Freedom and Serving

One day, those who trust in the precious blood of Christ shed for the world will be free from all sorrow and tears. We will have freedom and liberty unknown even now. We will be free to worship the Lord Jesus without constraints, personal or corporate. He will be exalted forever and ever.

Yet, today, the wickedness of this coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on many lives, especially first responders and health care providers.  Some in our midst are demanding their right to live the way they want. They are demanding to go where they want, to assemble as they want and to carry on as they would want.

I WANT that for everyone! It would seem we are guaranteed that. But if my freedom endangers others, then I should restrict myself for the sake of others. I should restrict myself, so as not to endanger first responders and health care providers or others. If I am foolish, then I should not cause others to be put in the position of endangerment.

My challenge is, if I demand my freedom to live the way I want, will I live and love others thinking more highly of them than myself?  Paul wrote, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. (Phi 2:3-4)  If I don’t even know if I’m carrying a virus (asymptomatic), then how should I relate to vulnerable people (which we are now learning is just about everyone)?

Again Paul wrote, “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself. But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. (Gal 5:13-16) Do I have liberty in Christ to do as I want OR as would best be serving (loving) other people. That would include all people, especially, the household of God.  Am I truly loving others as commanded (Matt 22:37-39)?

I know the issue many are making is government intrusion into my/our life/lives. I don’t want the government to cross the line – EVER! Yet, our government was established for a morally righteous people. So, what do the current actions of people say for those who gather and unknowingly spread the virus? Would they be considered wise? Would they be considered as loving others as commanded?

Look at these passages! The issue is not my right, but how do I serve others? The issue is humbling myself for the sake of others.

Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; (Rom 12:10)

…submitting to one another in the fear of God. (Eph 5:21)

Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Pet 5:5 )

Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. (Rom 14:19-22)

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, (Eph 4:1-2)

Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being. (1 Cor 10:24 )

Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved. (1 Cor 10:32-33)

No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. (1 Cor 12:22-26)

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; (1 Cor 13:4-5)

I know a huge danger is shutting down businesses. AND how will those businesses get going. AND people are likely going to suffer because of not having a job. AND people are going to lose their homes. We are on uncharted waters. I’m not sure government should be in the role of shutting down businesses. Considering how little we knew about this virus and considering how little people were “restricting themselves for the sake of others,” and considering we are lovers of self rather than lovers of others, I wonder what the numbers would be if guidance was not put out?

I’m not casting stones. I’m not sure of the best way to give business freedom to operate. I’m just asking that we apply God’s Word to imitate the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the One who said, “”For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mar 10:45)

Wealth Inequality: Country

There is an Interesting article on David Stockman who warned of the wealth inequality in the United States.1 His problem isn’t with the wealthy achieving wealth through business or even through the stock market, but that the stock market is unusually propped up because of the Fed’s monetary policy of printing new money. Continue reading

Free Enterprise Death: Country

Free Enterprise is reported to be declining. Breibart reports that since 2008 the number of startup companies lags behind the number of companies closing.1 That IS significant, because without Free Enterprise, Socialism will gain greater power. Socialism is a cooperative system of production, management and distribution by the government. It controls the provision for citizens according to its own rules. Free Enterprise is the initiative of citizens who take the risk to compete for a market share and trusting something other than government – it may be themselves, but many times it is people trusting the grace and mercy of the Lord’s blessing.

Free Enterprise is being choked out by the governmental rules and regulations. Today, there are so many rules protecting the worker that the employer loses hope in a profit. There are, however, many greedy Free Enterprise leaders who are far more concerned for themselves than the workers. While that may be selfishness on their part, it’s far better than government control. That has given great ammunition to Socialists to regulate Free Enterprise.

The death of Free Enterprise would continue to change America for the worse. Yet many American citizens want a handout rather than work for what they need. Therefore they turn directly or indirectly rely upon the government for provisions. The problem is man trusting in man rather than the Lord, “Thus says the LORD,

“Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the LORD. 6 For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes, But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, In a salt land which is not inhabited. 7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD. (Jer. 17:5-7 NKJ)

There is one solution and that is trusting the Lord’s blessing and mercy. I salute all who take the risk to start their own business. May they trust in the Lord, seeking His will, and waiting upon His blessing.

1http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/01/14/economic-death-spiral-more-american-businesses-dying-than-starting/ accessed on January 14, 2015.

War on Poverty Man’s Way

            In 1965 Lyndon Johnson declared war on poverty when 15% of America was under the “poverty” level.  His “deal” became a raw deal, because man will never solve his problems without the Grace of God.  We now spend 668 billion dollars per year on 126 programs.  We are still at the same level of poverty of 15%. God is not a part of the program. If you leave God out of any solution, you’ll have a temporary fix at best and a deceitful money pit of misery at worst.

            When a repentant woman came into a dinner engagement and anointed Jesus’ head with a very costly oil of spikenard, the indignant criticized her for this seemingly waste of resources.  Jesus told them to leave her alone and then said, “For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always.”  (Mark 14:7)  Jesus didn’t say, don’t help the poor, but you may do them good.  He also said they would always be with you.  In other words, we ought to do good by helping, but always in the name of Jesus, so Jesus is the reason for our help to them and they know the reason for the help they receive.  But we should also know that money and resources in themselves are not the solution to poverty as the raw deal has shown.

            Am I against the support the poor receive from the government?  Not really.  I believe the church should be the source of help, but the church is at a point, where it can hardly take care of its own.  Unfortunately, the government welfare level of support has risen 41% in the last three years alone, an astronomical figure and still there is no change to godliness or upward mobility of the poor.  The only true answer is a change of heart and seeking after God’s way.  Money has become one of the “gods of this age.”  People think money will solve theirs and the world’s problems.  It never will and never was meant to solve problems.

            What we can do is reach out to the poor through intentional outreach.  Grace does that through Servant’s Heart, individual ministries and the newly formed Outreach Ministry Team. Who can you tell about your relationship with Jesus Christ?