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2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (NIV)

"The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to make us like the Son of God. To become like Jesus, we must fill our lives with his Word.
- Warren


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

QUIET-TIME REFLECTIONS - Edited copy

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Please accept my apology as this site delivered an unedited draft copy in error. Below is the intended copy for circulation.  It is my prayer that God will use this message to awaken our hearts to where we are. May I ask you to re-read.  - Pam Crawford

Week of: October 10, 2016                                           pmcrawford1@gmail.com
Sharing by: Pam Crawford

Romans 3:23
"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

THROWING STONES                                                                                                      
Dear Professed Christian -
In light of all the political rhetoric and the back-biting that is going on out there in both believers and non-believers alike; may I encourage you to stop and consider our responsibility as people of faith. It just might be time to disconnect from all the media hype to simply withdraw into the Word of God. What I am seeing is a lot of anxious and angry people picking up the bait of Satan. This should not be!

As I reflect on that which is before us in the fall of 2016, I am perplexed and concerned for what I am hearing and seeing, even within the body of Christ. There are stones being thrown in every direction and many are being hurt. Make no mistake brothers and sisters in Christ, Satan's purpose is to divide and conquer God's people and it appears that he is using this election to achieve his goal. In the Gospel of Luke chapter 12:49-53 we get a glimpse into Jesus' warning about "coming division." I want us to hone in on verse 53; "They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law." In the context of these verses Jesus is revealing that his coming often results in conflict. Could it be there is something bigger going on in 2016 than a Presidential election?

If we understand anything about the Word of God, then we understand that with every second that passes we are one step closer to the return of Christ (John 14:1-3). Although no one knows the day nor the hour (Matthew 24:36-44), we can certainly see a world poised for self-destruction. Now I am not suggesting that the world is ending today.  But I am suggesting that there are more and more signs of a GOD-less society in America and all over this world. On your own explore Luke 17:26-35 and Matthew 24:37-51 for a better understanding of this statement.

The enemy of our soul is working to "kill, steal and destroy" (John 10:10) that which Jesus gave His life for us to have. Satan desires to destroy all that God created. However, this is nothing new as he has been at it since the Garden of Eden. Unfortunately, at times  we don't even realize how we assist Satan in his schemes. How about we shut him down today? 

In light of that which is occurring around the political arena in America today, God brought to my mind the story of the adulterous woman and the crowd around her found in John chapter 8. Let's look at God's response to the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees of His day that brought the woman before Him. "Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such a woman. Now what do you say?" They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" "No one sir," she said. "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin." - John 8:1-11

In light of what is happening as it relates to the exploitation of a candidate for the Presidency of the United States of America, I believe it is fitting to maybe contrast Mr. Trump's story with that of the woman caught in adultery to shed some light on the point of this message.  Let me say I am not defending the Mr. Trump's actions in any way. However,  I am asking that we consider where we're standing in the modern day crowd?  The truth is there are many, including professed Christians, who are celebrating the demise of this man caught in sin. There is a similar call to destroy (stone) him in the public square. Some are spouting off that he is irredeemable. Others are scoffing at his apology and making comments that his attempt at humility is not genuine. Maybe this is the case, but one must ask "who are we as redeemed sinners to render anyone beyond redemption? Did Jesus not go to the cross at Calvary for all sinners? 

The Bible says that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Jesus was trying to help the crowd of that day understand this. That is my purpose in this message. Frankly, it grieves my heart to see what we are allowing Satan to do between us. How about for just a  moment we take some time to consider ourselves in the center of that crowd?  How would we want others to respond if it were our sins out there in the limelight?

In John chapter 8 the teachers of the law and the Pharisees were trying to bait Jesus; they were trying to trick Him. If Jesus would have said the woman should be stoned they would have held Him in violation of Mosaic Law. On the other hand, if He would have urged them to stone her; then He would have been in violation of yet another law which stated that only Romans could carry out executions (John 18:31). So, what did He do? He turned their questions back to them. I believe we are right back at that place in history. This time however the rocks are in our hands. The question I have to ask is this. What will we do with them?

As one who has fallen more times than I would like to admit, I happen to believe that it would be wise to lay the rocks down and walk away.  I don't know how that looks for you. Maybe you will have to shut down social media until this election is over?  It might be that you turn off the TV all together to avoid the negative ads. Or maybe you simply determine that you will not respond to the negative attacks or comments concerning the candidate of your choice. Why? Because you have confidence that God is still very much in control of the next leader and this country. What He allows, He shall control. Sadly the truth according to Scripture is this. Unless we as a nation humble ourselves, pray, seek the face of God and turn from our wicked ways (2 Chronicles 7:14-15 paraphrased), we will not experience the healing of our land. It is ultimately up to us. The end result will be this. An obedient nation will experience blessings. A rebellious nation shall not.  

Let us not forget that both of our Presidential candidates are flawed human beings going through the process of life just like you and me. They are both sinners by nature. Without Christ in their heart the winner of this election will walk into the White House on their own accord. They will do things their way and many will continue to suffer as a result of it. Take a look at the stories of the many different leaders and Kings in the Bible and you will see the climate of a culture depending on the heart of its leader. 

People without Christ are in the camp of the enemy. This is a very dangerous place to reside. To stay there means eternal damnation and that should break ones heart. So, instead of throwing more rocks; how about we expend our precious energies on covering these candidates in dedicated prayer. Pray that they would both have their eyes opened to that which Christ died for them to have. How about we ask God to make both of them into new beings? That they would desire to sin no more. Let's pray that their hearts would change before one of them is gifted the opportunity to run this country? And that they would run this country in ways that would be pleasing to the Lord. Is it possible? Consider what God has done in you?

So as it relates to Mr. Trump and the revealing of his transgressions (sin) I will excuse myself from sitting on his jury.  Instead I will do my homework and I will ask God to help me discern which of the two candidates best represents a glimpse of what I hope to see in the future. 

I am a Christian and I WILL vote and trust God!

In Christ by God's grace,

©2014 Getting The Word Out. Used by Permission.
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