Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

Politics and Preaching – Part 3

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Both sides keep blaming each other for the condition of our country but the state of our nation is really just a reflection of the current condition of our hearts. We are telling each other that things are terrible but are things really worse that during the American Civil War, the dust bowls, or World War 2? And how did previous generations get through those tough times? They teamed together, today instead of teaming together we are tearing each other apart. Part of the problem is that we have left our first love, we are relying on our riches instead of the Redeemer. We have traded the treasure of togetherness and the richness of relationship for the trinkets of treasure. We have taken our independence to a new level, instead of celebrating our national independence we are now chasing after and championing individual independence. But this independence comes at the expense of inclusion, where we make it about me instead of we. Today we have a short sighted focus that only goes to the end of our noses, where we only see self and how things will impact us. How did the World War 2 generation save the world from tyrannical oppression and occupation, and then come home and build a powerful nation? Through selfless sacrifice that focused on the greater good not on personal greed. Today we are a nation deeply divided and we want to blame it on race or religion, but our greatest division is not the color of our skin but the selfishness in our core. When it comes to politics nothing is new, political leaders are still promising to fix all of our problems so we can live full and fulfilled lives. Liberals tell us that we need more money and education while Republicans claim that it can be found in economic stability. But if the answer is really found in more money than how come we have more that most and yet are the most miserable? What if the answer to satisfaction is not found in what we have but in who we have? Jesus said a full and fulfilled life is not found in riches but in a relationship with the Redeemer, John 6:35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” Every person hungers for happiness, so we desperately seek satisfaction in people, places, and possessions. We want to know what will make our hearts happy and satisfy the deep desires of our lives. As kids we thought it could be found in a candy bar, or the perfect present at Christmas. We thought that new bike, video game or doll would make us happy but they all fell short. As teenagers we started seeking satisfaction in a significant other, or believing the wisdom of the world we looked for it in good grades or athletic accomplishments. But no matter how much we achieved all of it left us discontent. So as we stepped into adulthood we began to believe the lie that a bigger house, a better job or the right spouse would quench our thirst and satisfy the hunger of our hearts. Yet no matter how hard we try to fill our lives we are always left wanting more because we were created for more than just the trivial pursuit of pleasure. We will never find lasting satisfaction through possessions, places or even people because seeking satisfaction in the things of this world is like chasing the wind. The only thing we will find in chasing after the world is weariness. Many of us waste the treasure of time chasing nothing when we could have been pursuing true peace and pleasure. The problem is that apart from Jesus our hearts are black holes of discontentment that relentlessly devour relationships and riches all while screaming, “I need more.” We’re are constantly consuming any yet always craving, eating but famished and unfulfilled. It is this dissatisfaction in life that leads to disaster, because dissatisfaction in life is near the root of all kinds of damaging sin. Why do people cheat and commit adultery, why do they abuse alcohol and drugs, or mindlessly binge on entertainment, watching ridiculous amounts of television or scroll endlessly on social media? Often they happen because we haven’t found happiness, and our souls are searching for something that will satisfy. At the root of our dissatisfaction is a never-ending thirst that this world will never satisfy. We’ve been duped into believing that a better job, more money, different friends, another spouse, or a better life is the answer to what we need. Yet the only one who can satisfy our soul is the Savior, Jesus Christ. Only Jesus can exceed our expectations, meet out heart needs, and fulfill our deepest desires. Only He can provide the satisfaction we so desperately seek. In 1971 rocker Mick Jagger sang the now familiar lyrics, “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.” Despite having tried everything, “Cause I try and I try and I try and I try” that the world says will satisfy he couldn’t find gratification anywhere. But long before Mick Jagger stated his dissatisfaction King Solomon said the same thing in his quest for fulfillment, Ecclesiastes 1:2, “Meaningless! Meaningless! Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless!” No matter what they tried, that the world had to offer, in their quest for both Solomon and Mick come up short. The reason for their dissatisfaction, they were looking for peace in all the wrong places. Today we are looking to politics to provide peace, but lasting perfect peace is only found in the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. Psalm 63:5 proclaims, “You, God, satisfy me more than the richest of foods. I will praise you with songs of joy.” Because God created us, He alone understands how we are wired. He knows what we crave, and how we try to fill that empty spot with things other than him. The restlessness of your soul can only find rest in the Redeemer. The answer is not riches it’s a relationship with the Redeemer. Our problem today is that we are looking for peace in a political party instead of in the Prince of Peace. We believe the lie that more instead of the Messiah is the answer to our problems. Why are we in debt as a nation? Because we keep borrowing based on the belief that we can buy our way out of our problems, that one more policy or program will bring peace. We are looking to law instead of looking to the Lord. Our division is driven by dissatisfaction, today we care more about being right that loving right. We have replaced charity, compassion and caring with cupidity. We have traded mercy for money as we look to wall street as a major indicator of our nation’s health, but it’s not an indicator of health it’s an indicator of wealth. The truth is you can be wealthy and yet unhealthy. Today we are being taught that economics and the financial condition of our country is the most important factor in determining the success of our nation.  If you want to look at health you have to look at the heart. Today we have hearts of selfishness not service and sacrifice. We care more about how the election will affect us individually than how it will impact our country. It is no longer about we but about me. So what about you what is the current condition of your heart? Do you have a hard heart or a happy heart? Let me leave you with one final thought: If the answer is actually found in a political party then why are both of the candidates that representing those parties so unhappy and full of hate?

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