IS COMPASSION DEAD?

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THE CALL TO PRAYER

What do you do?  Like so many of us watching and listening to hear from our president, we’re left with more questions than answers with feelings of uncertainty. What do you do when you’re left with a feeling that something is painfully wrong with what you’ve observed? How do you handle the reality of ‘alternative news’ and the suspicion of ‘real news’ being offered to explain concerns, contentions, and complaints? After a live press conference, the myriad of questions, and the public discrediting of reporters and news organizations, who do you believe? What should be discarded or ignored?
 
This is where we are today! Something is terribly wrong! It has nothing to do with political ideology or partisan politics.
 
What do we do, those of us who are people of faith who desire the best for our country and its leaders? Assuredly, we want for ourselves and our leaders the best in policies that insure our safety, well-being, and pursuit all things good. This isn’t political! But, our observations clearly reveal that something is not functioning properly to give us feelings of security and stability.
 
I humbly submit to my faith community and beyond that we must be diligent and fervent in our cries unto the Lord. In our moments of prayer and meditation, we must seek the will of God for ourselves individually and for the larger community, including the nation. This is no time for partisan fighting, harsh critiques, hateful innuendo, or crassness. Indeed, this is a time for seeking God’s face.
 
Too many of us have long forsaken prayer as a viable tool of interaction and intervention in and among crucial happenings of the day. But, I believe that God is the same in welcoming our cries before Him for the state of affairs among men of the world. Our prayers relieve us of great tensions and stress created by the world’s clamor. Our prayers embolden us for the journey through challenging days of cynicism and gloom. Prayers refocus our minds to consider divine solutions to the great problems of our personal lives and the republic. And, prayer pours out before God our authentic selves to consider the purposes that He has for us in these key moments in time.
 
The great burden of leadership weighs heavy upon Mr. Trump! He is a human being now being inundated with weightier matters than he could have ever imagined. He is surrounded by people that may not have his or our best interests in mind, but rather seek to forward an agenda that is unhealthy for the nation and the world. He needs our prayers.
 
To all of the faithful, let us not join with those who cry foul at every word or critique every action, or espouse partisan hatred for the purpose of undermining the president. Those of us who preach need to be Nathan in David’s palace or Elijah in Ahab’s court. We must offer words of hope like a Samuel to Saul or Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar. Where is the Emperor’s Paul or the Sanhedrin’s Gamaliel who may offer reason, common sense and decency? Who will serve in obscurity offering prayers for the perceived enemy and for those who stand in the gap on the front lines? What does the Lord hear from His people in such a time as this?
 
We must be passionate, persistent, and powerful in our challenges to status quo thinking before friend or foe to our president with the challenge to keep decent our resistance and honorable our efforts to offer what is right and good for this land and people. And, I believe that we must begin and be sustained through prayer for both the president and those leading the charge to make known our concerns and hopes.
 
Let us pray: “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that He may have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.
For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:6-9 ESV

ZEALOUS WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE

“… they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.”  (Romans 10:2 ESV)

I’ve pondered those words from Romans 10 for a lifetime, especially during revivals.  But, they have great implications beyond a local church revival to a nation under siege within itself.  Too many people are at the center of their world with little to no consideration for others, especially for those that are ‘different.’

We want what we want because we see it the way that we see it and that is it!  The Apostle Paul’s addresses own countrymen  with this simple thought, zeal that is not tempered by knowledge is dangerous.  The word knowledge in the Greek is epígnōsis, (ep-ig’-no-sis) which means a precise and correct knowledge.  It refers to knowledge that is ethical and divine.  There are many things to know.  Information is invaluable.  Knowledge of things ethical or even divine, are easily known to many that are at the center of their worlds.  For many, much of what is known  is not akin to ethics or the Divine at all, and  what is known sometimes makes little to no difference in life or the lives of others.  That word is communicated in Colossians 1:9, “… that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding …”  Not much is done these days ‘with the knowledge of His will …” which may explain why the world is in such turmoil.

Zeal without discipline will allow  ignoring others, their thoughts, or needs.  Zeal without the benefit of enlightenment  with nothing more than personal feelings grows more and more out of control.  History has little meaning, unless it is offered within the boundaries of how one views the world.  People pursue an end by any means because the end is all that matters.  Process, morals or decency don’t really matter if there is a successful outcome to any zealous effort.  Ignorance parades as wisdom and is glorified by any of the same mindset and zeal.  Submission is never an alternative in this fight for right.  Dominance at all costs is the objective.  Dialogue is no longer feasible as a worthy method toward compromise or consensus.  There will be no compromise.  Tolerance is a thing of the past.

Jesus’ condemnation of sin was not so overtly offensive but always offered to gain or help the individual in sin’s grip.  The woman caught in the very act of adultery received from Him more mercy than condemnation.  The Lord’s patience was always evident, even among those who were His worst critics and condemners.

It is easy to be driven by a zeal without a real connection with knowledge or truth.  Some become extreme in their ideas about life and people.  The entire world is being affected by extremes that have grown out of worldviews impacted by deep poverty, imperialism, greed and race issues.  Truth must always guide and discipline our zeal.  We will all be in bondage without truth to guide us and keep in line our zealous efforts to prove how right we are.