Who loves you? The Government or God?

Who loves you? The government or God? Does that seem like a dumb question?  Honestly, it did to me.  As soon as I typed it and saw it on the screen.  It’s like, why do I even have to ask that question?  But I do.  It’s a question that apparently needs to be asked over and over again.

Who loves you?  The Government or God?Here’s the latest reason.  The headline in MSN News is: McConnell, McCarthy: Liability protections ‘absolutely essential’ for next coronavirus bill.  Seriously.  Even as people are still waiting for the promised checks from the government, and even as many people who really need one aren’t going to get a check, Republicans are out to help businesses.  Again.  

Who loves you?  The government?

Truth be told, not the small mom and pop businesses they want to help either.  It’s the big ones.  Here’s what’s going on, from the article.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) signaled on Friday that they will not support a fifth coronavirus bill unless it provides liability protections for employers.

“As the nation continues fighting this pandemic and parts of our economy begin to emerge from shutdown, Senate and House Republicans are united in our demand that health care workers, small businesses, and other Americans on the front lines of this fight must receive strong protections from frivolous lawsuits,” McConnell and McCarthy said in a joint statement.

“Senate and House Republicans agree these protections will be absolutely essential to future discussions surrounding recovery legislation,” they added.

So here’s the key – health care workers, small businesses, and other Americans on the front lines of this fight must receive strong protections from frivolous lawsuits.  It sounds good, doesn’t it?  Health care workers.  Small businesses, which most of us will think are mon & pop places.  Others on the front lines.

But you know what?  Those people aren’t going to be sued.  Not an individual health care worker, because that individual doesn’t have enough money to make it worthwhile.

Not a mom & pop business, because they don’t have enough money personally.  And they probably don’t have that much insurance either.  Not worth suing.

“Others” on the front lines.  Here’s the place where someone in particular comes to mind for each of us.  Probably someone we know.  And we don’t want them to get sued either.  But then, they probably aren’t worth being sued either.  The returns aren’t big enough.

It’s genius, in a way.  Evil genius.  It happens all the time.  Both parties.  They pretend to care about us.  About the so-called little guy.  But the little guy isn’t worth suing.

No – it’s the big corporation that those little guys work for.  The hospital or health insurance company that pays the doctors and nurses.  The “small” businesses like Trump’s hotel chain.  Or even the L A Lakers – or any other sports team that someone qualifies as a small business, but has millions of dollars.  Even Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, and other huge chains that qualify as small because our government lets them count each individual location as a separate business.

Let’s not be fooled.  It’s not about us.  They don’t care about us.  They care about the gig companies and their stock portfolios.  And they want us to think they care, so they can get reelected.  

What is “love”?

Love is pretty much in the eye of the beholder.  For instance, do you remember the image at the top of the page?  Chances are you didn’t really pay that much attention to it.  A quick glance, and you probably thought like I did when I first saw it.  I thought it said, “love me!“.  It doesn’t.  A second look and I realized it says, “I love me!

Oops.  But isn’t that what goes on in the government?  It’s “I love me!”  And we the people fall for it.

This happens a lot.  We’re too busy.  We have short attention spans.  Don’t have time to really pay attention to things.  But we should pay attention to love.  Here’s the famous “love” passage from Romans.

Love

Ro 12:9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Ro 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

Ro 12:17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

Ro 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

It sounds great, doesn’t it? 

If you’re Christian, can you honestly disagree with it?  I dare say, anyone who claims to be Christian and does disagree with what Paul wrote, we need to seriously examine ourselves.  

If you’re not Christian, I have some questions for you.  Putting aside how Christians you know might act, don’t you wish they were more like what Paul wrote?  I write a lot about the difference between those who really are Christian versus those who claim to be Christian.  Most of those articles are over on my other site – godversusreligion.com.  

Consider an event that occurred with Jesus.

Ten Healed of Leprosy

Lk 17:11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

Lk 17:14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.

Lk 17:15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.

Lk 17:17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

That’s 10 people who looked to Jesus and physically heal them.  But it’s also 1 person who was saved.  Just one.  One out of ten.  Simple math tells us that 10% of those guys were what we called saved.  

All ten of them believed Jesus would heal them.  But, as I always say on the other site, believing is about action.  Since only one of the ten carried out the action after he was healed – that one is also the only one of the ten that was saved.

The bottom line?  Even out of those who claim to be followers of Jesus, Christians, Jesus tells us that a whopping 90% of them may not truly be followers.  That’s amazing.  Almost unbelievable.  And yet, that’s what Jesus told us.

What happens when love isn’t there?

As I’m writing this, I’m also working on a series for a class on The Seven Letters to the Seven Churches, in Revelation.  It’s not the normal view of doom and gloom we usually associate with Revelation.  To be sure, that’s in there.  But Revelation is also a book of incredible hope.

So right now, I’m working on the church in Ephesus.  The New King James Version of the Bible calls it the loveless church.  In the letter, Jesus warns this church they are about to lose their status as a church.  Why?  Because they’ve lost their ability to love.

What’s true for that church is also true for us as individuals.  The article goes into why that’s true.  I’m still writing it – will put a link in here within a day or two when it’s done.  If you’re interested in this line of thinking about love – I urge you to check it out.

Who loves you?  God?

Christians are supposed to believe God loves us.  I think we often don’t realize that.  Maybe we forget?  Or maybe we never knew?  Never really got past the punishment side of God?  Especially from the Old Testament?

The thing is, this is New Covenant time.  Instead of all the don’t do this and don’t do that – it’s down to Do this.

The Greatest Commandment – Matthew

22:34-40 pp — Mk 12:28-31

Mt 22:34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Mt 22:37 Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Kind of shocking, isn’t it?

For a look at the punishment versus reward issues, please check out Will God punish us today, like when He didn’t allow Moses to enter the Promised Land?  As you read it, keep in mind that it’s meant for the true follower of Jesus – the one who carries out actions based on our faith.  The one who will be saved.  Not the one who claims to be Christian, but acts just like everyone else.  In short, the one who knows what love is – and carries it out.

Do you have to love God for Him to love you?

Lots of people think we need to love God before He’ll love us.  But that’s not the case.  Look at what Jesus told the Jewish people in His time.

Jesus’ Sorrow for Jerusalem

13:34, 35 pp — Mt 23:37-39
13:34, 35 Ref—Lk 19:41

Lk 13:34 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 35 Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’’”

how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!

The same thing goes for us today.  Many of us won’t get the chicken / little chicks analogy.  Having lived next to and worked at a farm – I get it.  The point is for us to take whatever form of unconditional love that we can relate to – and then realize that Jesus wants to show that to us.

What Jesus said was to the Jewish people who killed the Old Testament prophets.  And were about to kill Him.  So why would Jesus all of a sudden insist that we have to love Him before He’ll love us?  It makes no sense.  And it’s not true.

Conclusion – Who loves you? The Government or God?

So what’s the point of “Who loves you? The Government or God?

It’s to remind us, again, that no matter how much our political leaders, of either party, tell us that they are Christian, that they look to God, and that they care about us – there’s something else going on.  

It’s to let you know there’s another lesson we can – and should – learn from the Old Testament times.  A time when God was their King.  But they wanted a human king instead.

Israel Asks for a King

1Sa 8:1 When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as judges for Israel. 2 The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served at Beersheba. 3 But his sons did not walk in his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.

1Sa 8:4 So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. 5 They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.”

1Sa 8:6 But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. 7 And the LORD told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. 8 As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. 9 Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do.”

1Sa 8:10 Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day. ”

1Sa 8:19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”

1Sa 8:21 When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the LORD. 22 The LORD answered, “Listen to them and give them a king.”
Then Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Everyone go back to his town.”

Did you catch that list of all the things the human king will do?  

Sure, we don’t all have flocks and we’re not all farmers.  Things have changed.  But one thing hasn’t.

warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do

Our “kings” – our political leaders, don’t love us.  They don’t even take good care of us.  Certainly not as good care as they take for themselves. 

And there’s another warning.

When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day.

That’s not good.  We got what we asked for.  And now we must live with it.

But that’s for this life.  It can be different in the next life.  If we don’t sell our souls to the kings of today – we can have God as our King “tomorrow”. 

If we don’t sell our souls to the politics of the so-called care and love from our political leaders, we can have the unconditional true love from God as our King “tomorrow”.

How?  By living this life with the love that Paul wrote of in the Romans passage above.  By believing in Jesus.  Believing so strongly that we will carry it out.  Not perfectly, but to the best of our ability – with His help.

But we also have to realize who we really have as our leader.  It’s Jesus.  And – we also have to live as He taught.  Jesus didn’t overthrow the Romans.  And He didn’t overthrow Herod.  Jesus taught a different way. 

And we must try to do the same.  It starts by realizing what love is.  God’s kind of love.  And then we try to live it out.  God’s kind of love, and the strength from walking with Him to carry it out.  

So who loves you?  The government?  or God?

Just as importantly, who do you love?  The government?  or God?

Answer like your soul depends on what you say.  Because it does.


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay


 

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