Inauguration Day

ingodwetrustIn You our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and You delivered them.
                 ~Psalm 22:4

Inauguration Day.  The day we officially put a person in charge of our country with the power to guide our society for the next four years.  The day we give an individual the ability to negotiate with foreign countries and to lead us to war or not.  The day we allow our new leader the right to appoint Supreme Court justices who will interpret our laws.  The day we hand over the authority to veto laws, to impose executive orders, and to pardon criminals.

The decision  was up to us and we have voted.  Yet, I’m still reeling from an election that felt as if there were no good option.  I wanted to vote for God’s will, but I struggled so hard to find it.

Someone finally defined my turmoil by saying, “Christ isn’t on the ballot, so we have to work with what we’ve got.”

While the rest of the country was arguing over right and wrong, shouting about platforms and what would happen if certain laws were put in place or removed, etc., I started  thinking – what if Christ were on the ballot? Would I be okay with His platform?  With His laws for governing society?  As a Christian, I should already be living under the rule of my King – am I?

Jesus said some strict, direct things as He laid out a certain way of life.  Would I vote for it?  Would I willingly live in His country?  What about all the other Christians – all of us who are at each other’s throats trying to decide, “What would Jesus do?”

God is offering a Kingdom, not a democracy.  But it’s a Kingdom we get to choose based on whether or not we will follow all of His rules and submit to His authority.  So are we informed voters when we make our choice?

What is He promising?

Eternal life with God in His holy city.  A place more beautiful than we can imagine, with no more death or mourning or crying or pain.  He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”  (Revelation 21 NIV)

What is His platform, His call to action?

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.  And love your neighbor as yourself.  

With what laws does He propose to accomplish this platform?

The Ten Commandments, confirmed and upheld by Jesus Christ.  

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.  For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.  Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.  For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
~Matthew 5:17-20 (NIV)

If God’s platform were laid out for us as an official position, and we could vote, would we vote yes or no?  If Jesus were on the debate floor, giving His Sermon on the Mount, would the commentators tear it apart?  Would we be for Him or against Him?

I used to be certain our country would be for Him.  After all, the United States was founded as “one nation, under God” stating “in God we trust.”  But these days I’m not so sure.  If He were elected, society’s current way of life, a culture that is in many ways in direct conflict with His Word, would have to change.

God laid down His laws, not as a “proposed platform” but as commandments. Remember, God’s Kingdom is not a democracy.  It’s an in-or-out choice, not an a la carte government.  He said that for us to be a part of His country there is a certain way He expects us to live.  Jesus came and stated the official position, in words and by way of perfect example.  

The people witnessed it thousands of years ago.  They heard what He stood for, they saw how He lived.  They didn’t want to be a part of His Kingdom.  And they certainly didn’t vote for Him.  

Imagine the angry mobs, screaming their opinion of things.  Pilate let them choose – in their eyes the choice was between two evils, even though we know otherwise.  They saw the threat to physical life in Barabbas, a murderer, or the threat to their way of life in Jesus.

They voted Barabbas.  They picked their own way of doing things.  They crucified Jesus.  

So what about us?

Who do we choose?

He’s on the ballot for eternity.

The real Inauguration Day is coming.  

Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place
   and gave Him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
   in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
   to the glory of God the Father.
~Philippians 2:9-11 (NIV)

“Turn to me and be saved,
   all you ends of the earth;
   for I am God, and there is no other.
By myself I have sworn,
   my mouth has uttered in all integrity
   a word that will not be revoked:
Before me every knee will bow;
   by me every tongue will swear.
They will say of me, ‘In the Lord alone
   are deliverance and strength.’”
All who have raged against him
   will come to him and be put to shame.
~Isaiah 45:22-24 (NIV)


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