Pastor’s Desk May 18th

Scripture Passage:  “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turns it whithersoever he will.  Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord ponders the hearts.  To do justice and judgement is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.  A high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.”  Proverbs 21: 1-4

Dear Friends,

     We are continuing to go through one of the most difficult times we have ever faced as a nation.  The decisions being made are unprecedented in American history.  We went straight from an impeachment trial for the president to a national pandemic from the coronavirus.  We have had military operations, international conferences and compromises, social and political unrest, and now a nation crippled from being shut down by sickness.  I feel for our president, his cabinet, and all members of Congress.  They have a hard job and every decision they make has positive and negative consequences.  Sometimes there does not seem to be a clear direction for making the right decisions.  Whatever decisions they make seem to be met with opposition and bitter criticism.  My prayer is that they would seek the face of the Lord and be guided by His hand.
 

     Every president, king, dictator, and leader has been allowed to be in the position they are in by our sovereign and omniscient God.  God puts people in positions of authority to accomplish His good purpose.  Examples of this are found in the Bible in the cases of Artaxerxes (Ezra 7:21-23) Tiglath-Pileser (Isaiah 10: 5-7) Cyrus (Isaiah 45: 1-4) and Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:35; 5: 23-25)   In each case God used these leaders to bring judgment and correction to the nation of Israel.  Also, in each case God provided restoration and sometimes financial support to rebuild and re-start the economy.  Only God can take a bad situation and get something good out of it.  God has put Donald Trump into power in the United States of America for just such a time as this.  I do not like everything he has done, nor do I like every decision he has made, but I trust that God can take those decisions and use them for His own purpose and glory.  We are coming up on an election year.  I pray for God’s guidance in the voting process and that all candidates will have a personal and intimate relationship with Christ.  Until that time I pray for God to turn Donald Trump’s heart toward Him and to use our president in any way He desires for the good of the people and for His glory. 

     As I listen to the news media evaluate the decisions the president and others have made, it becomes very evident that every way of a man is right in his own eyes.  All of a sudden, everyone is an expert.  Those who truly are experts are being asked to predict or project outcomes that are little more than educated guesses and end up confusing and complicating the minds of the general populace.  We do not know what is going to happen tomorrow, the next day, or even next week, so the only option we have is to control what we do today.  There are some who are speaking on national television concerning the coronavirus and its impact on the nation that have a hidden personal or political agenda.  In the end, it will be God who has the final say and it will be God that will judge a person according to the true intentions of their heart.

     In every instance, the will of God for every man, woman, boy, or girl is to do what is right.  Do what is right for the safety of others.  Do what is right to be wise stewards of our financial resources and possessions.  Do what is right in our benevolent endevors and personal responsibility for others.  Do what is right for your family and your neighbor.  The key is to do what is right according to God’s standard.  Anything else is just an opinion.  When we do these things it is more pleasing to God than sacrifice. 

     Finally, all the good things we do lose their effect if we do not maintain a humble spirit.  The mindset of Me, Me, Me, deters the effectiveness of being a public servant.  Many of our elected officials are so busy “tooting their own horn,” they cannot hear the cries of the people.  This passage of Scripture uses a strange allegoric statement.  “The plowing of the wicked is sin.”  Many translations interpret the word the KJV uses for plowing to mean lamp.  All this makes perfect sense when you realize that everything that comes through your eyes enters your heart.  What enters your heart affects your thoughts and your actions.  If you do not control the oxen that is pulling your plow, it can only lead to wickedness and sin.  It is important to keep the oxen focused and the plow in the furrow.  That is good advice for us today.

In Christ,

 

Pastor Johnny