What is a Good Word for Those Discouraged and/or Excited By the Election? #313 + What is the Hardest Dad Job?
Happy Wednesday, Friends! Well, as I say that, I realize that for many of our American listeners, you might not be too happy right now – no matter what side of the political divide you are on, because as I speak the presidential election has pulled a 2020, and we’ve no idea who the winner will be, and it may be a week or more before we get an idea. What are we going to do? What’s going to happen? Well, let me hit you with a few reminders that are very important:
- If you are a Christian, you are an alien and stranger in your country. This means that politics, while quite important, aren’t ultimately important for us. 11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 1 Peter 2:11
- Not only are you a stranger and alien, but first and foremost, you and I are citizens of Heaven. “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,” Philippians 3:20 This means that our ultimate victory is not winning an election but in our soon coming Savior, Jesus.
- As important as who the next president is, much more important is who the current King of Kings and Lord of Lords is! They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.” Revelation 17:14
- You know this already, but as a reminder, our ultimate source of hope is NOT a president, though I concede again that elections are important. Our ultimate source of hope is NOT human though, it is God…so no matter what happens with the person you are supporting in this election – don’t rejoice too much if your candidate wins, because the direction of your life doesn’t depend on his winning…and don’t mourn too much if he loses, for the same reason! 9 Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 2 Corinthians 1:9-10
- Finally, remember that whoever sits in the oval office, or on the throne of whatever country is not ultimately in control….God is. In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him. Proverbs 21:1Our Bible readings today include 2nd Kings 17, Psalms 129-131, Hosea 10 and Titus 3. In a moment, we will continue with our reading and big Bible question, but first, I have a question for you: What is the hardest maintenance job in your home? I call these ‘dad’ jobs, because as hardworking as my wife is, there are some jobs that fall to me to do. Plunging toilets, moving large things, the dishes and checking on things that go bump in the night. Those are my inside the house jobs, but my hardest is the unclogger of the kitchen disposal. About once a year, our disposal gets clogged, and the sink fills with nasty water from the bowels of hades…and I have to unclog it. This happened tonight, and I knew I was in for a tussle because the sink was full of gallons of water. A clever man would have removed that water before working on the sink, but I am not a clever man, and my bucket under the sink was inadequate for the Niagara Falls that plummeted down the pipes once I loosened them. The culprit for the clog was solidified bacon grease that had been poured into the drain, no doubt while still nice and liquidy, and that disgusting white bacon grease had congealed around a beautiful small silver spoon that I did not know we possessed. I think about three pigs worth of bacon grease was in the pipe, along with a wig or two’s worth of human hair, but it all came out with a spoon, and now I probably have leprosy and four other diseases. What is YOUR hardest ‘dad’ job (or mom job!) around the house?
By the way, I don’t have a spiritual application for that story, I’m just venting since nobody is awake now to hear my lamentations over the sink job. I’ll get back to your regularly scheduled podcast now.
How should we respond if we are either discouraged or overjoyed about the outcome of the election? That is our big Bible question of the day, and I’m glad you asked it, because our passage today in Titus 3 is almost like Paul, foreseeing the division and controversy caused by the events of 2020 and the election, decided to fire off a letter to the church of November 2020, and sent it to us via a time capsule. Let’s read the passage and hear the Holy Spirit anointed commands of God for us in this day and hour.
Remind them to submit to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, 2 to slander no one, to avoid fighting, and to be kind, always showing gentleness to all people. 3 For we too were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved by various passions and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, detesting one another…9 But avoid foolish debates, genealogies, quarrels, and disputes about the law, because they are unprofitable and worthless.14 Let our people learn to devote themselves to good works for pressing needs, so that they will not be unfruitful.
Selections from Titus 3
No matter the outcome of the election, we have some very, very important marching orders from our passage today. Let’s break them down.
First, we as Christians MUST submit to the rulers and authorities. Hang on, Paul? Democrat ruling authorities? Yes. Republican ruling authorities? Yes. I don’t see an exception there, but I have made a case elsewhere that we as Christians must obey God rather than man when given orders by the government that directly contradict God’s commands. That doesn’t mean orders that directly contradict our preferences, or important things to us, but God’s commands. So – how do we handle this election? We submit to our leaders. What next?
Here’s some strong words: Slander NO one. Wait Paul, does this include Biden and Trump, Democrats and Republicans, Main Stream medias and congresspeople? NO ONE, says Paul. Slander no one. Further, AVOID fighting (what if they are idiots?!) AVOID FIGHTING. Be kind. Be kind to who, Paul? He answers that question in the very next command: Be gentle to EVERYBODY!!
Why should we be kind and gentle to people that are WRONG, Paul? Because, says Paul – you were once foolish, disobedient, enslaved to sin, angry, envious and worse. YOU WERE THEM – and you did NOT save yourself – Jesus saved you, so you have no place to look down your nose at them. Be kind.
Darn, Paul, this is hard, especially in 2020. There is so much disunity and disagreement, so many people are wrong – WRONG ON THE INTERNET! I have to argue and fight with them right?! No, says Paul: Completely avoid foolish debates, controversies and quarrels and disputes, whether about politics or theology. BUT PAUL – MY SISTER/BROTHER/TEACHER/SPOUSE/FACEBOOK FRIEND IS WRONG – I have to fight them! No…you don’t – AVOID debates and quarrels.
But, why Paul? I WANT to argue and quarrel! And Paul says, here’s the thing about arguments, disputes and quarrels: They are WORTHLESS and profit NOTHING. They don’t help you, and they don’t help your opponent.
Wow, that’s sobering, Paul – so what do I do with all of this angst and energy and sadness/joy/whatever I’m feeling now? I’m glad you asked, says Paul: Let our people learn to devote themselves to good works for pressing needs, so that they will not be unfruitful.
Oh! So don’t devote myself to attacking people, or being unkind, or slandering, or rebelling against authority, but do devote myself to kindness, gentleness, submission and doing good works for those who are in real and genuine need? And Paul says, you’ve got it!
So friends – take Titus 3 as a Holy Spirit inspired and authoritative letter from God through Paul to you on November 4, 2020 and follow the wonderful and wise counsel of God’s Word!