Donald J. Trump: Love him or hate him as our next President?

We all know our nation is greatly divided, including whether we are in despair over our future with a Trump Administration or giddy at the prospects of draining the swamp. Tomorrow, Donald J. Trump will be inaugurated as our next President. Scripture gives us wisdom on how to approach the next four years (or maybe eight). Regardless of your sense of the coming Trump Admnistration, heed the wisdom of Psalm 146.

Put Not Your Trust in Princes

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Wisdom, the secret to a life of mercy and good results

Tthe only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen. – Romans 16:27

With God are wisdom and might;
    he has counsel and understanding. – Job 12:13

Lord, how manifold are your works!
    In wisdom have you made them all;
    the earth is full of your creatures. – Psalm 104:24

21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. … 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. … 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; … 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption – 1 Corinthians 1:21,24,27,30

 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! – Romans 11:33

 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. – Ephesians 3:10

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. – Romans 8:28-29

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. – James 1:5

The law of the Lord is perfect,
    reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
    making wise the simple; – Psalm 19:7

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
    all those who practice it have a good understanding.
    His praise endures forever! – Psalm 11:10

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. – James 3:13-18

Jehovah is the only wise God. While he makes this exclusive claim to wisdom among the gods, the beauty is that he has promised to share his wisdom with we simple ones.

Wisdom in creation

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What to do when life seems completely out of control

Thinking rightly about God and life

…you thought that I was one like yourself. Psalm 50:21

Why do the nations rage
    and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
    and the rulers take counsel together,
    against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
“Let us burst their bonds apart
    and cast away their cords from us.”
He who sits in the heavens laughs; Psalm 2:1-4

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. 12 Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. 1 Chronicles 29:11-12

Lord, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you. 2 Chronicles 20:6

I know that you can do all things,
    and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. Job 42:2

Our God is in the heavens;
    he does all that he pleases. Psalm 115:3

No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel
    can avail against the Lord. Proverbs 21:30

Whatever the Lord pleases, he does,
    in heaven and on earth,
    in the seas and all deeps. Psalm 135:6

The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord;
    he turns it wherever he will. Proverbs 21:1

My times are in your hand; Psalm 31:15

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; Psalm 37:7

Supremacy of Christ

The person who rejoices in the supremacy of Christ in all things rests in God’s Providence while working to fulfill God’s purpose in his life.

We are exhorted in Romans 12 to renew our minds, don’t be conformed to the way the world thinks about things, but be transformed by God’s word. Seeing the supremacy of Christ in all things is definitely going against the grain of world-think. Let me encourage you not to be caught in world-think whether it regard very personal concerns or about larger things that affect nations and our global circumstances. Remember, God is not like us. Therefore, we must not think of him as one of us. He is wholly different.

On the grand scale, nations and cultures stand against Christ and his gospel. That is nothing new. Rather than being overwhelmed with fear, however, let us remember that God’s response is laughter. God holds these folks in derision with scornful laughter.

The fact that the American culture is now in a post-Christian era should not cause our faith to fail. It is perfectly within God’s capability to send a Holy Spirit inspired revival to the Church and an ingathering of unbelievers in massive numbers and completely change the culture of the United States. It is also, however, within God’s purview to deem the time of the ascendency of the United States as the supreme power in the world to an end. Obviously, I would prefer the former to the latter, but my view of God should not hinge on either scenario.

I must have my mind renewed to recognize the absolute supremacy of Christ over all things, at all times, in all places, right now.

So what does this point of view mean to me?

My times are in God’s hands. Therefore, I must be patient and wait on God.

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If someone knows you completely, will they love you?

Do you know the balancings of the clouds,
    the wondrous works of him who is perfect in knowledge – Job 37:16

By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him;20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. – 1 John 3:19-20

For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. – 1 Corinthians 2:11

And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. – Hebrews 4:13

Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. – Matthew 6:8

But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. – Matthew 10:30

Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
    behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. – Psalm 139:1-4

Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them. – Psalm 139:16

God knows everything there is to know about you, your secrets, your past and even your future and he loves you with his steadfast love. I don’t know what could do my mental health more good than to know that someone loves me and knows me, including all of my shortcomings. Some have referred to this as love, acceptance and forgiveness.

But how much does God really know?

He knows it all. (more…)

Your goals for 2017 in a larger context

As for man, his days are like grass;
    he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
    and its place knows it no more.
17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
    and his righteousness to children’s children,
18 to those who keep his covenant
    and remember to do his commandments.
19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
    and his kingdom rules over all. – Psalm 103:15-19

 

While planning for the upcoming year, it is good to view the year from various fields of view. It is proper to have at least a year-long calendar in mind; then it can be broken down into quarterly plans and then down to weekly action items. That way things have a context for accomplishing some bigger and longer term goals. I believe most experts who coach people on planning would essentially agree with me on this.

I would like to take this to another level based on Psalm 103. (more…)

What may we have missed that the shepherds understood?

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. -Luke 2:8-20

Horizons by Phil Koch

 The Jewish expectation of the Messiah was a man sent from God to be their deliverer, what they got was God sent by God in the form of a man to be their Savior.
This reading is so familiar to both Christians and many non-Christians. I encourage you to reread it and do it slowly soaking in each word. You may well find the story tells you things you overlooked due to extreme familiarity.

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The glory of the incarnation

The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.” John 4:19-26

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
    Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
    If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me. Psalm 139:7-10

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. – Exodus 20:4-6

 not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father. – John 6:46

To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. – 1 Timothy 1:17

 who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. – 1 Timothy 6:16

Horizons by Phil Koch

Recognizing the fact that the Triune God is eternal, invisible, spirit and that the eternal Son of God, voluntarily became a man (assuming a finite, visible, fleshly existence) and will forever retain his humanity in its resurrected, glorified state, makes the love of God for us even more glorious in our understanding. (The mystery is that, at the same time he has a body, the Son is eternal, invisible, infinite, spirit.) (more…)

Why you can have confidence in prayer

For the mountains may depart
    and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
    and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,”
    says the Lord, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10

For the Lord is good;
    his steadfast love endures forever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations. Psalm 100:5

I have loved you with an everlasting love;
    therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. Jeremiah 31:3

The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
    the plans of his heart to all generations. Psalm 33:11

But he is unchangeable, and who can turn him back?
    What he desires, that he does. Job 23:13

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.  And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. 1 John 5: 13-16

Our God does not change. He does not change in his essence. He does not change in his attributes. He does not change in regard to his promises. The fact that he does not change, eternally, gives us great confidence in prayer.

Can you imagine coming to a God who could change from time to time? Some days he may be disposed to hear you and others he couldn’t care less? (more…)

Are you worried about your decision being in the will of God?

Will you ultimately experience success in life?

Remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
calling a bird of prey from the east,
the man of my counsel from a far country.
I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;
I have purposed, and I will do it. Isa 46:9-11

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. Proverbs 19:21

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’ Matthew 25:34

And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. Romans 8:27-29

 Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:4-6

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, Ephesians 1:11

This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, Ephesians 3:11

Zufriedene Verbraucher

You might say God is hard-headed, or stubborn, or some other word like my wife uses to describe me because she sees me as unwilling to change my plans once I make them. Now my wife thinks that is a bad trait, and maybe in a human it is, but in God, it is marvelous. The difference is that God never makes bad plans and sometimes I do. I should be willing to change my mind, but God should not. As he says in Isaiah, “I am God, and there is none like me.”

This is really good news to us.

As believers, God has promised to complete in us the work he has started. He is God, and there is none like him! (more…)

Jesus is the same, so is his gospel.

Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them. 10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat. 11 For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. 12 So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. 13 Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. 14 For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. 15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrews 13: 7-16

Horizons by Phil Koch

Horizons by Phil Koch

Because Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah, is the same, that is, he is unchanging, the same is true of his gospel; “it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace.” (more…)