Christians are commanded to turn from sin and return to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and his kingdom. There is no shortcoming of human sin when we consider the political situation in our country. Yet, for us as Christians our sin is a bit more specific.
“Tear your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, very patient, full of faithful love, and ready to forgive.” – Joel 2:13
Idolatry – Had Jesus given into any of the three temptations of the Devil in the wilderness, it would have been considered idolatrous for he would have put his trust and given his allegiance to the created over the creator. We have been tempted to idolatry in this season in the following ways. If this is you, repent and turn to the gospel. Rend your hearts and not your garments.
- Christian Nationalism: The heretic blending of patriotism and bad theology.
- Humanism: The philosophy that takes God out of the equations of human change and progress.
- Conspiracy Theories: Whoever is born of Christ is born of and for telling the truth.
- Racism and all forms of inequality that treat others as inferior for there is no partiality with God.
- Reveling in others downfalls: As children of Christ for anyone to suffer is for all to suffer.
- Robbing Christ of Time: Have we listened to Christ as much as we have listened to talk radio? Have we watched our kindness as much as we have watched the news?
- Disrespect and Unkindness: Repent of your vindictiveness and spite.
Joy – The heart that is pure will beat inside the chest of one who loves their life and is filled with joy. The consequence of our unrepentant actions and thoughts is a life filled with bitterness and absent of joy. Turn to Christ and let him return to you the joy of your salvation! He is there with open arms, ready to forgive.
Faith – Part of our restoration of faith comes as we look out into the world and count our blessings, look for the good in humanity rather than the evil. It’s easy to downward spiral but it is also easy to see beauty in this world and have our faith restored in the God who has promised good things to his children. Let your faith be restored by turning to God and sharing your repentance with someone you have wounded over the last four years.
Psalm 51:1-2, 7-12
Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.
“Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven has come near.” – Matthew 4:17
The words of Jesus here need to be the reminder that it is the Kingdom, his Kingdom, that has come near. Not the kingdoms or empires of this world. It is the kingdom of Christ that will win out one day, not the other way round.
Alcohol – Take a step back for the day and even though it’s the beginning of the weekend, let your beverage of choice be one that doesn’t run dry. Voluntarily give up the spirit to chase the Spirit.
Heavenly Father, we confess our misplaced allegiance and idolatry. We have not worshipped you as our God and King and Creator of all. We have placed politics above the Gospel. We have betrayed our devotion to our true King by advocating the earthly kingdom of our political affiliation. Our devotion to this country has blinded us to the sin of power and greed. We have misplaced our faith in Christian nationalism and conspiracy theories. As a result we’ve fanned sparks of evil into flames. In our pursuit for unity and democracy we’ve settled for earthly freedoms instead of true liberty that only comes through life in Christ. Father, we humbly come before you as individuals, families, churches and as a nation. We turn to you and repent from our vindictiveness. Lord, we give up our need to be right and in control. Lord you created everything and everything that you created is by and for your glory. You alone are King and worthy of love and devotion. Your kingdom is everlasting and rules over all the earth and for all generations. Turn our hearts from bitterness towards our hurting brothers and sisters. Grow in us a deeper love for our neighbor and enemy who lives next to us. Let us not be consumed by the lies of men, instead turn our ears towards the good news of Jesus Christ who modeled the transforming power of sacrificial love. Help us to see that even in darkness your light shines brighter and your love breaks every chain. Father God, we put our faith in Jesus Christ our only Lord and Savior. In his name we pray, Amen!