see a side of people that you never thought was possible when they talk about religion and politics. We are told to be careful in addressing these separately and to absolutely never talk about them together.

Naturally, here we are…talking about faith and politics.

There are a lot of ways that we could go in this series. In fact, I have rewritten portions of this devotional several times as to word things just right. It’s just so hard.

So, I think it’s a good idea to stick with what the Bible says about how we, as followers of Christ, should act and respond in these areas. Now, I’ll warn you, this will be tough to hear for some. When Paul tells us to pray for those in authority, that means…pray for those in authority. I don’t know what version of the Bible you prefer, but I guarantee that there is no mention to pray only for Republicans or Democrats in any version in existence.

My challenge to all of you, myself included, is to open your hearts to hear from God this week. Will you humble yourself enough to read the “tough to hear”? Will you open yourself up to change? You can’t follow God in most areas, while leaving out others.

It’s all or nothing.

I want our reading today to be the backdrop for this whole series. As followers of Christ, we are the light of the world. In a darkening world, we are called to be the light that shines through. It should be our interactions with peoplem our responses to issues in our world and how we handle certain things that show people the hope that we have in Jesus.

Before we start this series, would you say that you are being the light of the world that Jesus intended? Are you bringing preservation and truth to the world as Jesus intended? If you’re honest with yourself, where do you need to improve?

Before we get into it tomorrow, I challenge you to open your heart to biblical truth. Humble yourself to identify areas in your world that you need to improve on.

Let’s all improve and be the light of the world together!

Jake Lawson

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