My interview with Bernadette Smyth http://www.preciouslife.com/
My interview with Bernadette Smyth http://www.preciouslife.com/
[Above photo provided by Founders Keep. http://www.founderskeep.org ]
To be able to vote is an amazing privilege that we have in this country, it is an stewardship. I really believe that we don’t vote by party but vote always on principles. Exodus 18:21 says, ‘Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.’ So there is the Word of God telling us how to vote, voting on these principles. Now it’s very possible you are not going to get a candidate close to those principles but vote for someone closest to what it says in this verse. We can hold our politicians to account by telling them what we believe about different issues and asking them what are they going to do, because they are our representatives.
The attributes and characteristics of the first President of the United States George Washington are to admired. One of them is that he had the power but he walked away from it. He could have remained but he was a man of integrity and principle. During the time he served his country, he did his duty with great perseverance, strength and humility. Many people throughout history have had the power and they have abused that position and persecuted their people and have been overcome by the love of money. Too many times we have seen corruption in Government displaying the nature of man which is inheritably evil.
George Washington warned about some of these things in his farewell address. Like the spirit of party and warning against factions and corruption. I was going to go through some of the words that President Washington spoke about in his address but I’m not going to get around to that now, maybe another time. I will finish with this quote from Mr Washington. He said this,’ “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour.’
[The photo featured in this blog post was provided by Founders Keep. http://www.founderskeep.org ]
Government is instituted by God but there are authorities that do what’s right and those who are corrupt and do evil. There is nothing new under the sun. There were ungodly governments in history as there is now. So Governing authorities are there so that the rule of law is upheld and that evil is punished. They are to enact laws to punish the bad. It explains this in the Bible in 1 Timothy 1:8-10. Also check out Romans 13:1-7 to see the purpose of Government and that the leaders in a community, in a nation are ministers of God.
Proverbs 14:34 says,’Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.’ Proverbs 11:10-11 says,’When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices; And when the wicked perish, there is jubilation. By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted, But it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.’ We should hold Government and leaders to the role that is given to them. There is good governments and corrupt governments. There is this pattern you see throughout history of people becoming leaders of nation but rather than seeing it as their duty to serve the people they represent, they use and abuse that office to become more powerful and to see their own selfish ambitions fulfilled. Throughout history we see leaders of nations and empires rise and fall but thank God that one day His Kingdom will be ruling and reigning on the earth. A perfect government. Daniel chapter 2 talks about kingdoms rising and falling as we can see in history but then in verse 44 it says,’And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.’
Revelation 11:15 says ‘Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” Proverbs 16:12 says ‘It is an abomination for kings to commit wickedness, for a throne is established by righteousness.’
Also we see throughout history power being concentrated in the hands of one individual with dictators and oppressive governments. Let me mention a couple of books on this theme both by historian William J. Federer. The first one is Volume 1 Change to Chains-The 6,000 Year Quest for Control and Volume 2 Rise of the Tyrant.
For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvellous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. – Psalm 139:13-14
I encourage you to read Psalm 139. Life is so precious. God brought life into being; He created human beings (you and me). God is love and He created us to have relationship with Him. God is for life, He created life. God cares about every area of our lives and wants the best for us. After Adam and Eve sinned in the beginning in Genesis Chapter 3 sin, death and evil came into the world. Thank God that was not the end though. God had a plan of redemption to save us and bring us back to this close relationship with Himself. He sent His Son into the world to be born as a baby; His earthly parents were Mary and Joseph. Mary was a virgin and Jesus was conceived through the Holy Spirit. Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. – Matthew 1:18. The angel Gabriel said to Mary in Luke 1:31 ‘And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.’
Mary’s cousin Elizabeth bore a son, John the Baptist. An angel appeared to her husband Zacharias saying ‘He (John) will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.’ – Luke 1:15 in the second part of that verse. Mary visited Elizabeth and Iook what happened, I love this in verses 40-44 of Luke 1, ‘and (Mary) entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. – Luke 1:40-44
Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. That is Psalm 127:3. As Christians it’s important to support and defend life from birth to death. To help and love those who have been hurt by this issue and to help them find healing. Also to help women and young girls who are considering abortion and to give them the support that is needed, helping them to realise that there is another choice, there is another way. To choose life.
It’s amazing to me that many young people today believe and defend socialism. This view is destructive and damaging to any culture. Socialism has never worked in any country. Any time it has tried to be brought into a community or society it has never worked, not once. Socialism doesn’t bring prosperity it produces poverty. Some people who are promoting this ideology do it from a sense of wanting to help people and from a heart of compassion but it is misguided. This policy is about government control, it’s not truly about helping people and it’s not giving people the tools to rise up in society. Socialism is putting stop to people’s dreams, aspirations and the calling that God has upon their lives. Citizens need to be free to live out their God-given potential and governments shouldn’t be an obstacle to that.
One reason why I think that it’s extraordinary that people today believe in this system is because socialism is very closely linked to Communism. People have been persecuted in these brutal regimes in the past and they haven’t been free to live out their beliefs. Thousands of lives have been lost to defeat this kind of evil so we could live in nations that are free. So why would we want to live under socialism. Finally the Bible doesn’t promote socialism but the free market system. Ultimately socialism is Satan’s plan of control, to put people under bondage.
Galatians 5:1 says ‘Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.’ God is for freedom and he gave those freedoms to individuals and family from the beginning.
Virginia lived in Communist Romania, the brutal and oppressive regime of Nicolae Ceausescu. She was treated really badly at home with her family, receiving beatings from her Mother. She had to do a lot of chores at home. Virginia made the decision to become an attorney. She studied hard. Virginia married, had children and she became an attorney in Bucharest. She started defending people who had been affected by the Communist system but she was starting to be targeted for this. Virginia became a Christian. Christians were heavily persecuted in Communist Romania including being killed and just disappearing. Virginia started defending individual believers and churches in the Romania courts. She was putting herself and her family in huge danger by doing this.
The Securitate (secret police) were always following Virginia, spying on her and her family. Also interrogating her and trying to scare her. It’s amazing how God kept her and protected her. But one time a man was sent to kill her, she was in her office and he pointed his gun at her. Virginia was scared but God gave her peace and told her to share the Gospel with him. So the man who was sent to kill her, she led him to come to faith in Jesus. This man Michael Taut became a Pastor, started a Christian School and his son became a pastor too. Also Michael’s granddaughter was named Virginia after her. After Virginia led Michael to the Lord Mrs Prodan and her 2 daughters were put under house arrest for about a month. It’s incredible how God provided for them and protected them throughout this time. God strengthened them through people visiting them. Many Christians were praying for them throughout Romania and the American Embassy was always trying to support Virginia. The house arrest ended and President Ronald Reagan was able to give Virginia and her family political-refugee status to live in America.
Despite all the suffering that Virginia went through, God worked mightily in her and she was able to love, pray and minister to her persecutors. That’s God’s kind of love. God gave her great boldness and courage in the face of much danger. Matthew 5:44 says ‘But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.’
They left Romania in November 1, 1988 to live in Dallas, Texas. About a year later in 1989 Ceausescu’s regime collapsed and Nicolae and Elena were executed. Now Christians in Romania can live out their faith freely. Sadly not long after their move to Dallas Virginia’s marriage with her husband ended.
There is some great lessons to learn from Virginia’s story. To trust God more, to have a closer relationship with God and to be confident in what God has called me to. Also to appreciate more the freedoms we have. This is an incredible true story that will encourage and inspire you in whatever God is calling you to. Virginia Prodan is an international human rights attorney and an Allied Attorney with the organisation, Alliance Defending Freedom.
But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive. – Exodus 1:17 (NKJV)
This is a powerful chapter and a powerful story. (Exodus 1) The Jewish people were in a very difficult situation, they were slaves under a brutal regime. Pharaoh was afraid of them and how they were growing as a people so he oppressed the Israelites even more. Then the King of Egypt wanted to kill every boy that was born. Check out the Hebrew midwives response. ‘But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive.’ – Exodus 1:17 (NKJV)
Today in countries around the world Christians are killed, put in jail and persecuted just for living out their faith. Their response in the face of this severe opposition is forgiveness and continuing to serve God. In Acts 5 Peter and others were being ordered not to teach about Jesus. Verse 29 (NKJV) says ‘But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.’
One of the foundational principles of a free nation is freedom of speech and freedom of religion (or freedom of conscience). We must continue to uphold these, if not a country moves into dangerous territory, starts regulating speech and goes down the road of a dictatorship.
Also one of the most important principles upheld by a government should be the protection of life but yet across the globe, leaders and politicians are not upholding this. Life is under attack from the baby in the womb to the elderly. Just as I have highlighted in this post how people have decided to obey God rather than man, we also can live out our faith in every area of our lives according to what the Bible says and that includes defending the unborn in whatever way God has called us to.
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves;
ensure justice for those being crushed.
Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless,
and see that they get justice. – Proverbs 31:8-9 (NLT) Continue reading “Obeying God”