Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Obama's Visit to Omaha

Live TV is showing Air-force One landing right now at Offutt AFB for President Obama's visit and rally in Omaha following his State of the Union speech last night. Media and crowds are gathering all over his expected route and police are on highest alert.

Many of President Obama's policies and Executive Orders have grieved my heart and I have frequently spoken out and criticized, mostly to friends and acquaintances. But God used a word by Pastor Loren Sanford about a month ago to convict my heart about how I speak about our president. Our valid concerns and criticism can unintentionally lead to bitterness, or un-Christlike attitudes in our heart. A sentence in Pastor Loren's word below burned into my heart:  

"Bitterness can produce only bitter fruit. The anger of man can never produce the righteousness of God." (James 1:20). Or Proverbs 16:7,

The media is covering the visit from landing to departure with interviews of those who support and oppose what is said by our president. There will be various groups protesting or showing support. Social media will be rampant today with opinions pro and con...many with harmful words and accusations. 

Many of us have valid concerns and criticisms of our presidents policies and Executive Orders.  Please read this word from Loren's blog and ask the Lord to give us all His heart and wisdom at this time.


Dave Gehrls
Christ For The City Omaha

December, 2015 #86
The night of November 28 I had a powerful dream. In my dream President Obama was in town in what seemed to be a large shopping mall to make an announcement about the deaths resulting from a terrorist attack. As they attempted to film him, he kept breaking down and weeping, overcome with grief and a broken heart for what had happened. Each time, the production crew would be forced to shut down. Quite suddenly the Lord filled my heart with overwhelming love for this man, Barak Obama, and then called me to stand with the president as he made the announcement in order to support him emotionally and to openly demonstrate love and unity before the nation. I chose a moment to approach him when only one Secret Service agent stood by him for protection. As the president stood behind the podium, I walked right up, unopposed, took his hand and said, “Mr. President, I've never agreed with your policies but I'm here to support you. Would it be all right for me to stand with you before the nation?” Overcome with gratitude, he grasped my hand, broke down and nearly cried. I saw myself with my arm around him under the lights and cameras. He seemed to engage deeply and latched onto me like a drowning man reaching out for help. He agreed that I could stand with him so I began telling the stage hands to remove the lectern so that people could see us standing together with nothing to obscure the view.

I’ve pondered the meaning of this dream for weeks now and I can come to only one conclusion. We cannot prevail for the kingdom of God in this hour by spewing the kind of negativity and hatred I hear coming from the mouths of Christians on a daily basis. Our calling is, and always has been, to radically and completely love even those with whom we strenuously disagree or whom we regard as enemies.

This does not mean that we deny or overlook evil. This does not mean that we must surrender to ungodly philosophies. It does not mean that we must give up foundational principles of Scripture or even of the constitution of our nation. It does not mean that we cannot speak out regarding the issues of the day. It only conditions how we do so and with what kind of tone. Love does not require that we approve of or accept wickedness. I am father to three and grandfather to ten. I know that no matter what my children do, whether or not their behavior reflects our family values and beliefs, the intensity of my love and the sacrifices I am willing to make for them never diminish. Can we not grant this same kind of love to any and all in the name of Father God as we represent Him who loves more deeply and completely than we ever can? Is that not why Jesus died in our place while we were yet sinners?

Bitterness can produce only bitter fruit. The anger of man can never produce the righteousness of God (James 1:20). Or Proverbs 16:7, “When a man's ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Will we be peacemakers or will we allow ourselves to be seduced by the spirit of religion that clothes hatred in robes of righteousness and falsely teaches us that we must be angry or hateful in order to win?

Do we truly believe that light exposes darkness? Do we really believe in the power of the Holy Spirit to convict? Do we truly trust that love wins because love is light and light overcomes darkness? If we did have genuine faith in these things, then how might it change our behavior and our approach to those with whom we disagree? Love may cost us something. It certainly cost Jesus. But are we willing to make the sacrifices? And doesn’t this require that we cultivate real faith in what we say we believe? We have a bitter image to overcome in this world. It’s time we actually did it.

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Denver, Colorado 80221

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