On January 20, Donald Trump, with his hand upon the Holy Bible, repeated this solemn oath: “I, Donald J. Trump, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me God.”
When President-elect Donald Trump is sworn in this Friday as our nation’s 45th president, he will stand in front of the U.S. Capitol and place his hand on two Bibles: One that was used for Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration in 1861, the other a gift from Trump’s mother when he graduated at age 9 from Sunday school at the First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, New York.
A few days ago, I was driving from my home in Georgia to a church in Alabama to preach for five days. I didn’t think the predicted “snowpocalypse” would hinder my trip until I arrived in the town of Anniston—where state troopers had blocked the main road due to ice on bridges.
The 2016 election shined a glaring light on a divided America. According to a November 21, 2016 Gallup poll, a record-high 77% of Americans believe the country is split over important values, while 21% see America as united. Americans are also split on whether President-elect Donald Trump can unite the country with 45% stating they believe he will and 49% believing he will further divide it.
The last words the apostle Peter wrote in the Bible are priceless. He said: “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and forever. Amen” (2 Pet. 3:18But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory, both now and forever. Amen. -MEV). Peter’s plea to the first disciples still screams out to us today: “Grow!”
Those who walk in the fullness of the Holy Spirit have access to the nine “power gifts” mentioned in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. These gifts include prophecy, speaking in tongues, miracles and healing—and many Christians are eager to receive these supernatural manifestations of God’s power.
One of the greatest blessings of the Holy Spirit is that He manifests Himself in every believer. He does not sit passively inside us. He is active. Jesus said in John 7:38 that the Spirit would become in us like a flowing river. He fills us so He can touch others with the reality of Christ.
You don’t know it all. There are limits to your knowledge, ability and energy. And while the competitive nature of our culture, which often sneaks into our lives in ministry, would have us to hide all of our weaknesses in fear, there is tremendous power in becoming vulnerable with people.
The songs of Christmas pronounce the very meaning, the genuine heart and the vivid story of this holy season. The carols that have grown so vibrant throughout the decades embrace the heartfelt message of Christmas in every stanza—in every melody—and in every word.
The still small voice of God is often difficult to differentiate from the mass of words that come at us every day. The Holy Spirit draws, but leaders must follow the instructions of the master:
In a surprise to many, Donald J. Trump was elected in an electoral landslide. Although many reasons have been given to explain the phenomena, economics was a major factor.
The votes are counted and the 2016 election is over. Those who voted for Hillary Clinton are grieving or protesting. Those who supported Donald Trump are cheering—secretly or publicly—over his surprise victory. Journalists are scratching their heads because they never imagined that Trump and the Republican Party would end up in charge of the White House and Congress.
A few years ago the Lord challenged me about my level of spiritual hunger. He showed me that even though I had stood in many prayer lines and repeatedly sung the words, “Lord, I want more of You,” I wasn’t as passionate for Him as I thought I was.
This has been an election season that many would like to forget. With all the vitriol, aggressive politicking along with high-profile ideological warfare, the average American is overloaded and stressed.
As the political pundits weigh in on the many sociological and ideological factors that contributed to Donald Trump’s stunning victory, allow me to weigh in on the spiritual side of things.
When the world shows its terrible side, the church gets to speak prophetically, with truth, grace and hope to our communities and to our culture. There’s never been a more appropriate time for us, as Christians, to ask ourselves what Jesus wants His movement, His people, His kingdom to stand for.