Thursday, January 20, 2011

Who is my "brother"?

Our new Governor (Alabama) has inadvertently created a small stir with a few off-the-cuff comments to a church group shortly after his inauguration earlier this week. As a Christian, he mentioned that all Christians were his brothers and sisters, and for those that were not, he invited them to become part of the family as well.
Alabama newspapers didn't pick up on any problem with his remarks, but national media (looking for SOMETHING to write about in a slow news week) turned it to possibly mean that he would only be responsive to Christians while in office. He has spent the rest of the week explaining and apologizing.

Are all "brothers and sisters"? As part of the human race, yes. But for believers in Christ, there is a familial link unknown to those who do not believe. The New Testament writers used such terms as fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters in writing to Christian believers, whether Jew or Gentile. And that non-believers are outside that family, we look no further than the Lord Jesus Himself, who referred to the faith-denying religious leaders as "children of the devil". They were part of a "family", but not His!

The fact is, true Christians do acknowledge, despite secondary doctrinal or denominational differences, that they are "brothers and sisters". Furthermore, the invitation is open to all to come into a relationship with the Lord Jesus and to receive Him as one's own Lord and Savior. This personal act has the added benefit of becoming a member of His family, and every believer is a part of that.

Governor Bentley seems to have smoothed all the ruffled feathers, for now. But he refuses to deny his own faith in the One who (exclusively) stated, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6).

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Standing at the Portal

Standing at the portal of the opening year,
Words of comfort meet us, hushing every fear;
Spoken through the silence by our Savior's voice,
Tender, strong and faithful, making us rejoice.

"I, the Lord, am with thee, be thou not afraid;
I will help and strengthen - be thou not dismayed.
Yea, I will uphold thee with my own right hand;
Thou art called and chosen in my sight to stand."

For the year before us - O what rich supplies!
For the poor and needy living streams shall rise;
For the sad and sinful shall His grace abound;
For the faint and feeble perfect strength be found.

He will never fail us, He will not forsake;
His eternal covenant He will never break.
Resting on the promise, what have we to fear?
God is all sufficient for the coming year.

Onward then, and fear not, children of the day;
For His Word shall never, never pass away.
- F. R. Havergal