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People often ask, What is WRONG with America?  Why the hatred, Discord, and division?

Our Worship Pastor Bill Risinger and I talking about that just this week.  I believe his observation is correct. Too many people, too many Citizens believe that Personal FREEDOM is the HIGHEST ETHIC.

Many people today believe MORE than Anything that they have the Freedom to do whatever they WANT and if you Don’t like it, then it is acceptable to insult,  harass ,  disparage, assault and/or shut businesses down.

Therefore when there is disagreement over such issues as The Sanctity of Life, Marriage, Sexuality, Abortion, Immigration, Legalizing of  drugs, Gun Rights and such, the focus is on individual desires.

But Individual Freedom is NOT the HIGHEST Ethic…..Love is!

The bible says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I believe if we could Love like Jesus, if  we could interject a concern, interest and open dialogue with whom we disagree there would be less division, discord and hatred in our national discussions.

If this is going to happen then Good Citizens Must…….

 

PRAY FERVENTLY

Do you pray for our country?  If you don’t pray for our country then now is the time to start.

Dick Halverson, the former chaplain of the United States senate wrote;

“Intercession Prayer is the truly universal work for the Christian. No place is closed to intercessory prayer, no continent, no nation, no organization, no city, no office. There is no power on earth that can keep intercession out. What an incredible opportunity intercessory prayer affords the one who takes prayer seriously”.

Pray for our President;  pray for our nation’s leaders,  pray for those in authority over us.

The battle for godly government is best won on Humble Knees in Pray not with Raised fists against each other.

LIVE SOBERLY

Though the tide of public opinion often sways and even storms against Christ-followers, we must strive to live worthy unto Christ, our Lord.  Peaceful, holy, quite Lives.

Faithful Christians make good citizens.  In fact, the best, most diligent, most honest, most loyal, most patriotic citizens of the United States of America should be dedicated Christians.  We ought to be the ones that our government can count on to be honest, law abiding and Peaceful citizens.

WITNESS URGENTLY

In his Book, “Why the Cross Can Do What Politics Can’t”  Erwin Lutzer writes,

“It is tempting to wrap the cross of Christ in the flag, to equate the American dream with God’s dream for this nation. We have attached a myriad of agendas to the cross of Christ, often clouding the one message that the world needs to hear with clarity and power. Incredibly, the church has, for the most part, abandoned the very message that is most desperately needed at this critical hour of history.”

I add……The Message Needed is Jesus is the only hope for our country.

It has been Said;  Nature forms us.  Sin deforms us, Education informs us; but only Christ transforms us.”

The great Empire of Rome fell NOT from the outside, she fell FROM the inside. Rome was rotten and corrupted in its government and in its people. Rome fell.

We will fall just like Rome unless we have a transformation of the hearts and minds of our everyday citizens and Jesus is the answer to changing hearts and minds.

You want to do something great for your country? Be  faithful to the gospel message found in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  Realizing the truth of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.

I would be honored to share more with you about HOW you could come to be Transformed by the Power of Jesus.

What do Good Citizens do?

Pray Fervently

Live Righteously

Witness Urgently.

 

Dr. Smiley is the Senior Pastor Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2600 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship that is locally, regionally and globally engaged.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “TomSmileyMinistries”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/  His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his TomSmileyMinistries website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

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Take a moment to watch this 3.5 minute video of my preaching on the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ and how that is critical to our understanding of the Gospel.

* Special Note:  I was asked by our local newspaper “The Gainesville Times” to submit an article on truth. Here it is:

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The last several Times’ “minister columns” have been about truth. We’ve read comments from several writers, but I offer the one single statement which sums up the topic: ​“Truth can NEVER contradict itself.”

That means that anyone who says that there is No absolute truth is both incorrect and illogical.

I found Christian apologist Dr. Douglas Groothuis very helpful in understanding truth. He maintains that there can be “only one truth.” In other words, two things cannot contradict each other and both be true.

Today, it is fashionable to embrace a cultural relativism that denies any type of absolute truth. Unfortunately, that fad has invaded many pulpits and congregations.

Besides the problem of self-contradiction, there are other problems of logic one must overcome to believe that there are no absolute or universal truths.

If there is no such thing as absolute truth, then there is nothing ultimately right or wrong about anything. What might be “right” for you does not mean it is “right” for me. While on the surface this type of relativism seems to be appealing, it really means that everyone sets his own rules to live by and does what he or she thinks is right.

If there is no absolute truth and no standard of right and wrong to which we are all accountable, then we can never be sure of anything. People would be free to do whatever they want–murder, steal, lie, cheat, etc.–and no one could say those things would be wrong.

From a spiritual standpoint, this type of relativism results in religious confusion. If no one religion is true and so many religions contradict each other, how could anyone ever know how to be in a right relationship with God?

In the realm of religious faith, we must assert that there is only one truth. Just think for a moment about the truth claims that various religions make about matters of faith.

Christians say God is triune and personal.  Muslims say that God (Allah) is unitary and the non-dualistic Hindus say God is impersonal.

Furthermore, Christianity teaches that humans are created in God’s image but are fallen and sinful.  Islam says that humankind is flawed but not fallen.  Some forms of Hinduism teach that mankind is divine but ignorant.

It is apparent given these clear contradictions between certain religions, they can’t all be true.

Knowing and pursuing truth is of paramount importance to our lives.

I have discovered that absolute truth does indeed exist.

The most reliable source of absolute truth is the Bible–God’s word. This book tells of the ways in which God revealed Himself. God does indeed speak truth to men; with divine authority through His word, the Bible.

The Bible points us to the truth that there is a sovereign God who created the heavens and the earth and who has revealed Himself to us so that we might know Him personally through His son Jesus Christ. That is the absolute truth.

Pilate asked Jesus to his face: “What is truth?”  Pilate should have asked, “Who is truth?” To which the Bible gives a resounding answer: Jesus IS the truth.

The reason you and I must know the truth is because Jesus said, “I am the truth and the truth shall set you free.”

Self-constructed morality holds no promise except that it will change with emotions, and cultural trends. Self-constructed morality will eventually fail you.

It would be my honor to share with you more about how the truth of Jesus will set you free.

P. S.   Isn’t one saying, “There is NO Absolute Truth, actually admitting there is an absolute Truth? (It just happens to be an absolute with which they agree)

Dr. Smiley is the Senior Pastor Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2600 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship that is locally, regionally and globally engaged.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “TomSmileyMinistries”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/  His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his TomSmileyMinistries website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

Just read where North Korea’s Kim Jong Un has banned Christmas; INSTEAD He Commands the People to Celebrate The birth of his Grandmother….Well here is a news Flash for Kim Jong Un.

“for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” ….. {P.S. HE is KING of KINGS; Lord of Lords}.

Don’t fear, don’t be dismayed;

Unjust Rulers {Herod} may have their day.

Tyrants  {Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein} may run roughshod over people unable to do anything about it.

Evil  Dictators {Kim Il Sung, Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin} may think themselves invincible,

But Jesus’ birth announcement PROCLAIMS…JESUS IS KING OF KINGS.

It is by the Clear and True Word of God that I say to Kim Jong Un and all the Despots like Him;

“…AT the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”.

Pray for the Opposed and Persecuted church.

Given that so many of our Brothers and Sisters in Christ are living under the Threat of a “Raised FIST” at LEAST let us resolve to proclaim Jesus in the threat of a “Raised Eyebrow”!

Please don’t be ashamed of Jesus, Don’t ever back up on Who JESUS is.

Remember the words of Jude, “contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.  For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about[b] long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord”. 

Peace and Merry Christmas!

Dr. Smiley is the Senior Pastor Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2600 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship that is locally, regionally and globally engaged.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “TomSmileyMinistries”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/  His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his TomSmileyMinistries website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

 

How can some churches affirm Same-Sex Marriage and relationships and others NOT affirm Same-Sex Marriage and relationships?

Aren’t they both reading the same Book?

The short answer is THEY ARE. (But read on.)

The really more basic question that must be answered FIRST is,  will the Church lose her biblical conviction and courage and morph into an unrecognized entity of this current age?

Recently, Same-Sex Marriage has come back on the local news scene with the decision of FBC, Macon to affirm same-sex marriage and with a new Gainesville, Georgia local “gathering” whose purpose is to affirm same-sex marriage and provide an officiate for same sex weddings.

I find it unfortunate that the First Baptist Church in Macon Georgia now joins a list of other formerly strong evangelical churches, led by the Episcopal Church from years ago, in affirming same-sex marriage and that these new “affirming” groups are gathering throughout local communities supporting and encouraging same-sex marriage and homosexual relationships.

The Question: Are they reading the same Book? (Read on.)

Some local clergy and lay volunteers who affirm same-sex marriage and homosexual lifestyle like to throw around reasons such as God is Love, God is BIG, Love is Love, Love is Good; and the list goes on ad nauseam.  Those clichés may sound and “feel good” but none of them convey what is really happening.

Actually, such clergy and lay volunteers are professing that they have decided to forsake the Scripture ascertaining NOW that they have some “NEW KNOWLEDGE” that the Church did not have 2000 years ago.

They are reading the same Book BUT they believe they have been enlightened with NEW KNOWLEDGE that allows the belief — the Bible NOW does not mean what it says.

What really makes this frustrating for a person like me, who holds to a Biblical Worldview, is that as I follow and affirm 2,000 years of consistent Biblical orthodoxy, this “new crowd” is coming along claiming “SPECIAL REVELATION” and asserting that I am the one being intolerant and divisive.

Understand, I am holding to 2000 years of Biblical Orthodoxy; and yet, I am the one being labeled divisive.

The clear “bottom line” (for anyone who has even a hint of intellectual integrity) is those who deny Biblical Authority on ANY subject claiming “Special Knowledge” are really 21st century Gnostics.

Yes, we are reading the same Book BUT Gnostic thinking claims that deeper truth can be found apart from God.

However, Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Instead of searching our corrupt, flawed “inner selves” for answers, believing we have received new and special knowledge, we should instead test everything against the revealed Word of God (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

In the end, it is God’s truth alone that can be trusted.

So, when the Bible affirms marriage being between a man and a woman or lists homosexuality (and other activity as well) as sin, it is the modern day Gnostic that says, “No, you are wrong. We have Special Knowledge.”

This is what happens when churches abandon Scripture so they can feel good.

It is sad that the 21st century Church is having to  fight Gnostic Hersey from the 1st Century all over again!

Yes, we are reading the same Book BUT some NOW think that deeper truth can be found apart from God. They choose to believe, at their own peril, that the Bible NOW does not mean what it says.

We were warned of this in Scripture in Jude.

Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about[b] long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.

N. T. Wright, Anglican Bishop of Durham, noted scholar and theologian, has indicated that it is NOT intellectually honest to remove the biblical admonition to refrain from same sex activity or promote marriage as something other than between a male and female.

Clergy and local lay ministry volunteers, I urge you to hear these words of the Anglican scholar and author, J. I. Packer when he was asked about the affirming or blessing of same-sex marriage.

He said, “Asking God to sanctify sin by blessing what he condemns is irresponsible, irreverent, and blasphemous. It is completely unacceptable as church policy. I will not do it.”

Given that many Christians around the globe are “standing against a RAISED FIST,” I am willing to stand against the “Raised Eyebrows” in my own community and say as J. I Packer did, “I WILL NOT DO IT!”

 

Dr. Smiley is the Senior Pastor Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2600 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship that is locally, regionally and globally engaged.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “TomSmileyMinistries”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/  His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his TomSmileyMinistries website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

 

As I watched and observed the behavior of those in Charlottesville and in Seattle, I can’t help but think of Captain Woodrow F. Call of “Lonesome Dove” fame.

Following an ugly incident when he had to take up for a young boy being abused by an angry adult, he said, “I hate rudeness in a man, won’t tolerate it.”

The violent events last week in Charlottesville and Seattle are at their core rude, ugly, hateful and mean-spirited.  There is NO PLACE for such behavior, especially in the name of God.

I unapologetically proclaim that those who demonstrated or fueled hatefulness, racism, discrimination and violence do NOT represent God in any form or fashion.  They are wrong and deceived.

It would appear, too many people have forgotten or choose to ignore…..that there is only one race—the human race.

Caucasians, Africans, Asians, Indians, Arabs, and Jews are really not different races. Rather, they are different ethnicities of the human race.

More importantly, all human beings are equally created in the image and likeness of God.

God loved the world so much that He sent Jesus to lay down His life for us.   The “world” obviously includes all ethnic groups and all human beings.

It is important to understand and to proclaim, “God does not show partiality or favoritism and neither should we.  We are to love our neighbors as ourselves.”

What makes all forms of racism, prejudice, and discrimination so ugly is that such opinions are an affront to the work of Christ on the cross; Christ Died for all.  Since God’s Love is impartial we need to set that as our standard.

Stop mistreating any person created in God’s image; we are hurting somebody whom God loves and for whom Jesus died.

Final Thoughts:

Those who practice racism, prejudice and discrimination need to repent.

Victims of racism, prejudice and discrimination need to forgive just as in Christ God forgave you. While racists may not deserve your forgiveness, we deserved God’s forgiveness far less.

I pray that Galatians 3:28 would be more fully realized in our association with one another: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Please let’s all try turning off the television and begin to love our neighbor.

 

Addendum August 16, 2017

Let me be very Clear….as I was about Jim Jones, a deceiver, and David Koresh a false teacher…..I renounce anyone who professes to be Christian, who professes to know God that seeks to use GOD’s Word to advocate that one part of the HUMAN RACE is Better than another Part of the Human Race, I renounce anyone who would insinuate that God’s Word or HIS Character shows partiality to any Race, group, or Nation of people. I Denounce any Group who misapplies, misinterprets or misrepresents what God says in His Word about the Value, Worth and Dignity of all people. I can’t speak for Others, But I Do Speak for Lakewood Baptist, we will Proclaim the TRUTH about Jesus and we will affirm the Truthful Teaching of God’s Perfect Word. See ME if you need additional enlightenment on this matter.

 

 

Modern society calls it “Easter.”

The one thing I find that people most often stumble over is the fact that Jesus actually did rise from the dead.

Just a few Years ago I was gravely disappointed with Three of our community’s prominent Churches who along w/ a community university sponsored a Pseudo- Intellect who presented to our community a series of lectures attempting to explain “Why the Bodily resurrection of Jesus isn’t   Necessary to believe in.

Consider This:

Thomas Arnold (Professor and world-renowned historian)  “I can tell you that Christ’s resurrection from the dead is the “best-attested fact in human history”.

C.S. Lewis: {about the Resurrection of Jesus} ….something perfectly  new in the history of the Universe happened….. Christ defeated death.

 Tim Keller: 21st C. author and pastor in  Manhattan, NY) “If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead.”

The Apostle Paul Said:  “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins..

The Point is Simple:

Either The Resurrection we celebrate TODAY is REAL and ACTUAL or it is NOT….

Jesus’ Resurrection did happen, it isn’t a myth. It isn’t merely a nice idea that Christians have, Rather, it is something which occurred in history.

The truth is everyone in the world is affected by the resurrection of Jesus.

Nobody can live unchanged by this great historically accurate event!

Resurrection Evidence reveals that….

* The New Testament story is not a legend:  New Testament documents were written within two generations of the events by eyewitnesses or their contemporaries. The New Testament story-line is corroborated by non-Christian writers.

* The New Testament story is not an embellishment: New Testament writers were meticulously accurate as the well over 140 historically details demonstrate.

* The New Testament writers were not deceived: The New Testament writers were not wrong about what they saw! If all their other historical details has proven to be Accurate, why do you think they would be deceived about the resurrection?

There will always be people who say that Jesus did not really rise from the dead!

Don’t be discouraged by doubters who deny the resurrection.

Instead, Be filled with hope because one day you will see the living proof when Jesus Christ returns.

What does the resurrection mean to every one who by Faith accepts it?

I can have confidence that the apostles early teaching was true.

I know I am forgiven for my sins.

Finally, Because of the Resurrection I know that  God is a Living Sovereign. The Resurrection tells the world that the kingdom of God is ruled by a living sovereign.

* The founder of Buddhism is dead and his bones lie dormant in the earth.

*The founder of Islam is dead and his bones lie dormant in the earth.

But the founder of Christianity Jesus —made a number of appearances after His death over a 40 day Period.

For Instance:

Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, the women that came to Jesus tomb (Mary the Mother of James, Salome, and Joanna),

He appeared to two disciples on the Emmaus road.

He also appeared to the remainder of the Twelve Disciples with Thomas absent.  Later he appeared to them with Thomas present.

There was also an appearance to seven disciples on the Sea of Galilee.

On another occasion Jesus appeared to over five hundred people at the same time.

There is also an appearance to James.

Finally Jesus appeared to Saul of Tarsus – the man who became the Apostle Paul.

Jesus is Not DEAD IN THE GRAVE

 HE IS RISEN.  Have you received HIM today?  I would love to help. Please contact me.

Dr. Smiley is the Senior Pastor Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2400 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship locally and globally.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “Life with Smiles Ministry”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/   His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

Jesus said,

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Pray:

Lord Jesus, please forgive me for allowing worry and anxiety to take root in my life.  Father, please forgive me for living from a worldly perspective rather than Your eternal perspective.

I give You the weight of the world that I have taken on my shoulders, and I place it in Your hands.  I make this my declaration:  I will fix all my thoughts on You because I trust in You.

I surrender complete control. You are greater than any fear my mind can conceive.  I cannot change the future. I cannot change human hearts, but I trust you enough to bring to you my concerns.

Thank You Father, for delivering me from worry.  I thank You for allowing me to rest in this confidence, knowing that You are for me and with me.  In Jesus Name I pray, Amen

Dr. Tom Smiley is a pastor, author, speaker, blogger, husband, grand dad, and Christ-follower.  He is a regional radio talk show host with WDUN Jacobs Media.  He is the founder of Life with Smiles Ministry.  His Sunday messages are broadcast on WDUN 550, and his “blog” entries and thoughts on God, Christian faith, current events, politics and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/

His books: Runaway Lives: Overcoming Emotional Undercurrents, Angels all Around, and Uncommon Common Sense can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website (www.lifewithsmiles.com).  Dr. Smiley is available for speaking engagements and discussion forums and can be contacted at  tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org or by calling 770.532.6307.

Americans have just celebrated another “Presidents’ Day” honoring all who served in our highest office.

One of the most notable and relevant Presidential messages is from President Franklin Roosevelt’s first inaugural address during the depth of the great Depression in 1933.

He said, “…the only thing we have to fear is fear itself…”

Well, as Yogi Berra said, “Deja vu over again”.  Today, We find ourselves living in unsettling times.  Especially with regard to how our nation seems so divided and fearful.  While I’m sure there are many reasons we could cite for all the protests, unrest or disharmony, one reason remains clear: FEAR.

Fear is a dangerous and deadly undercurrent of life.  It will rob us of vitality, enthusiasm, anticipation and progress.

The Proverb writer is accurate when he writes, “I am worn out by my worries” — fear.

Think about the “fruit” of fear.

Fear ruins relationships because it prevents honesty.  When we deny our feelings and refuse to tell the truth we destroy those closest to us.

Fear hinders genuine happiness. Think about it; one cannot be happy and fearful at the same time.

Additionally, fear will sabotage success. The way we tend to think is the way we tend to react in life.  I am reminded that Job said to his friends, “Everything I fear and dread comes true.”

So what is the antidote to overcoming fearful living?

First for me, fear’s best antidote is filling my mind with God’s truth.  The Gospel writer John penned the words, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)

Living free from fear will come as you build your life on truth.

Secondly, I have discovered as I fill my heart with God’s love, I tend to be less fearful.  Anytime you replace bitterness, anger and resentment with God’s love and compassion, fear is expelled.

A contemporary translation of a biblical text reads, “Love fully developed, expels every particle of fear.”

Finally, an antidote to fear is to replace fear with faith — faith to acknowledge Jesus as your Savior and Lord.  Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus and said, “Above all, be sure to take faith as your shield, for it can quench every burning missile that the enemy hurls at you.”

Our adversary, Satan, seeks to put fear in our hearts and minds.  He suggests all kinds of things for which to be fearful.

The shield against such an attack is faith. Where do you need faith today?

Faith to accept Jesus as Savior?

Faith to join a community of believers?

Faith to change a career?

Faith to make a commitment in marriage?

Overcome your fear!  Fill your mind with God’s truth.  Fill your heart with God’s love. Fill your life with faith in Jesus.

Dr. Tom Smiley is a pastor, author, speaker, blogger, husband, grand dad, and Christ-follower.  He is a regional radio talk show host with WDUN Jacobs Media.  He is the founder of Life with Smiles Ministry.  His Sunday messages are broadcast on WDUN 550, and his “blog” entries and thoughts on God, Christian faith, current events, politics and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/

His books: Runaway Lives: Overcoming Emotional Undercurrents, Angels all Around, and Uncommon Common Sense can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website (www.lifewithsmiles.com).  Dr. Smiley is available for speaking engagements and discussion forums and can be contacted at  tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org or by calling 770.532.6307.

It isn’t often that I find myself “looking for words” but I have to admit that on the Eve of the 2016 Presidential Election I am struggling to express how I am feeling.

There a few presuppositions that I hold which inform my heart and desires.

First, I hold an uncompromising Biblical World View.  This of course is opposed to a Humanist World View or even a “Christian World View”.  (The problem with a “Christian” World View is that the word Christian has been so misused and abused that in many cases I am not sure what some people even mean when they speak about a Christian World View.)

In addition I love this Country.  I see the good, the positive and the generosity of this Nation and its people.  Two grandfathers and my Dad were combat veterans and I have a strong respect for those who serve this nation.

Moreover, I believe that the Sanctity of Life, a Supreme Court whose Justices revere the Constitution, a fair and balanced tax code, smaller government, personal accountability and an immigration policy that seeks to assimilate new Citizens who will love America are ALL Critical to the survival of AMERICA.

I also believe that a strong America is important to the Global Mission of the Great Commission.  A strong America can be that “beacon on the hill” that spreads the life giving message of The Gospel.

Given all that I feel, my heart hurts.  My heart hurts that there are so many who don’t respect the rule of Law, who don’t have a love for all Life, every color, every age and every social standing.

My heart hurts because I see current policies that creates vast government bureaucracies , policies that don’t promote self reliance and personal accountability and policies that penalize the hard working class of our nation.

My heart hurts because there is a sense of “entitlement” expressed by many in this nation who have contributed so very little to the greatness of this nation.

I don’t know what Tuesday, November 8th will reveal but I know Who is my King.  I know that above EVERYTHING Else I will trust, proclaim and worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

I KNOW  God’s sovereignty is defined as His complete and total independent control over every creature, event, and circumstance at every moment in history.

I KNOW God is subject to none, influenced by none, absolutely independent, God does what He pleases, only as He pleases, always as He pleases.

I KNOW that God, the One True God, is Unlimited in HIS power, unrivaled in HIS majesty, and not thwarted by anything outside Himself, our God is in complete control of all circumstances, causing or allowing them for His own good purposes and plans to be fulfilled exactly as He has foreordained.

I hope you KNOW this God, the One True God, by acknowledging the Gift of Jesus. (I would be honored to share more about how You could be assured of  eternal life at death and purposeful life here while you wait).

I don’t know how I will feel on November 9th, but am confident in KNOWING God really does care about us and I can rejoice in our God’s sovereignty, because it is overshadowed by His goodness, His love, His mercy, His compassion, His faithfulness, and His holiness.

I believe God’s Love wants what is Best for me; I believe God’s Wisdom knows what is Best for me; I believe God’s Power will accomplish what is Best for me.

I hope God Blesses America!

 

Discouragement is a powerful tool of the “accuser,” our adversary; and this discouragement can lead us into a state of doubt and fear.

Remember how the Hebrews became so discouraged by their circumstances that THEY HAD LOST HOPE.

Numbers 14:2ff records a very dark and discouraging moment for Moses and his leadership:

Then the whole community broke into loud cries, and the  people wept that night. All the Israelites complained about  Moses and Aaron, and the whole community told them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt, or if only we had died   in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us into this land   to die by the sword? Our wives and little children will become plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to  Egypt?” So they said to one another, “Let’s appoint a leader   and go back to Egypt.”  Numbers 14:1-4

Notice the question, “Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?”.

You may recall that this passage speaks to the time right after 10 spies filed a very negative analysis of possessing Canaan, the Land of Promise.

The people worked themselves into such a state of despair and discouragement that they demanded “slavery as their NEW VISION.”

Today, discouragement is still a powerful tool of the “accuser,” our adversary; and he seeks to create in our hearts and attitudes a state of doubt and fear.

For many years and during the most recent months we have seen situations all across this country that point to how divided and fractured our nation is. Nightly news casts, internet blogs, opinions of “experts” all seem to point to a nation that is being ravaged by racial, economic, and social class unrest and mistrust.

The adversary is sowing the same mistrust, hatred and division today, which is creating a spirit of discouragement and fear in the lives of those who claim to KNOW and TRUST God.

WE MUST NOT FALL into a state of fear and distress.

The question is HOW do we LIVE ABOVE fear and distress.

Here is Truth from God’s Word:

Remember what God has promised.

Remember when we experience hardship, it’s part of the process, not a sign that God isn’t working on our behalf.

We are experiencing trouble on every side, but are not  crushed; we are perplexed, but not driven to despair; we  are persecuted, but not abandoned; we are knocked down,      but not destroyed, always carrying around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our body.   2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Remember God will finish what He started. He doesn’t leave us behind.

I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you[a]     will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.      Philippians 1:6 (HCSB)

Bottom Line:  Don’t Despair!  REMEMBER:

God’s Love WANTS what is Best for me;

God’s Wisdom KNOWS what is Best for me; and

God’s Power WILL ACCOMPLISH what is Best for me!

Dr. Tom Smiley is a pastor, author, speaker, blogger, husband, grand dad, and Christ-follower.  He is a regional radio talk show host with WDUN Jacobs Media.  He is the founder of Life with Smiles Ministry.  His Sunday messages are broadcast on WDUN 550, and his “blog” entries and thoughts on God, Christian faith, current events, politics and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/

His books: Runaway Lives: Overcoming Emotional Undercurrents, Angels all Around, and Uncommon Common Sense can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website (www.lifewithsmiles.com).  Dr. Smiley is available for speaking engagements and discussion forums and can be contacted at  tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org or by calling 770.532.6307.

 

 

 

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