Sunday, November 06, 2016

I Know Who is Going to Win… No… Wait… Really!

Kevin Bentch, Sunday 11/06/2016

If you knew for certain who would win on Tuesday, you could place bets and make money. No kidding! The odds are amazing either way. So who will win? A noted comedian, Dave Chapelle, half-way joked of how we have a “Gangsta” candidate. Right. Maybe there are two that fit that description! But who do you favor? Who, really now, who will win?

Here I am at 60 years old and have lived through many presidential elections (you do the math). I know where I was when the news came that JFK had been assassinated. I have never experienced anything like this election – ever. I check the news before I go to sleep and again when I wake up. And maybe times in-between. For a while it got so bad I had to put down my phone for a few days. But I could not stand it for long and went back to it. The phrase “It will all be over soon” has become both a way to say “Hi” and way to say “Goodbye”, as someone brought out in a news conference. 

Today is the Lord’s day, and it is a great day to focus on God, hear a sermon, take communion, give money, and fellowship with the saints, wherever you may find them. God wins this moment then. Zeroing in on how God Wins, is a good proposition for other moments – that God will be victorious on Tuesday!

Wait you might say – this or that  candidate is godless and reprobate. Each has a long list, depending on what news source you devote yourself to. So how could anyone say that God will win on Tuesday?

Here is one way: “… the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world and gives them to anyone he chooses – even the lowliest of people.” (Daniel 4:17b). How can this be? Could it be a mystery of God? Reading the Bible, you will note that God loves mysteries and treats them like gifts, for his children to open, as the can and as they will.

What if you embrace the teaching that God really is in charge, and then to your horror, your candidate loses? Instead of feeling that the Word is Coming to an End, humble yourself under the mighty hand of God. Ask God how you can serve, how you can devote your life, and what you need to focus on. Will the aftermath of the election cause you to lose your hold on “the meaning of life” or will it cause you to focus on God more?

What if the candidate that is best with respect to bringing Glory to God is the one that you oppose? Can you accept that? Can you say “The Lord’s will be done” even if you would rather perish than live through four years of ‘whatever’ with the vile candidate that you oppose? Do you still have to obey?

Jesus, 2000 years ago, walked the streets of Jerusalem during the reign of an oppressive and callus government, the Roman government. You can read volumes about Roman atrocities and cruelties if you’d like. But Jesus did not get into politics. Oh, they tried to get him into politics. Those striving to trick Jesus asked if it was lawful to pay taxes. Slyly, they figured that whichever way Jesus answered, they could charge him with treason against God or treason against Rome. Either way, it would have made for great accusations in the media of the day.

Jesus, son of almighty God asked for a coin, and beat them at their own childish game. Jesus asked whose picture was on the coin? Why, it was Caesar’s picture, they answered not at all kindly I imagine. And Jesus said “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's.” (Matthew 22:21). Oh how awesome! How wonderful that Jesus was able to put them to silence.

Given then that God will win on Tuesday, will you work, strive, and commit to render to “Caesar, Hillary Rodham Clinton or Donald J. Trump” the things that belong to “Caesar”? Will you work, strive, and commit to render to God the things that belong to God? If you do this, you will still be able to be happy, rather than miserable. Trusting God, brings peace. Committing to God keeps you busy and defeats depression. Depending on God, disperses worry and fretting. Loving God, provides guidance in every matter of life. Visiting the sick, fatherless and widows is pure religion in God’s eyes after all (James 1:27, paraphrased). And by the way, visiting is a sometimes a biblical euphemism that means providing financial support...  just saying…

If you depend on Caesar (the government) for your happiness, trust, commitment, and love – this will not bring you peace and freedom from fear, worry, and depression. Yes, render your taxes, as you must. But all of the things that really matter such as loving with all your heart, soul, and mind, give that to God. Then, the vagaries and uncertainties of Tuesday, 11/08/2016, will not bother you as much.

The difference is between the eternal and the temporary. Everything to do with God, is eternal. Everything to do with this world, is fleeting and temporary. Devote your energy, communication, and blessing of life – to the eternal.

All financial problems could be resolved. Peace could reign worldwide. Jobs could be provided for everyone. Sickness could be dealt with quickly, efficiently, and cheaply. But if in this fully resolved existence you do not have Jesus, then it means nothing. What does it profit if a person gain the whole world and lose their eternal soul? (Mark 8:36, paraphrased).

The battle for the White House may be over soon. But the battle for your eternal soul rages still. Yet soon and very soon we are all going to see the real and only king that matters, King Jesus, the Christ, the ever-living only begotten son of Almighty God!

What do you think, can you have peace then? Will I still be consumed with the news, will you? Let me know your thoughts and thanks for reading. Blessing on you and yours for now and in eternity, in Jesus name!

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