ELECTION 2017 IS COMING! – WHOSE VOICE WILL YOU FOLLOW?

ELECTION 2017 IS COMING! – WHOSE VOICE WILL YOU FOLLOW?

WILL YOU OBEY GOD OR MAN?

Once again the Bahamas is on the verge of another general election and so-called “election fever” is beginning to permeate the air.

Almost everywhere you turn, people are talking politics or predicting who the next government and Prime Minister will be. The atmosphere is filled with opinions and political prophets abound.

With all the noise, fanfare and emotional hullabaloo in the marketplace, on the airwaves and on social media, and with upcoming rallies on the horizon, there are plenty opportunities for God’s people to become caught up in the political whirlwind and lose focus of our electorate responsibility as Believers/Kingdom Citizens.

The direction that a nation takes and the manner in which it is built is greatly influenced by its governmental leaders.

Proverbs 29:2 states, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan.” – (NKJV)

Proverbs 28:12 states, “When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan.” – (NLT)

Considering the above, it is incumbent upon us as Believers/Kingdom Citizens to use our voting privileges to, as much as possible elect godly men and women to office, and therefore as key authorities and primary decision makers in our country’s affairs.

This is extremely important for many reasons, a few being:

  • The more godly persons in positions of governmental authority, the more likely a country to retain or even expand its degree of religious freedom.
  • The more godly persons in office, the less likely the implementation of laws that oppose godly principles.
  • The more godly persons in positions of governmental authority, the easier it will be for the God’s/the King’s agenda to go forward and be established in a nation.
  • As Kingdom Citizens, we are called to obey and be subject to civil authorities (Romans 13:1, 2; I Peter 2:13-14; Titus 3:1) and it will more than likely be easier to obey godly authorities than ungodly ones.

When faced with the opportunity to exercise our voting privilege, it is our responsibility as Believers/Kingdom Citizens to carefully and prayerfully consider the presented candidates and where possible to seek to elect competent, godly men and women who not only have the potential to improve our national development, but who will also seek to be guided by God’s principles and establish His purposes.

The following are some facts about us as Believers that will help us maintain a Kingdom perspective during a political season.

1) As Believers, we are citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven and therefore foreigners in this earthly realm.

2) Our spiritual citizenship in God’s Kingdom is higher than, and therefore takes precedence over our earthly citizenship, i.e., our Bahamian citizenship.

3) As citizens of the Kingdom of God, our ultimate allegiance, or loyalty is to be to God as our Sovereign King.

4) The Constitution of our Kingdom is the Word of God, therefore we are to govern every aspect of our lives according to the principles contained therein. The Word of God is our supreme law and we are to obey it above all others.

5) As Kingdom Citizens, we have been appointed as ambassadors of the King. We live in the country that we do because He has called us to be His representatives/agents in that particular earthly territory.

6) As Kingdom Ambassadors, we relinquish all rights to present and act on our own personal opinions. The only position we are to take on an issue is that of our Government or King. We are to yield to and uphold the position of the King and to readily advance His Kingdom’s agenda in whichever arena or capacity we may function.

7) As Kingdom Ambassadors, our main mission is to make disciples of all nations and to expand God’s Kingdom on the earth. The cause of Christ is what we ought to live for and what we should be prepared to die for.

People of God, during this election season, more than ever before, we need to be intentionally mindful not to become so caught up in the political frenzy that we become unfocused and lose sight of our Kingdom responsibility and allow someone or something other than God to decide our involvement in the electoral process.

Because it’s election time, there is an abundance of voices in the atmosphere vying for our attention and support, and it’s okay to hear them, but at the end of the day, as Ambassadors in a foreign territory we must settle ourselves, be sober, and listen for the voice of our King…for His opinion, His desire, His instruction.

In John 10:27, Jesus, our King, and Sovereign Ruler states,My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.” – (NIV-1984)

Jesus is our master mentor and one thing that stands out in His life is His obedience to the Father.

In John 5:30 He states, “I am able to do nothing from Myself [independently, of My own accord-but only as I am taught by God and as I get His orders]. Even as I hear, I judge [I decide as I am bidden to decide. As the voice comes to Me, so I give a decision], and My judgment is right (just, righteous), because I do not seek or consult My own will [I have no desire to do what is pleasing to Myself, My own aim, My own purpose] but only the will and pleasure of the Father Who sent Me.– (Amplified Bible)

SELAH!

God desires us to seek His will regarding our voting decision and to vote for the person He confirms in our spirit as the candidate to vote for.

Remember, as Kingdom Ambassadors, the only position we are to take on an issue or matter is that of our Government or King…it’s tight, but it’s right!

If the Lord leads you to vote for the candidate that you in and of yourself want to vote for, great!

But what if this is not the case? 

What if He leads you to vote for someone who you do not want to support?

  • What if as a diehard PLP you distinctly and unmistakably sense Him telling you to vote for the FNM candidate?
  • What if as a diehard FNM you distinctly and unmistakably sense Him telling you to vote for the DNA candidate?
  • Or, what if you are a diehard DNA and you distinctly and unmistakably sense Him telling you to vote for the PLP?

WHOSE VOICE WILL YOU FOLLOW?

Remember, as Kingdom Citizens and Ambassadors, our allegiance is to be to the King and not to any party, organization or man.

Saints, many claim to be “the man with the plan” but in reality, only God knows what is best for our nation because He alone knows the past, present and future so the bottom line is it is best to go with His leading; it’s best to go with Him.

Isaiah 30:1-3 states, “Woe to the obstinate children,” declares the LORD, “to those who carry out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit, heaping sin upon sin; who go down to Egypt without consulting me; who look for help to Pharaoh’s protection, to Egypt’s shade for refuge. But Pharaoh’s protection will be to your shame, Egypt’s shade will bring you disgrace.” – (NIV-1984)

IT’S ELECTION TIME! – WHOSE VOICE WILL YOU FOLLOW THIS POLITICAL SEASON?

THE VOICE OF MAN?

YOUR VOICE?

OR

THE VOICE OF THE LORD?

I pray that in this 2017 election, Believers/Kingdom Citizens in the Bahamas will be sober and spiritually discerning and have the wisdom to seek the Lord re who to vote for, and once revealed, by God’s grace have the spiritual fortitude to obey and mark his/her “X” wherever the Lord says, trusting in His wisdom, sovereignty and power and not in man’s words.

“Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save.”

(Psalms 46:3 – NIV-1984)

“It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.”

(Psalms 118:8 – NIV-1984)

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

(Proverbs 3:5, 6 – NIV-1984)

Be encouraged!

Kim

Copyright © 2017 by Kim Sweeting, Author of “Unwalled” Blog, All rights reserved.

Excerpts from “It’s Election time – Whose Voice will you Follow this Political Season?” Copyright © 2012 by Kim Sweeting, Author of “Unwalled” Blog, All rights reserved.

Image courtesy of “Ballot Box” by Taoty/FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

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10 TIPS TO HELP PROTECT YOUR MARRIAGE AGAINST ADULTERY / EXTRAMARITAL AFFAIRS – (TIP #1)

10 TIPS TO HELP PROTECT YOUR MARRIAGE AGAINST ADULTERY / EXTRAMARITAL AFFAIRS – (TIP # 1)

“TOGETHER FOREVER”

Adultery –“voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband” 

(Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary)

Of late, many Christian women that I either know personally or Christian friends or associates of these women were shattered by the discovery of their husband’s involvement in an extra-marital affair, or multiple affairs.

At some point, a door opened in the marital relationship that led from one thing to the next and now, in some cases after 20-25 years of marriage, the specter of divorce looms menacingly over a covenant relationship that once brought joy and fulfillment to the husband and wife and glory to God.

Many in today’s permissive society consider extramarital sex as acceptable and blameless, however in God’s view, this is not so. His sexual standard for marriage is fidelity, i.e. sexual relations between a man and his wife or a woman and her husband only.

“Thou shalt not commit adultery.”

(Exodus 20:14 – KJV)

“No adultery.”

(Deuteronomy 5:18 – The Message)

 “Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.”

(Hebrews 13:4 – NLT)

“Honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband. God draws a firm line against casual and illicit sex.”

(Hebrews 13:4 – The Message)

God’s stand on extramarital sex is clear. He makes absolutely no room for sexual relations with anyone other than your spouse and provides no exceptions to His rule.

In light of this, here is TIP #1 to help protect your marriage against adultery.

TIP #1

Understand that you are in covenant relationship bound by God.

Your marriage is not just about your relationship with your spouse. It is a covenant that you made in the presence of others and God that God sanctioned, bound and sealed when you and your spouse made a commitment to each other before Him.

Placing your love for and commitment to God in the marital relationship in a higher place of priority than your love for and commitment to your spouse is a great defense against adultery because in instances where your love for and commitment to your spouse is not strong enough to help you resist sexual temptation, your love for and commitment to God can give you the added strength you need.

When your spouse fails or annoys you in some way and the enemy tempts you to venture outside your marital relationship for solace or revenge, if in a higher place of authority than your love for and commitment to your spouse, your love for and commitment to God in the marital covenant can serve as a buffer and  empower you to realign your thoughts and behavior with His will, thereby protecting your marriage as opposed to making a choice that will damage it.

As a Believing spouse, it is important for you to recognize and understand your personal responsibility and accountability to God in the marital covenant. So often we hear, “if my wife/husband did/didn’t, would/wouldn’t, had/hadn’t, etc. then I would not have engaged in an affair.” Be keenly aware that this reasoning will never stand with God because His stand on marital fidelity  is absolute and will not change according to our situations, wants, needs or desires.

Be not deceived, no matter the circumstances, in God’s eyes you can never justify a decision to get involved in an extra-marital relationship because of something your spouse did or did not do.

If you choose to engage in an affair, you simultaneously choose to violate the marital covenant that you made before God, to violate His Word and holy standard for marriage, and to therefore sin against Him and He will hold you accountable for that. The incident in Genesis chapter 3 concerning satan, Adam, Eve and the forbidden fruit clearly shows that God does not play the blame game.

The prevalence of marital infidelity is sad, disturbing, and extremely grievous to the Holy Spirit of God.

Fellow Christians/Believers in Christ/Kingdom Ambassadors/Saints, by the grace of God, let’s do all we can to protect our marriages and keep them away from the snare of adultery / extramarital affairs and encourage others to do the same all to the honor and glory of God.

Visit again for TIP #2

Peace & Blessings!

Kim

Copyright © 2012 by Kim, Author of “Unwalled” Blog, All rights reserved.

Image “Ring Love Together Forever” by vichie 81 courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

THE TRUTH IN LOVE OR “CHURCHICALLY-CORRECT”

THE TRUTH IN LOVE OR “CHURCHICALLY-CORRECT”

Speak the Truth in Love

 

The Word of God admonishes us to speak the truth in love, but do we really practice doing this to the extent that we ought to in the Body of Christ?

Do we speak the truth in love, or do we opt for giving “churchically-correct” responses.

“Good morning Sister Donna, how are you doing today?

Churchically-correct response: “I’m just fine praise the Lord!”

Truth: I am an emotional basket-case because my marriage is a mess and looks like it will end in divorce.

“Hi Brother Paul, how are things going?”

Churchically-correct response: “Things are going great, God is good!”

Truth: “My business is failing and I’m stressed out because I fear not being able to support my family if it does.”

Hi Patti. Do you like my new short hair cut?”

Churchically-correct response: “Oh it is beautiful, I love it!”

Truth: “Longer hair really suited her better; this haircut does nothing for her at all.”

“Hi Pauline, Pastor Bob wants to know if you can lead a cell group this summer.”

Churchically-correct response: “Oh sure that will be no problem.”

Truth: “I am mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausted and I really need to use the time to rejuvenate and replenish myself, not to lead a cell group.”

Instead of speaking the truth in love, at times persons in the Body of Christ opt for what I call “churchically-correct” responses, responses that seem easier, seem more acceptable, and that hide or evade the truth.

So why do some Believers opt for “churchically-correct” responses rather than speaking the truth in love?

I believe some common reasons are:

  • Not being comfortable expressing the truth to a particular person/persons.
  • Not being comfortable expressing the truth at a given time.
  • Not trusting the person/persons to hold an issue in confidence.
  • Concern that a truthful response may offend the other person/persons.
  • Fear of hurting the person/persons feelings.
  • Fear of disappointing a person/persons.
  • Fear of rejection.
  • Fear of conflict.
  • Fear of condemnation.
  • The desire to protect their spiritual image/reputation.
  • Being ashamed of the truth.
  • Not knowing how to speak the truth in love.

So what about you?

When faced with a question or a situation that requires your comment or opinion, do you speak the truth in love or opt for a “churchically-correct” response?

Think about it.

Now here’s some truth in love.

Whenever you or I opt for a “churchically-correct” response, we are lying.

Whenever we opt for a response that in our view seems easier and/or more acceptable, yet hides or evades the truth, we are lying.

Ouch!

According to the Word of God, we are to be truthful in our communications with each other.

Ephesians 4:15 states:

“Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).” (Amplified Bible)

Ephesians 4:25 states:

“Therefore, rejecting all falsity and being done now with it, let everyone express the truth with his neighbor, for we are all parts of one body and members one of another.” (Amplified Bible)

SELAH!

If faced with a situation where you prefer not to disclose your opinion or to comment on a matter, instead of coming up with a “churchically-correct” response/lie, perhaps you can say:-

“No offense, but I really prefer not to speak to that issue right now.”

“I can appreciate that you want my opinion, but truthfully, I’d rather not comment on that situation.”

“I understand your curiosity but honestly, that’s not an issue I would like to get involved with.”

Or if someone asks you how you are doing and you are not okay but do not want to disclose the details of your situation, instead of coming up with a “churchically-correct” response/lie, perhaps you can say:-

“Right now I am really being tested in some areas of my life, please remember me in prayer”

“All is not well but God is faithful”

“I don’t want to get into details at this time but I am really being challenged in my marriage/with my teenage daughter/by a situation in my workplace etc.”

There are many ways to speak the truth in love as opposed to giving a dishonest response.

It may take some time, learning, practice, and definitely commitment, but with the help of the Lord we can grow up in this area.

So, the next time you face a situation that requires a response, remember that as  Kingdom Ambassadors and representatives of Christ, we ought to speak the truth in love, to speak it respectfully, politely, clearly, honestly, and for the lasting good of those who hear us. 

Be encouraged!

Kim

Copyright © 2011 by Kim, Author of “Unwalled” Blog, All rights reserved.

Image courtesy of jscreationzs/FreeDigitalPhotos.net