Here we have the last of a five-part series. In MUST THERE BE CHOICE BETWEEN GOD AND GOVERNMENT? — PART 4, we considered the role of the church and our role within the church. Here we consider why we are failing.
Why All Our Songs Are Laments
Amos 8:9-10 New King James Version (NKJV)
9 “And it shall come to pass in that day,” says the Lord God,
“That I will make the sun go down at noon,
And I will darken the earth in broad daylight;
10 I will turn your feasts into mourning,
And all your songs into lamentation;
I will bring sackcloth on every waist,
And baldness on every head;
I will make it like mourning for an only son,
And its end like a bitter day.
It seems an absurdity. Our songs are all laments? Yet it has happened before, and it is happening to our country now. Have you ever stopped to think about why we play the songs we play? Have you considered the top songs and wondered why the are not joyous?
- Number one this week is “Lean On.” It is a guy remembering.
- Number two this week is “Where Are U Now.” It is a guy wishing.
- Number three this week is “Hey Mama.” It is just dumb.
- Number four this week is “You Know You Like It.” Here the artist whines: “I just wanna have some fun.” Can you guess what kind of fun? Do you imagine he is willing to take any responsibility?
- Number five this week is “Omen.” It is about a guy ruing his mistake.
Why are the lyrics so shallow? Why is it all about some guy demanding and complaining when he cannot get what he wants? What have we forgotten?
Have we forgotten the key to happiness? Have we forgotten the example set by Jesus Christ? Have we forgotten how to be servants of Christ?
Imagine praying this prayer suggested by BJ.
God, give me focus. Help me to stop being distracted by the trivialities of this life. I want more and more to become lost in You that You might be found in me. I surrender my needs, my wants, my dreams, and my ambitions to Your will. Through my life be glorified. In my life be everything. (from here)
Instead of thinking about what he wants all the time, wants to serve as Jesus’ hands and feet. Why?
Rob Barkman observes we do have a choice.
Did you know that we are all servants of Christ? Saved or Lost; Physical Jew or Gentile; those of the Christian, Jewish, Buddist, or Muslim faith; Democrat or Republican; Master or Slave; King or Pauper; all of us are under the authority of Christ and held responsible to serve Him. In that sense, we are all His servants and given the responsibility to fulfill His will.
So what is the difference between these differing groups? Some are blessed servants who are found willfully serving Christ at His coming… others are evil servants who refuse to submit to His authority and disobey His will for their lives. (from here)
What does it mean to serve Jesus, to obey His command? Can you imagine that God just wants us to love each other?
John 15:12 New King James Version (NKJV)
12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
Whole books have been written on Ruth’s character, so I’ll keep it short; Ruth had the heart of a servant. She was loyal to the family of her husband, she was humble, she worked hard and without complaint, and she was submissive to her elders. In all of this, Ruth shows us what it means to deal with self, for there is no “self” on display in her story. To top it off, let us not forget the fact that Ruth made a conscious choice to follow the God of Israel. How different she was from the way we are today, and great was her reward. (from here)
This kind of leadership doesn’t have the attitude of a snake and the smell of a skunk. It is a leadership as soft as a kitten and bold as a lion. It is the type of leadership that has a compassion for people. It seems to be a leadership that is easy to do but hard. It takes a lot of work to be a servant and yet not be a push over. It takes a life time to learn, to accomplish and yet rewarding.
Ronald Reagan had some of the qualities of a servant leader. He stood up to the evil empire and won. It wasn’t by combat but standing his ground. He called communism what it was evil. His speeches encouraged and made one laugh. (from here)
If we want leaders who will serve us, then we must each treat each other the way we want to be treated. Instead taking we must give. Instead, crying over our own hurts, we must consider how we have hurt others. Instead of using our government to get what we want, we must strive to use our government to protect our neighbors rights. Instead of using government to force others to be “charitable” or treat “us” the way we want to be treated, we must take it upon our self to be charitable and treat others the way we want to be treated.
If we want good leaders, we have to set a good example for our leaders. Our leaders cannot make us better people. The opposite is true. Or have we forgotten? Christianity is a movement that first spread among slaves, not the royalty of the Roman Empire. The slaves reformed their masters, not the other way around.
1 Peter 2:13-17 New King James Version (NKJV)
Submission to Government
13 Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, 14 or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men— 16 as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. 17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.