Devotions

King of Kings

Grow • Devotion #1: King of Kings
Dr. Randy T. Johnson | Growth Pastor

“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”  2 Chronicles 7:14

In 1796 the court made a statement, “In our form of government the Christian religion is the established religion and all sects and denominations of Christians are placed upon the same equal footing.” The court openly stated that our country was based on the Christian faith.

It should be noted that the Republican form of government was necessary. They regularly gave warnings against kings for godly rulers. The Constitution of the United States laid the foundation against being ruled by an earthly king. The founders made clear statements. When Samuel Adams signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776, he said, “We have this day restored the King to whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His kingdom come.” Jesus is the King of kings.

Revelation 17:14 refers to Jesus as King, “They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.” Revelation 19:16 adds, “On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.” John Adams and John Hancock stated, “We recognize no Sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus!”

In Exodus 18:21 Moses knew that it was not part of God’s will for them to have a king, “But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.” It was not to be a one-man show. Proverbs 11:14 adds, “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.” Finally, Proverbs 24:6 also says, “Surely you need guidance to wage war, and victory is won through many advisers.”

The United States has a set of checks and balances that should not be controlled by one man or person. We need Jesus. It was founded on Christian principles. God has blessed America. We need to make sure people do not rewrite the past ignoring our God.  We also need to get our focus back on God. Pray for a revival.

Witness

Gather • Devotion #6: Witness
Dr. Randy T. Johnson | Growth Pastor

Ben Franklin said, “We need God to be our friend not our enemy. We need Him to be our ally not our adversary. We need to make sure we keep God’s concurring aid. If a sparrow cannot fall without God’s notice, how can our nation rise without His aid?” This is so powerful and right on track. We need God to be our friend. We do not want to fight with Him. I like how Franklin referenced Matthew 10:29-33 when he speaks of the sparrows, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.  But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

Franklin referenced the Bible and acknowledged that God is always watching us and that He sees everything. The Bible was used for illustrations, but more importantly, it was used to help develop our country. The Sixth Amendment addresses the topic of having a fair trial with witnesses, “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.”

The concept of having witnesses and a fair trial is clearly seen in Deuteronomy 19:15, “One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offense they may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” One person cannot frame another on his statement alone. There needs to be at least another witness. Matthew 18:16 also talks about having witnesses, “But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’” These verses remind us that the first course of action is not to go to court; it is to go to the person.

John Quincy Adams also expressed his sentiments about God’s Word when he said, “The first and almost only book deserving of universal attention is the Bible. I speak as a man of the world…and I say to you, ‘Search the Scriptures.’”

Our founding fathers were followers of God and strived to live by His Word. Our country was founded on godly principles. We are blessed because of it.

Justice and Morality

Gather • Devotion #5: Justice and Morality
Dr. Randy T. Johnson | Growth Pastor

John Adams said, “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is whole inadequate to the government of any other.” I am thrilled to read about men of old who influenced our lives today. President Adams understood the importance of doing the right thing. It is interesting he did not just say morality. He understood that morality is not enough in itself, it needs to be God focused. He emphasized religion because he wanted to make sure we remembered how we become clean. It is only through God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ that we can truly live right.

The purpose of our government was to establish justice. The Bible addresses this issue. Leviticus 19:15 says, “Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.” It is sad that we need to be reminded that we should be fair and honest. God knew favoritism would be a problem. The command is repeated in Deuteronomy 1:17, “Do not show partiality in judging; hear both small and great alike. Do not be afraid of anyone, for judgment belongs to God. Bring me any case too hard for you, and I will hear it.” God gives guidelines for administering justice, but He also reminds us that He is the Ultimate Judge. God will judge, and we need to rule carefully today.

In governing the country, the people understood that they were God’s servants. Romans 13:4 says, “For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.” Twice the phrase “God’s servants” is used. It is clear that God is emphasizing an important concept to us. They are from God and should operate on behalf of God.

When people understand the Golden Rule, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them” (Matthew 7:14), it covers most of the laws. Do unto others as you would want them to do to you is a great mission statement for our lives.

Have a proper mindset. Judge and rule fairly. Live humbly.

“If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering and to prosper; but if we and our posterity neglect its instruction and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity.” Daniel Webster

Ten Commandments

Gather • Devotion #4: Ten Commandments
Dr. Randy T. Johnson | Growth Pastor

In 1980 it became illegal to post the Ten Commandments in schools. We as a nation have fallen so far. James Madison said, “We have staked the whole future of American civilization not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” Madison knew the value of God’s Law. Here is the list from Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5:

  1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
  2. You shall make no idols.
  3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
  4. Keep the Sabbath day holy.
  5. Honor your father and your mother.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. You shall not covet.

Which of those is offensive? Why would we not want those posted in every school?

The removal of the Ten Commandments was not the only major lapse in judgment of our government.

  • 1963 – Removal of prayer from schools.
  • 1963 – Removal of Bible reading in schools.
  • 1965 – Removal of religious instruction in schools.
  • 1965 – Illegal for a student to pray aloud in schools.

There is a spiritual war all around us. Ephesians 6 talks about the armor of God. Look how verse 6 describes the battle, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Our battle is not between political parties. It is with Satan. He does not want our children reading the Bible or talking with God. He does not like it when people do things for or with God. Misery loves company and Satan wants to take down anyone and everyone he can.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 says, “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”

Put on the armor of God and protect our godly heritage. Protect our past, present, and future. Protect our country.

James Madison is very clear in saying, “We’ve staked our future on our ability to follow the Ten Commandments with all of our heart.” He also said, “We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We’ve staked the future of all our political institutions upon our capacity…to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”

People Rule

Gather • Devotion #3: People Rule
Dr. Randy T. Johnson | Growth Pastor

The Founders of the Constitution said, “The great vital and conservative element in our system is the belief of our people in the pure doctrine and divine truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” They sincerely held to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a shame that I might sound politically incorrect or intolerant to quote our founding fathers. We cannot let history be rewritten.

An aspect I like about our government is that there was an importance placed on governing self and family as the first level of governance. This can be seen in several of the Amendments to the Constitution.

  • The First Amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” This Amendment shows a trust in people. People are to work things out together peaceably and go to the Government as the last option, not the first.
  • The Second Amendment adds, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Again people are to settle issues and not expect the Government to handle everything.
  • The Ninth Amendment continues the thought, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” People are the focus, not the Government.
  • The Tenth Amendment also says, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Power is delegated to people. We need to figure out how to live together.

This concept of people going to each other first is clear in Scripture. Matthew 18:15-17 says, “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.” When wronged, we are encouraged to go to the person, not the court.

1 Corinthians 6:1 discourages us in taking others to court. It says, “When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints?”  Suing is not to be the first option. We need to try and settle things outside of the court.

Our country was founded on Christian principles with an emphasis to live correctly. The founders emphasized “pure doctrine and divine truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” We are blessed and need to be a blessing to God.



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