The Power of the Resurrection

Stumbled across a video by Muzacman17 on youtube who posted  a powerful video about the power of the Resurrection. Watch it and enjoy. His description of the video

The power of Jesus’ resurrection had such an effect on the world that it might be comparable to the atomic bomb. By conquering death, Christ set us free from the powers of evil in order to better glorify Him.

The song in video is Open Eyes by Snow Patrol

Lyrics:

 

All this feels strange and untrue
And I won't waste a minute without you
My bones ache my skin feels cold
And I'm getting so tired and so old
The anger swells in my guts
And I won't feel these slices and cuts
I want so much to open your eyes
Cause I need you to look into mine 

Tell me that you'll open your eyes
Tell me that you'll open your eyes
Tell me that you'll open your eyes
Tell me that you'll open your eyes 

Get up get out get away from these liars
Cause they don't get your soul or your fire
Take my hand knot your fingers trough mine
And we'll walk from this dark room for the last time
Every minute from this minute now
We can do what we like anywhere
I want so much to open your eyes
Cause I need you to look into mine 

Tell me that you'll open your eyes
Tell me that you'll open your eyes
Tell me that you'll open your eyes
Tell me that you'll open your eyes 

Tell me that you'll open your eyes
Tell me that you'll open your eyes
Tell me that you'll open your eyes
Tell me that you'll open your eyes 

All this feels strange and untrue
And I won't waste a minute without you

 

Inaguaration Day reflections

Today is a momentous day in the country of the United States of America. He is a day where a black man takes the seat of power in this country.  It is a day where many are filled with hope for the prospects of political change. The country is in perilous economic times, still faces threats from terrorists, and has many other issues facing it ahead.  A lot of people are looking to this man and hoping he can bring the political change promised that betters this country.  Sadly, the hope is on politics and man, which ultimately will falter, as all political saviors do.  It is actually heart-breaking to see all who place their hope on the political.

We are undergoing difficult times.  Only God knows where things are headed.  The question in this time is what are you depending on for hope.  Do you hope in a man and the political systems? Do you hope in your own strength and wisdom?  What are the foundational hopes of your life? Personally, the foundation hope of my life lies in Jesus as Messiah.  Hope in Jesus is about moving beyond my own selfishness, whereas looking for political answers is looking for someone to give political answers to my needs and wants.  Surrender to Jesus is ultimately moving beyond my own needs and wants. Now, certainly there has in the past and will come politicians who ask for us all to move beyond self, but without Jesus no one can ultimately separate from self, and focus on others. Selfishness ever abounds. Even accepting Jesus as messiah and as the answer to transcend my selfishness, it is an ongoing process of seeing less of myself and more of God working through me.

Now, I encourage all believers in Jesus as Messiah to pray for what is to come ahead.  Whether the condition of this country improves or continues to degrade, Christians are to pray, and it starts with the leaders.  God will do what God will do.  Pray for all those in authority, even if you strongly disagree with the observed political directions.

So, in summary today is a today of hope and a new man is in charge.  The question is what are you doing with that.  Holding on to hope in a man, bemoaning the positions of the man entering the seat of power, or submitting to God regardless of who is in power?

The Hooked Goose: A picture with spiritual signifigance

Take a moment and prayerfully consider this picture.  Ask God to reveal to you the spiritual significance of this picture, then come back and read my thoughts.  Please feel free to share your thoughts and what God speaks to you in the comment section. 
Notice the lure

Notice the lure

 

 

 

 

Okay, hopefully you have taken time to prayerfully consider the picture.  My first reaction to the picture was first it being a symbol of being yoked. Yet, with the lure being stuck in the goose it didn’t seem to quite fully fit.   Then my attention shifted to the nature of sin being a trap and that the Enemy has many for of bait sitting there to trap and entangle people.  There is no shortage of ways a person can get ensnared including the range of sexuality, drugs, entertainment, food, money, power, and so on.  Once we get drawn and hooked by a particular lure, there is always temptation to return.  The variety of sins are much like this lure.  We get used to them, not even notice, but every once and while feel the pull and get led off course.  This picture to me represents a typical Christian.  We are infilled with the Holy Spirit (goose is a symbol of Holy Spirit in Celtic Christianity) yet we have various sins that we have been hooked by that pull on us to lead us astray. We can have those hooks removed.  We can be delivered from the snares but there are specific steps, just as there would be steps to remove the lure in this picture.   Biblically the steps involve repentance, submission, forgiveness, reconciliation, and faith and probably others. At some point on this blog further examination on the steps to freedom over the snares of sin while occur.  Take some time to think for yourself about the snares you have that may pull at you, what keeps you from moving in the direction God has for you.

Christianity and Politics

 

Well the elections season is moving into full swing.  We have the candidates for president of United States lined up on both sides.  The usual political process will ensue and someone will be elected.  Folks will vote for the candidates who to them seem to fit their views best.  This year more than ever candidate’s religious views seem to be at the forefront. You have candidates professing to believe in Jesus as Messiah but coming from all different perspectives.  Is the espousing the belief in Jesus as Messiah truth, or a way to try and garner votes.  The balance of truth is somehow in the middle.  However, it does point to the fact that in the United States, those professing to be Christian do make of a good portion of the electorate.

      In viewing the political scene, it has been easy to develop a cynical view of how things operate in this country.  When one really analyzes both political parties, truth and error can be found in both.  Sometimes it seems like where the parties ultimately compromise is some position at the expense of the truth.  On the side of the Democratic Party, the truth they hold to is the looking out for the poor and disadvantaged. They hold to the importance of reaching out to those who cannot do so on their own.  One of the negatives of the party is that they emphasize individual choice and press toward accommodation and tolerance in the name of treating everyone fairly.  In terms of the Republican Party, there is a solid stand for building strong social morality.  The negative side is there is an emphasis on looking out for self over others.  Now, granted those characterizations are generalizations and the actual dynamics are far more complicated. It does break down to both sides standing for things that are true and that should be things a Christian values.  On the negative, they both present ways that self is elevated over others. No political party stands for the whole truth.

                So given this mix, what are Christian’s called to do regarding politics and the running of a country?  Christians are called to be salt and light to a culture.  However, as salt and light not just to be pointing out morality issues but ultimately be pointing the way to Jesus.  We are to stand for truth with the truth being found in Jesus.  We are to have the mindset of Colossians 3:1-2: Since then you have been raised with Christ set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  This is what God desires as well as Romans 13:1:  Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.  We are consistently directed to submit to authority, however not at the expense of preaching the gospel.

                Now, that is not to say the Christians should not enter the political realm or be concerned with our government.  We are called to be salt and light, but we need to always be submitting to the King of Kings.  The Bible does show of people God put in positions of authority and called them to a specific task.  People like David, Daniel, Joseph, and Esther for example.  The Bible however, is also full of examples of people in power that become corrupted (Saul, Solomon) or are corrupt (Jeroboam, Ahab, Jezebel) but they always meet their judgment.  In this political process we don’t really know the true hearts of the men and women seeking office. Outward appearances can be deceiving, but regardless we can rest in knowing that those in authority are those God allows, to ultimately serve His purposes.

                However, the church in the United States of America currently seems obsessed with politics.  Part of the response to the cultural shifts in the sixties and seventies and essentially starting with the Ronald Reagan presidency was the formation of the “Christian Right” and a focus on Christians being involved with politics.   There are members and elements of the church that became obsessed with social morals and changing the society by passing what would be considered morally right laws. 

                This mindset came from the shifts that happened in the United States. Many Christians see the secularization of schools, the legalization of abortion and other societal ills as being a sign of the failure of the church to be salt and light.  Many out there even profess upcoming judgment on United States of America do to the lack of changing of moral laws.  The perspective is lost that change in laws will not change the hearts of people. We live in a day an age, that regardless of party, the focus on elevating the individual is emphasized.   The church in America has lost sight of the fact that true change comes not from political change through the establishment of law, but by changing hearts and minds of men and drawing others unto the Gospel.  We are always going to be looking after  our own interests.

                The most dangerous thing about politics is that it is about the acquisition of power.  As John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, first Baron Acton (1834–1902), once said “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” It is possible for people to start out with honorable intents and falter, much like Saul.  Even David, a man after God’s own heart, abused his power, committing murder.   Power is alluring.   Jesus was tempted with all power of all the kingdoms of the world, to turn his back on God’s plan.  So the problem with Christians entering into the political scene is the enticement of power to even do what would be considered “right” things, yet doing so as building own kingdom and not kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is not political change or change in the laws of man.  The kingdom of God is people living in surrender to Jesus.

                In terms of how we view this political process, the expectations, the fears, and the hopes in regards to the candidates for office we need to surrender our will the Jesus.  God is in control. There may be no righteous candidate; all may head things in the direction of evil. If this is so, God is still in control.  Now there are many other aspects one can explore and there will be other articles examining elements of Christianity and politics.  In essence we need to submit to God and keep our thoughts not on this life, but on things of God.  We need to ask ourselves what do we care most about, political change or the true change of hearts and minds that comes through the Gospel.