Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Lesson from President Obama

Most of the time I am completely silent (in print) about our country's leaders, because I am not a columnist, a commentator, nor a reporter. However, having watched Mr. Obama for these 2 years (which seem like a lifetime) and having read the myriad of 'pros' and 'cons' about his presidency, I have discovered one lesson which we would do well to understand.

Since he stepped onto the national stage of politics there have been many questions presented about him and few answers have been offered. While this is sad in and of itself, there is a specific 'chink' in his armor that continually rises to the forefront and should speak to every authentic believer in Jesus.

The question is this: WHAT DOES HE BELIEVE? Although this question is framed differently in the public press (I.E. Is he a muslin, is he a Christian, or is he an American, etc), the bottom line is that there exists great confusion over his religious beliefs.

The reason Americans question his beliefs is because people know that "We do what we believe and the rest is just talk." Read some of these thoughts as reported by "Yahoo News":


 

Nearly one in five people, or 18 percent, said they think Obama is Muslim, up from the 11 percent who said so in March 2009, according to a poll released Thursday. The proportion who, correctly, say he is a Christian is down to just 34 percent.

The survey, conducted by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center and its affiliated Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, is based on interviews conducted before the controversy over whether Muslims should be permitted to construct a mosque near the World Trade Center site. Obama has said he believes Muslims have the right to build an Islamic center there, though he's also said he won't take a position on whether they should actually build it.

In a separate poll by Time magazine/ABT SRBI conducted Monday and Tuesday — after Obama's comments about the mosque — 24 percent said they think he is Muslim, 47 percent said they think he is Christian and 24 percent didn't know or didn't respond.


 

Now before I am accused of 'picking on the president' let me be clear about the lesson to find in this. It seems to me that, by and large, rank and file people in America could be confused about those who 'claim belief in Christ' because of the same reasons for the suspicions of Mr. Obama.

Maybe this would be a good time for us to demonstrate our faith by 'living out the beliefs which we say we have.' Jesus' is call is always to follow Him and following Him means 'self-denial', 'selfless giving', and 'deferring to the Father'. This is a difficult lesson for Americans who have come to think that 'it's all about me.'

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

David Jeremiah’s Turning Point

Very rarely do I openly recommend reading a blog or subscribing to a particular newsletter. However, in rare cases I do. Dr. David Jeremiah is, without a doubt, one of the most prolific speakers, teachers, and writers of our day. He always seems to have a fresh word for God for all who hear and read. This morning (Tuesday, August 03, 2010) he released a simply, yet impacting devotion on the Turning Points email so I offer it to all of us. To take this to heart is to make a change in our lives. Let us never forget, "God desires to change us every day."


 

Tuesday, August 3

Twelve Feet of Criticism

Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses because of the Cushite woman he married.
Numbers 12:1 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Recommended Reading
Numbers 12:1-9

In May of 1922, when the famous rescue mission in Chicago, the Pacific Garden Mission, had to relocate from Van Buren Street to 650 South State Street, a firestorm of criticism erupted. Some who had been converted at the old location refused to move. "Do you see that plank right there on the platform?" asked one converted alcoholic. "Twelve years ago my tears fell there when Jesus saved me." The reaction was so emotional that mission leaders wisely hired carpenters to take out a twelve-foot square from the platform and move it to the new location.

In church life and in our personal relationships, we can react strongly and critically at something we don't like. Often our response is more emotional than thoughtful, and we sometimes heap criticism on people who are themselves under pressure. We make their work harder.

When someone is leading or when they're struggling, why do people add to their burden by second-guessing their decisions? Our goal should be to encourage others at all costs. Get hold of your critical reactions, and prayerfully try to be an encourager.

Fault-finding is dreadfully catching; one dog will set a whole kennel howling.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read-Thru-the-Bible
Jeremiah 10:1-13:27

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