ranch life

He is With Us- Always

I don’t consider myself a very political person, this much I know. I do not enjoy watching debates, much in part because I do not care to listen to grown adults bicker, and interrupt one another, and demean each other, and overall just treat each other with unkindness. The world has enough unkindness and harsh words that I do not find it necessary to watch that displayed in public forum. I tolerated it through the primaries because my thoughtful husband felt we needed to be informed before casting our vote, although I don’t know that it helped me make my decision all that much (in my head, I was deducting imaginary points from candidates every time they were rude or unkind to one another. I don’t think rudeness or unkindness is a quality I like in a candidate, but I suppose in the long run that doesn’t necessarily disqualify them from being equipped to serve as our president (although it should)). Now that we’re down to the mess we’re in, I didn’t find it necessary to watch these last few debates as I don’t believe it will sway my opinion any, and if there is no new information to gain, I don’t see the point in bringing in fresh negativity into my home. I like having a happy home. 🙂

All that to say, I did not watch the debate last night. What I did do was make S’mores Snack Mix, put it in individual bags, and prepare them with labels to be sold at today’s Medical Education Alliance bake sale to raise money for McLane Children’s Hospital. Once I had everything packaged and ready to go, I left my husband to finish his to-do list, and I drove to drop off my goodies, and then bring us home milkshakes. Because, you know, #milkshakewednesday.

As I was driving between dropping off my snack mix and Chick-Fil-A, KLOVE started playing Love and the Outcome’s “He Is With Us”. I think I’ve probably heard that song a hundred times. I like it, and I sing along when it comes on. But this time, as I sat at a stoplight, the bridge really hit me fresh:

“Our faith is sealed; our hope is real. Come what may; we’re not afraid.”

And I just felt a peace come over me. Friends, this is where I’ve come to with this election. To give this some depth and backstory, our home church here in Temple has been bringing the “Election Survival Kit” the last four weeks in preparation for the upcoming election. It’s not politicizing from the pulpit, or telling you who to vote for (although I kinda wish it did!)- Scott Meyer (our senior minister) says it is merely information to help you make it through the election with your Christianity intact. If you are interested in watching the sermons so far, here are the videos…

Scott is mainly preaching from 1 Peter, as Peter is writing to the believers of the time about how they are exiles in the land, living under rulers they don’t agree with, but had no choice over the matter. These are believers with no power, no control, and no choices. And he is writing to them about their living hope. Their hope is real, it is tangible, and it is a hope they believed in then, and that we can believe in now, regardless of the storm and chaos going on in the world around us.

Just some thoughts over the sermons:

  • We as believers have the greatest inheritance one can have– hope of a life in Heaven with our Savior, which means we have a duty to be “alert and sober” while living– alert and sober from all addictions, including newsfeeds that make us anxious and fearful about what is around us. Our hope and inheritance is all that we need, and the more we remain anxious and fearful, the more we diminish God and what He is able to do.
  • The throne of Heaven is not up for election. Jesus has already come and died for us to give us this inheritance, and that cannot be taken from us, regardless of any election results.
  • As Peter writes in 1 Peter 2:4-10, our job as believers is to live as cornerstones, which means to live as the example for the rest of the group. This passage also discusses living as a “holy priesthood”, so Peter encourages believers to live as both the Temple and the Priesthood of the Lord. And here’s the thing- when the church is truly living as a holy Priesthood- NO government in history has ever been able to overcome them or shut them down. (how cool is that??)
  • Regardless of the outcome, it doesn’t matter who wins– how we live our life doesn’t change because we should operating as a living example of who our Lord is no matter who is in charge. (1 Peter 2:13-17)
  • Living like Jesus means Jesus is the model for how we should respond to those around us when it comes to political speak- you are a bumper sticker for Jesus by following him, so how you react represents Him.
  • God will lose no sleep on election night. He is still Lord and still reigns over all. Period.

So, that brings me to last night. This is my mantra for the next 20 days, and four or however many years after that.

Our faith is sealed; our hope is real. Come what may; we’re not afraid. 

NO WHERE- no where does it say in the Bible that we will have an easy and not scary life being in this world. In fact, it is so the opposite. And that’s something I don’t think I’ve ever really thought about– we’re not the only Christians that are living in a time where we are the minority, and we don’t fit in, and we don’t belong with the ideals around us (1 Peter 2: 11-12). And really, our job is just to live as Jesus followers so well that those around us can’t help but want to live like us.

This doesn’t help choose between the lot that we have, and I’m not writing any kind of message trying to sway anyone any which way. This is just a small note to other believers that if you are feeling discouraged about our current state of affairs, take heart.

All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the LORD stands forever.  1 Peter 1:24-25

At the end of the day, all of this here will wither away, but our hope is real in an inheritance that is better than anything we can imagine here.

[there are two sermons left in this series. visit Western Hills Church of Christ on Facebook to see the videos posted weekly.]

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