By the time this Devotional is released, there will only be a couple more days before the Presidential Election process is finished and we know who will sit in the seat of authority for the next four years. One of the key words in any election is “change” with the idea that things will get better. It is a catch phrase the candidates use to sway the people’s vote in their direction. I would like to remind the born again, faithful believer in Jesus Christ that whatever the result is of the presidential, and all other state and local elections , that there are some things in our life that will not change.
A much quoted Scripture is found in Hebrews 13:8 – “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today and forever.” The Amplified Translation says, “Jesus Christ is always the same, yesterday, today, yes and forever to the ages.” What a wonderful truth that is to us who believe in Him. Whatever changes may take place in the political realm, Jesus Christ is still the same. No matter what changes are taking place in the positions of earthly authority, Jesus is still at the right hand of the Father and the Father is still on the throne. Romans 8:34 tells us that Christ died and is risen from the dead and is at the right hand of the Father and is making intercession for us. That will not change. That is the simple message of love to all of mankind and it will not change. Because God’s love for us does not change, our love for Him and faith in Him should not change.
In all the changes made in every realm of authority past and present here on earth God’s message has not changed. Those in position of earthly authority have the ability to cause changes in earthly realms such as political or social areas. The authority to encourage and enforce changes comes with the position they are in. God in His sovereignty has allowed earthly authorities to have that power from the kings in the Old Testament to the presidents, prime ministers, and those in authority over nations today. But no earthly authority is ever fractionally close to even approach the authority of God. All authorities are subject to Him no matter what changes may take place during their reign. One of the original testers of that authority in Heaven was Lucifer himself and with the flick of a finger God cast him down as lightning out of Heaven. So God does not change. God allows change through earthly authorities. These changes often affect us in our lives here on earth, but as citizens of the eternal Kingdom of God, we recognize earthly changes by earthly rulers are temporal. Nothing here on earth will change our citizenship status in the Kingdom of God unless we allow it. So an important issue to look at is with all the changes that take place around us, will we change? Will my faith in God weaken if things don’t go the way I think they should? Will I trust God less? Or if things do go the way I think they should, will I pray less? Will I settle back in a spiritual ease?
What I do with a Scripture that is often quoted is go to where it is found in the Bible and place it in context. Let us do that now with Hebrews 13:8 and you will find wonderful instruction to us as believers in Christ.
* Hebrews 13:1– “Let brotherly love continue.” Whatever changes may take place around you, continue to love those who are fellow believers in Christ. By the way, to “continue” doing that you must first “be” doing that. 1st John 4:7-21 is a passage of Scripture that will put that all in perspective if you are willing to look at that area of your life.
* Hebrews 13:2 takes it a step further. “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers. For thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” I would encourage you to not make this Scripture so spiritual that you miss the practical. When Holy Spirit leads you to help someone, even though you may not know them well, help them. Jesus summed it up this way in Matthew 7:12 – “Therefore all things that you would that men should do to you, do you unto them.”
* How about a step farther? Hebrews 13:3 -“Remember those who are in bonds as if you were in bonds with them. And remember those who have been ill treated as you have experienced sufferings as well.” That can be a difficult step because it will take more time and effort. We often shy away from those we perceive are “tough cases.” Allow Holy Spirit to lead you in those tough cases and He will work through you to love them and set them free. Let me reemphasize to let Holy Spirit lead you for there are some that do not want delivered. They like where they are. They like the attention. But don’t allow that reasoning to apply to everyone. There is still others heartily seeking for help. Rely on Holy Spirit to discern the steps to minister to those in need.
* Hebrews 13:4– “Marriage is honorable in all and the bed undefiled, but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” So are you ready to lay this Devotional down yet? Please don’t because this is one of the most pertinent issues in our world today. The god of this world has blinded the minds of many concerning God’s word and sexual righteousness. I could easily write an entire Devotional about that subject alone, but you are fully aware of the enemy’s ploys and tactics to destroy the family unit that God established from the very beginning of the creation of man and woman. So let me quote the words of Jesus Himself and you can compare the world’s view with Christ’s view. “Have you not read that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, for this cause shall a man leave father and mother and shall cleave to his wife and they, the two, will become one flesh? Wherefore they are no more two, but one flesh. What God has joined together, let no man put asunder” (Matthew 19:1-6).
Let me say it doesn’t take a lot of hours of studying Greek and Hebrew to understand what Jesus is saying. Let our views be as Christ’s and not be changed. And let us settle ourselves in the truth that “God will be the Ultimate Judge.” Please understand that this concept is God’s concept and spoken in the greatest love and compassion ever witnessed on this earth, the love of Christ Himself.
Understand as well that God established these principles concerning our sexuality for our good. He did not establish the principle of a family beginning by a covenant between a man and woman so He could watch us struggle. He established it because He knew we would find joy in that relationship and joy in our children from that relationship. Satan intervened to kill, steal, and destroy God’s plan and one strategy was to attack the family unit. All sexual immorality is a result of satan’s plan to destroy God’s perfect plan for mankind. Think of all the heartache, sorrow, and even death that sexual sin has caused.
For those who have taken part in the vice of sexual sin, let me strongly encourage you to run to the compassionate, loving feet of a Saviour and surrender your life to Him and He will give you the life you have been searching for and it is a life that is more abundantly, far above, any life or love that you will find in this world. All relationships should be first founded upon the love of God. It is His love that strengthens our love for others and keeps our relationships righteous.
* Hebrews 13:5– “Let your conduct be without greed and lust. Be content with what you have. For God said, ‘I will never leave thee or forsake thee.’” Let me simplify this. The fact that God is always with us and never leaves us is the Greatest Possession we can have. I had someone ask me recently how it was that with no more possessions then what they have, they could have such peace? The answer is simple, He is the Greatest Possession we could have. Do not let the desire for things change you. Jesus spoke clearly about this in Matthew 6:25-34. The conclusion of it all was this: “Your Heavenly Father knows what you need. You seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all the things you need will be added to you. So don’t worry about tomorrow’s needs.” Yes, sometimes it may seem that it will come right down to the last hour or last minute or even the last second, but put your faith in the Faithful One, trust in Him, seek Him first and live in His grace-given righteousness, and He will provide for you.The other side of that spectrum is to have so much stuff we worship the stuff. That is called idolatry and it is dangerous. Let us follow Paul’s example in Philippians 4:11,12. Whether I have much or little, I will be content in Christ.
* Hebrews 13:6– Since we know God is always with us, “Let us boldly say the Lord is my helper and I will not fear what man can do unto me.” This truly fits into the discussion of earthly authorities that rule over us. Read it again and proclaim it over yourself, your family, and your brothers and sisters in Christ. It is a proclamation that God is the Sovereign Authority over the earth yet He is my personal Helper and Protector. I am secure in Christ. I need not fear changes around me for He changes not.
* And the final Scripture we will look at is Hebrews 13:7– “Remember them which have the rule over you who have spoken unto you the word of God, whose faith follow, considering their conduct and manner of living.” Look at that first part again. “Remember them which have the rule over you and have spoken unto you the word of God.” Our first thought is this applies to our spiritual leaders and yes, it does apply to them. In fact, if a spiritual leader does not speak the Word of God, I would recommend finding one that does. But wouldn’t it be great for our political leaders to speak the Word of God, too?!
Occasionally we will hear a Scripture quoted by a political leader, but not often and sometimes it is just a strategy to sound like a good person. So how do we know if they really mean it? How do we know if any leader is seriously, genuinely quoting Scripture? The second half of Hebrews 10:7 answers that – “Whose faith follow considering their conversation or their manner of living.” Look for the fruit. Jesus spoke of being fruit inspectors in Matthew 7:15-20 and He said, “You shall know them by their fruit.”
Ask Holy Spirit to reveal the fruit of leaders’ lives to you. If that leader follows Christ, then follow that leader. Understand that all leaders have flaws because all leaders are human. And understand as well that even when you follow a righteous leader, you must still follow Christ in your own personal life. Whether we are under righteous leadership or unrighteous leadership in government , we should always follow Christ and His Word.
Take these instructions to heart. Plant the Word of God daily in your life. Set yourself steadfast in the faith and don’t allow anyone or anything to change your spiritual walk with Christ. He is our Rock that is the same yesterday, today and forever; and if our house is set upon the Rock, we shall not be moved.
Whatever the results reveal on Tuesday, November 8th, or possibly not until Wednesday, November 9th, let us fulfill 1st Timothy 2:1-3 and continue to pray for all that are in authority, for that prayer is acceptable in the sight of God. Remember the words that God spoke through Malachi ( chapter 3 , verse 6 ) – ” I am the Lord. I change not.” These words were spoken to God’s people in a wicked world. Let us be confident in our eternal , unchangeable God and not be changed by any temporal changes here on earth. Malachi 3:16 instructs us to fear the Lord, speak about Him to one another and think upon His Name. What wonderful advise after all the political rhetoric we have been through in the last few months ! Let us set our hearts together to reverence our God, talk about His goodness to one another and all that are around us and think upon His Name continually. As we do, we will remain steadfast in the faith and not allow anything or anyone to change who we are and Who we believe in. He is Faithful and unchangeable. Let us be the same unto Him.
In Christ, Pastor Wes