What’s love got to do with it?

Tonight is the final presidential debate of the 2012 election season. I am kind of excited about it, and kind of dreading it too. I hate that the debates are so antagonistic. I’m sure there’s a way to state your positions without engaging the other side into a petty back and forth. Where’s the love, people?

Politics, and differences of opinion in general can go too far; they can lead to anger and then on to lashing out. Passions can go awry and before we know it, we are angry at our friends and loved ones because they don’t see things the way we do.

Jesus loved, but that doesn’t mean He agreed with everything He heard. The laws of God were not hidden away at home in His Bible on the nightstand, but they were in His heart and in His mind. He didn’t have to research it or have a focus group, He knew the truth, without question.

We don’t have it quite so easy. Even Bible scholars have to go check things out in the Word of God from time to time. I’m no Bible scholar, but I know in my heart what pleases God and what doesn’t. And when it comes decision time, that’s where I have to find my answer.

I have a hard time with listening to political ads and pundits explaining their positions. It’s so easy for me to believe them, so many times my first reaction is, “Yeah, that sounds right.” But it’s my responsibility to understand it beyond just what sounds right. I need to weigh the opinions against what IS right.

We hear the question, “What would Jesus do?” But in reality, we should be asking, “What did He already do?” What Jesus would have done is moot, because He already did it all. When Jesus was faced with sickness, He healed them. When He faced opposition, he drew in the dirt or He moved on to the next town. When He faced the death of His friend, He wept. But through all of those things and in all situations, He obeyed God. He did what His Father told Him. He did what was right; He did the Truth. Yes, that’s Truth with a capital “T.”

Social and economic issues are much harder for me to navigate because I try to break it down to a question of right and wrong–Godly and ungodly. It’s tricky. I wonder if Jesus ever had to vote on something.

Whether or not He did, I know how He made His choice; He consulted the Father. That’s the only way He was able to navigate His life, and fulfill His destiny. We are no different.  We have to search our hearts, seek wisdom from God’s Word, consult the Teacher, and then do what’s right, with love.

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Red hot prayer avails much

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16). Translation, please? Red hot prayer works. Well, what is it? I can tell you what it’s not. It’s not fluffy… it’s not done “in passing.” It’s not an, “I’m just going to throw this out there and see what happens” prayer. Red hot prayer gets things done.

Red hot prayer doesn’t quit. It’s like the Energizer bunny… it just keeps going and going. It goes until it gets the job done.

Red hot prayer is full of the Word of God. It reminds God of His promises. Not like He forgets, but He wants us to know them and stand on them.

Red hot prayer is not desperately pleading with God. It is a prayer full of faith. It is a confident prayer, knowing that God is always faithful to His children.

If you’re finding yourself in a jam today, try a little red hot prayer.