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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Vermont Autumn view
This is the view we had from our hotel room last month in Whitewater Junction, Vermont

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"Not Of This World"

"They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world" (John 17:16). Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36).

Today is Election Day here in the USA. Though we have readers from all over the world I w
rite particularly with the American election in mind, though our Biblical message is pertinent to every nation.

We went out early this morning to cast our vote and were grateful for the integrity demonstrated at our small town voting place. Representatives from both political parties worked together to verify our identity and that we were indeed registered to vote. After confirmation we were handed a ballot where we were able to secretly cast our ballots in a small booth. We hope things go as smoothly all over the country!

Two major competing ideologies divide our nation this election day. These ideologies in fact have divided the human race ever since the fall. Now let me make it clear that I am by no means asserting that either one or the other of the modern political parties represent these two ideologies 100%. It's not that simple.

There are various reasons that people will choose to vote as they do. Some simply vote along political party lines, giving little thought or research about the actual persons or positions they represent as they elect them to office. Others base their vote on the charisma of the candidates and their popularity with the public. Many vote based on who they think will give them the better deal or more stuff. Sadly in my view there is much pandering in politics regardless of side. Few want to address the deep needs our country faces. Others base their vote on how they are instructed by an organization, but give little thought to the deep values that should be of utmost importance.

Today we supported the candidates we feel most closely uphold the Biblical position in regard to several issues that we feel are vital to our nation's survival, security, prosperity and moral wellbeing.

But we must keep in mind that politics is not the key to surviving as a nation. Another way to put it is that, although we clearly have a preference as to whom we want to govern, our hope is not in that outcome.

We want to have a perspective similar to Jesus. The dominant system when Jesus was on this earth ultimately determined that His views were worthy of death. At His trial before Pilate He calmly addressed the heart of the matter, "My kingdom is not of this world."  Earlier in an exchange with the religious leaders of His day He minced no words, "You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world" (John 8:23).

Jesus also applied this phrase "not of the world" to His followers in John 17:16, "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world". We
want to remember where our ultimate citizenship is. The Apostle Paul said, "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Philippians 3:20). Let's all remember that! In so doing we will have an inner peace that does not change based on the circumstances of the day or whether "our side" wins or loses in this political election. Whatever happens, "Our God Reigns".

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father in heaven, as we approach our national election, I pray that your people will vote, and that they will vote with a sense of thankfulness for a democratic system that at least partially holds in check the folly and evil in all our hearts so that power which corrupts so readily is not given to one group or person too easily. I pray that we would know and live the meaning of being in the world, but not of it, doing politics as though not doing them, being on the earth, yet having our lives hidden with Christ in God, rendering to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God’s; that we would discern what truths and values should advance by being made law and which should advance only by the leavening of honest influence; that your people would see what love and justice and far-seeing wisdom demand in regard to the issues of education, business and industry, health care, marriage and family, abortion, welfare, energy, government and taxes, military, terrorism, international relations, and every challenge that we will face in the years to come; and above all, that we will treasure Jesus Christ, and tell everyone of his sovereignty and supremacy over all nations, and that long after America is a footnote to the future world, he will reign with his people from every tribe and tongue and nation. Keep us faithful to Christ’s all important Word, and may we turn to it every day for light in these dark times. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

(This prayer is from a "A Prayer For The Election" by John Piper)

This world is not my home; I'm just a passing through.

My treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue.
The angels beckon me, from Heaven's Open Door.
And I don't feel at home in this world anymore!

We appreciate this perspective from an Australian reader: Hi Stephen & Brooksyne. We too in Australia have been bombarded with TV news of the American election for ages now, including the shot of the little girl crying because she is sick of it all. We are much in prayer for your country, especially as a lot of what happens in US affects us here too, and down the track we seem to follow a lot of your trends (good and bad). May God make your government wise and Godly in all its ways.

A friend especially told me she appreciated this quote written about 350 years ago by Jeremy Taylor fully embraces the timetable of the Gospel journey and is a great focus for the believer: "Faith is the Christian's foundation, hope is his anchor, death is his harbor, Christ is his pilot, and heaven is his country." She thought that would be a good saying to engrave on a piece of wood and I agree!

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources

"Glorious/Our God Reigns"  Video  Chris Tomlin and Christy Nockels

"Our God Reigns"  Video  Studio Musicians

"This World is Not My Home"  Video  

"This Little Child"  Video  Scott Wesley Brown (with on screen lyrics) This ballad type song has been around for about 25 years but packs such a powerful message for any age. It presents the gospel then looks ahead to our time and the rejection of His truth. As I listened to this song today I consider loved ones who have forsaken the way of the Lord. May they return to the God of their childhood!

"2 Chronicles 7:14"  Video  A nice song from the Integrity Scripture memory series. Many of us that have been around for awhile may recall the radio Bible teaching of J. Vernon McGee. He has an interesting perspective on this verse here.

"Monuments"  Video  Legacy Five

"The Ones Left Standing"  Video  Wayne Watson

"Statue of Liberty"  Video  Ivan Parker

a message to Stephen & Brooksyne

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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