I'm going to be expressing a political opinion in this story. Check that. Let's get real. I am going to be expressing some rather sad facts. All one has to do is watch the news.
First of all, we need to pray for our president. Here is a man who aspired to high office, got there and then something happened. Things got real. I think our president is comfortable doing things domestically. He knows how to say all the right words, he knows how to press the flesh, and smile that smile. He did whatever he had to do to win the vote. But then something happened. The reality of world politics forced him to make some choices and he was found to be lacking in his knowledge of what is REALLY happening in this world.
He was not prepared for what happened in Syria, demonstrating a lack of foreign policy knowledge, and he is currently showing his inexperience in dealing with the Russians and their moving into Ukraine. It is embarrassing to watch.
First Syria, where he drew the now famous "line in the sand." The line everyone ignored. He was all set to launch missiles and "protect our interests." But then Russia stepped in, scolded the president, saying that we shouldn't be so quick to attack. Russia then negotiated with Syria, their ally, and produced a peaceful result. Then Mr. Putin publish an Op Ed in the New York Times. In that piece Putin told us Americans what his opinion of President Obama was and he, quite honestly, put our president to shame, internationally and at home. You can read Putin's Op Ed here.
Our president never was not prepared to participate on the world stage nor was he prepared for the reality of what is happening now in Ukraine. Our president has demanded that Russia remove its troops. As of this writing Russia has not responded. Honestly? I don't expect them to pay any attention to our president. After all, Obama is reducing our troop numbers to below World War II levels. He can't go back now, can he? President Obama has himself painted into a corner and, in this scenario, he simply cannot win. Our president was not prepared when things got real.
Are WE as Christians any better? Are we prepared for when reality hits the fan in OUR lives? When will things BECOME real for us? When a friend gets cancer? When someone we know dies in a car crash? My friends, when Jesus returns it will be too late to decide what we believe about God. The door to the wedding feast will already be closed.
I was standing in church today, talking to my friend Ron, when his wife came up to tell her husband something. Their daughter-in-law is from Ukraine. Her country is in the middle of reality. Things just became real for my friend and his family. TOO real.
How can we ever get ourselves prepared for these major life-altering events in our lives? Well, the first thing that needs to be done if for us to get ourselves right with God. Have you submitted yourself to Jesus? Have you repented of your sins and sought his forgiveness? It would be a good idea to do that . . . everyday!!!
So many people in this world think they are good to go with God simply because they go to church regularly and they consider themselves a good person. That is a works-based theology and does not hold water in God's eyes.
I have many friends and relatives who believe in false teachers like Joel Osteen and Rob Bell. They believe that all faiths lead to heaven despite Jesus himself telling us they don't. Osteen doesn't not preach sin or repentance. Bell says all roads lead to heaven and denies the atoning sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. He also says there is no hell. These men have not prepared their flocks for the reality of scripture. They all could find themselves knocking at God's door.
Our pastor read this in church on Sunday. It seemed like a good reminder what is at stake for those who are not ready when things suddenly become real.
"And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, 2 “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, 3 and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. 4 Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.”’ 5 But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, 6 while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. 7 The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. 8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9 Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ 10 And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.
11 “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. 12 And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.” - Matthew 22:1-14
The road to God is a narrow one and few will find it. Many think they are walking on the right path. We need to check ourselves, read His Word and start walking like we are actually Christians. I am VERY concerned that too many people take their faith too lightly. We need to make it a priority. A number ONE priority.
Please join me in praying for our president and the leaders and people of Russia and Ukraine. Thank you.