Going Deeper with the Message:
The Most Important Issue
by: Ben Biles
With Election Day swiftly approaching on November 3rd, many people have been thinking about the political issues surrounding the presidential election. In recent weeks, we’ve been exposed to two presidential debates, one vice presidential debate, and a town hall from each of the candidates. As both sides disagree as to the best solution to the nation’s problems, voters try to find the candidate that most aligns with their own values. But as we’ve seen and experienced, the political tension between the two sides has created a charged atmosphere. We are left wondering how to engage with the political landscape as believers in Jesus.
On Sunday, Pastor Tim engaged with many of the top political issues and pointed us to how each issue aligned with biblical values. One of the points he made early on was that “people are more important than perspectives.” Though we have a responsibility to engage with politics, we must place a greater value on loving others. As believers, the most important issue is showing the world the love of God through the gospel of Jesus Christ. We should engage political discussions with this as our foundation. This means that, although we may disagree with the political stance of others, we must not allow that to weaken our love for them.
Tim also pointed out that Christians have different opinions on various candidates and issues. Some Christians will vote for Trump and some Christians will vote for Biden. Though we differ politically, we must not be divided relationally. When we allow the political issues to divide us relationally, we show the world that Christians are not united under Christ, but under something else. This happens when we place a greater importance on the political issues instead of the Gospel.
The Apostle Paul writes to the Philippians, “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel” (Philippians 1:27). He encouraged believers to be united in Christ striving together for the gospel. This should be our goal as well. When we stand united in Christ, we are better able to focus on the most important issue: showing the world the love of God through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Living out the Message:
Praying Over Politics
By Ben Biles
On Sunday, Tim addressed issues related to political involvement as Christians. As believers, we have an opportunity through voting to influence our nation, and we should vote with biblical values in mind. This means that we need to first develop an extensive understanding of the things God values through the reading of His Word and meeting with Him in prayer. Second, this means that we need to be informed and knowledgeable concerning the political positions of each presidential candidate. We need to be able to discern how certain issues align with biblical principles and support the candidate we believe best aligns with those principles.
Tim encouraged us at the end of Sunday’s message to focus on love and prayer in the midst of your decision to vote. We need to remain united in love as the body of Christ and shouldn’t allow political diversity to divide us as believers in Jesus. We also need to be prayerful toward how we are to vote. If you haven’t already voted, spend some time in prayer this week processing the political issues with God. Seek out His heart, then go vote.
After you vote, Tim encouraged us to pray even more. Why? Because this is how God desires His people as citizens. The Apostle Paul writes to his pastor friend Timothy on how to direct the church in Ephesus, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:1–4). As believers, we are directed by God to pray for whoever is in leadership—and this was around the time of the reign of Nero, one of the most corrupt of the Roman Emperors. We pray that God will give them wisdom and understanding to lead our country well and into greater peace.
Finally, trust that no matter who is elected as President of the United State, God is still sovereign in all things. He is in control and His will will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Do not let despair, anger, or apathy take hold of your mind and heart, but go on praying so that “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).