Respect the Flag

I was driving back to Florida from a church service in Alabama on October 15, 2017. I saw the words “Respect the Flag” flash on the billboard of First Baptist Church of Cottondale. This billboard message surprised me and caused me to ask myself three questions.

My first question was “what does the flag represent?”

According to house.gov, “The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing.” I always considered the flag as an American symbol. I never thought of it as a living thing. Since “the flag represents a living country,” it should represent ALL the Americans that live in this country. Sadly, we live in a nation where we do not respect ALL Americans. However, we are asking ALL Americans to respect the flag by standing during the national anthem.

My second question was “why did Colin Kaeprnick kneel during the national anthem?”

Kaepernick made the following statements to the NFL media in an exclusive interview in 2016: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color….To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” So Kaepernick took a knee to use his platform in the NFL to bring attention to what many Americans were ignoring , i.e., systemic racism and violence against “black people and people of color” by law enforcement.

My final question was “should I stand for the flag?”

I’m an assistant coach for my 10 year-old daughter’s softball team. One night a player asked me why do we take a knee when someone is injured? She then asked, “is it out of respect?” I nodded yes.

Some Americans believe taking a knee during the anthem disrespects war veterans. History teaches us that American soldiers were not the only persons to die for America’s freedom. Thousands of minorities died for America’s freedom too. In the book, The Civil War, Dennis Gaffney described America as a nation once conflicted because leaders like Thomas Jefferson were trying to create a country that defended freedom while reaping “the benefits that came with the enslavement of other human beings.” The freedom we celebrate and enjoy is a result of minorities losing their freedom and sometimes their lives.

So should we stand for the flag or take a knee?

Do you want to show respect for the country and ALL Americans that live in the United States of America? Stand.

Do you want to show respect to all the minorities injured in this country in the past and present? Take a knee.

What do you think? Comment below.

Advertisements

Meditation #3

I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven you for His name’s sake. 13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I have written to you, children, because you know the Father.” 1 John 2:12-13

Though Jesus never sinned, he understands the temptations we face. Resisting temptation is difficult for some Christians. Babies or children in Christ are saved, but they still have the propensity to sin. Young men and young women defeat the temptation of sin. Sometimes they struggle, but they overcome their temptations. Fathers and mothers live like Christ and lead others to do the same. So what will you do, and who will you become? I encourage to “fight the good fight” against sin and grow up in your faith. Then you can help others become mature!

What is your level of spiritual maturity? How do you overcome temptation?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I acknowledge that some temptations are harder to resist than others. Give me the strength to overcome every temptation I face. In Jesus name, amen.

Meditation #2

Jesus Christ, Our Advocate

“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.” 1 John 2:1-2 NASB

Do not sin!! Obeying this command from John the Apostle is “easier said than done.” Although God demands us to live a holy life (1 Peter 1: 15-16), we probably will not live a perfect life. However, Jesus covers our imperfection (sin). He is our advocate. He intercedes for us. He defends us when we do not deserve it. Jesus can advocate for us because he is righteous (in good standing with God), and he is the propitiation for our sins. This means God accepted the death of Jesus as the atonement for our sins. We should be encouraged because we have someone fighting for us even when stop fighting for ourselves. We cannot allow guilt over our sins prevent us from getting back up and following Jesus. Like the Apostle John, “I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”

Do you think it is possible to live a perfect (sinless) life? (post comments below)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for Jesus’ ministry of intercession. May I live a life that honors his sacrifice for me. In His name, amen.

Meditation #1

Confessing Our Sins

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness-” 1 John 1:9 (NASB)

No one is perfect, not even Christians. Sometimes we fall down as we follow Christ. This falling is called sin. We fall short of God’s standard for holiness and purity when we sin. So what should we do when we fall or sin? If we fall down, we must get back up, confess our sins, and keep following Christ. “He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” So the next time you fall: get up, confess your sins and follow Jesus.

Do you confess your sins when you fall down?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, forgive me for my sins. Purify me, so I may be holy and reflect Christ in how I live my life. In Jesus name, amen.

5 Reasons to Trust in the Lord

Do you trust in the Lord? Proverbs 3:5-6 are probably the most popular verses regarding the topic of trusting God: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him” (NASB). However, the Psalms are full of verses that encourage us to trust in our Heavenly Father. Here are 5 reasons to trust in the Lord.

1.He will not forsake you.

Psalm 9:10-And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, for You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.

2. You will not be shaken.

Psalm 21:7-For the king trusts in the Lord, and through the lovingkindness of the Most High he will not be shaken.

3. You can stand strong.
Psalm 26:1-Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering

4. He will help you.

Psalm 28:7-The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him.

5. He will surround you with lovingkindness.

Psalm 32:10-Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but he who trusts in the Lord, lovingkindness shall surround him.

Will you trust in the Lord?

Should Christians Support the President?

Should Christians Support President Trump?

Romans 13:1 reads, “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God” (NASB).

According to the Bible, God chose Donald Trump to be America’s president. If we accept this truth, we must also consent to Trump’s presidency as God’s will. Therefore, Christians that do not support the president are rejecting the will of God.

Some Christians do not want to support the presidency of Donald Trump because they believe it violates their moral principles. I believe we can support Donald Trump without violating our moral principles. How can Christians support Donald Trump as president?

First, we can respect him.

1 Peters 2:13 reads, “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority.”

The world is watching our response to the leadership of President Trump. They take note of our attitudes and actions. Peter urges us to respect those in human authority for the Lord’s sake. We may dislike the president’s personality and policies, but we should respect him because God’s word (the Bible) commands us to respect him.

Second, we can pray for him.

1 Timothy 2:1-3 reads, “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.”

We should pray for the president. Pray for his relationship with God. Pray for his family. Pray for his leadership. Instead of protesting him, which is protesting the will of God as well, we should pray for him. Pray for President Trump so we may experience peace in America. Praying for the president also pleases God.

As Christians, we are biblically obligated to support the president by respecting him and praying for him. Will you support the president?

What are your thoughts? Leave your comments!

Why Did God Choose Donald Trump to be President?

Why Did God Choose Donald Trump to be President?

Proverbs 16:33 states, “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.” Romans 13:1 states, “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.

According to the Bible, God chose Donald Trump to be America’s president.I am not saying that we should dismiss President Trumps’ campaign strategy or political alliances. Neither can we ignore democratic blunders. However, Christians must know that Donald Trump became President because he was chosen and established by God.

So why did God choose Donald Trump?

Jesus said what comes out of a man or woman is what defiles that person (see Mark 7:17-22). We are uncertain of a person’s character until it is disclosed. We thought Americans were progressively moving forward regarding equality with the election of Barack Obama as president. I believe God chose Donald Trump to be president because God wanted to reveal America’s true colors. God used the election to unveil the heart and spirit of Americans. Just like the election of Barack Obama, our response to the election of Donald Trump is a revelation of our true nature.

Now we must ask ourselves another question. Will we believe what we see?

 Like, Share, and Comment below.

 

3 Reasons Christians Should Vote

Is voting in government elections a Christian duty? The Bible does not command Christians to vote in government elections. However, the Bible does not command Christians to not vote in government elections. So what should Christians do? Micah Watson an associate professor of political science at Calvin College and contributor to www.thegospelcoalition.org gives Christians three reasons to vote.

First, Watson proposes that voting is promoting what we believe to be good and “which public servants would most faithfully carry out that mandate.” Christians exercise our basic civic duty through voting by “electing, respecting, and empowering those public servants who give their full attention to governing.”

Second, Professor Watson believes “voting is one measure whereby we learn what it would mean to promote the common good in our particular community. It’s a small but tangible exercise that can lead to even greater involvement in cultivating a just and merciful society.”

Finally, Micah Watson encourages Christians to vote because it communicates to “our neighbors—believers and nonbelievers alike—that we too are committed to a vision of the good life. We care about their well-being, even on issues that are secondary to eternal matters.”

In summary, Christians should vote because voting empowers us to influence government with our Christian worldview regarding what is good and right for society.

Do you think Christians should vote? Why or why not? Let me hear from you! Leave your comments!

 

 

Micah Waton’s full article can be viewed at https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/why-christians-should-vote.

 

How to Vote in the Presidential Election

This year America will elect the first woman or billionaire to be president. How should Christians vote in this historical election? Here are three suggestions.

First, vote for a candidate based on past actions versus presidential platform. Politicians make several promises when running for office, but they have many broken promises when leaving office. So vote on their past actions, not their political agenda.

Second, vote according to your personal convictions. Compare the nominee’s platform to your principles. If your convictions and integrity will not let you vote for a person, choose another candidate. Do not vote for a candidate that does not represent what you believe.

Third, cast your vote based on biblical values. Conservative or Liberal values are not equivalent to biblical values. Vote for the candidate that will exemplify godliness in government and lead our nation with biblical principles not political platforms.

Go vote and pray for “all who are in authority” because “there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God” (Rom. 13:1, NASB).

© 2016 Jesse L. Nelson