rise up 

America has spoken and it’s heartbreaking.

I woke up this morning with a lot on my mind. I shared on my personal Facebook profile that I refuse to be doom and gloom this year because of politics. I am one of the most un-political people you will meet. I’m realizing some of that is because I don’t understand a lot of it. I want to take a government class for myself so I can halfway try to understand what is going on!

Today, I want to share the good and the bad from my perspective. I am not heartbroken over who won the Senate races or who has been elected President. I did my part and that’s all I can do. I might have some theories about how all that went down, but in the end, it doesn’t change the outcome.

You know good ole King Nebuchadnezzar? The one who threw Daniel in the lions’ den and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace? Do you know what God said about him?

So now I have placed all these lands under the authority of my servant Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. I have even given him the wild animals to serve him.

Jeremiah 27:6

Have you ever read that before? Nebuchadnezzar was God’s servant! If God can use King Nebby to bring about His purpose, He can use anybody. Don’t lose heart, my friend.

the bad news

I’ve been reading a Proverbs everyday and making notes in my “Give Me Jesus Journal” which I highly recommend if you need a place to journal thoughts from your study of God’s Word. Yesterday was Proverbs 6, and something profound hit me as I read this part:

The Lord hates six things;
in fact, seven are detestable to him:
arrogant eyes, a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that plots wicked schemes,
feet eager to run to evil,
a lying witness who gives false testimony,
and one who stirs up trouble among brothers.

Proverbs 6:16-19

If that doesn’t sound like America, I don’t know what does. That my friends, is what breaks my heart. As a whole, our nation has spoken for what we believe in. We have arrogant eyes, lying tongues, hands that shed innocent blood, hearts plotting wicked schemes, feet that run to evil, false testimony, and we most certainly have those who stir up trouble!

I try not to be a single-issue voter, but I am unashamedly pro-life. I struggle with those who say they follow Christ and approve of abortion. It’s murder. It is the shedding of innocent blood. That also breaks my heart. We, as a nation, are living out the things the Lord detests.

If you are a parent of littles, you might be fearful of what the future of America holds. I get it, I promise, I really do. Fear, worry, anxiety, stress – those will not add a single moment to our lives. Instead, let’s focus on what is in our control and what we can do.

the good news

We can disciple our children, raise them in the ways of the Lord, encourage them to stand firm in their faith even when no one else will. Read the Old Testament and pray for the same faith for yourself and your children. They had faith in what they could not see. We have been given the gift of God’s word and can have faith in what we absolutely know to be true. Dig into Apologetics- find out how to defend your faith. Learn how to stand strong. Parents, it starts with us. We can say all we want to our children, but if our lives don’t match our words, don’t expect them to follow.

Jesus is our hope and we need to pass it on! This morning as I was praying these words kept repeating themselves in my head:

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid Ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.

Keith & Kristyn Getty

Is Christ alone your hope? Or have you put your hope in a corrupt government? Did you hope Trump would save the day and now feel utter disappointment because he didn’t? He is not your savior. Man will always let you down. He is not the Cornerstone. Do you believe Jesus will be your firm foundation- through the fiercest storm? Are you ready to face that storm?

Jesus has much to say about what our life will be like if we follow Him. Take up your cross (sounds easy…. just kidding), lose your life, the way to greatness is being the least, humble yourself to be exalted. The list could go on. We must hold tight to Him to be able to fulfill the way He has called us to live.

rise up

Church- the people, not the building- need to rise up! It’s time for the rubber to meet the road in our faith. If you call yourself a follower of Christ, it’s time to get on the narrow path. If your ‘road’ is crowded, you might be on the wrong road. It’s time to be all in and fully committed to Jesus.

Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it.

Matthew 7:13-14

I don’t know what 2021 will hold for the church (building). I don’t know if we will meet as usual, or if things will ever “go back to normal”. Maybe normal wasn’t the right way to do things. Maybe the church needed to be shaken to see what would remain standing. If you have found yourself committed to a building, events, childcare, youth programs, etc. in 2020, I cannot implore you deeply enough to commit yourself to Christ. Those things may not come back in 2021 and where will that leave you? That concerns me for many who say they follow Christ.

We need to be prepared. I’m not a complete “End-times Theorist” but what I can tell you is with every passing day we are closer to Christ’s return. Are you ready? Are you really ready? Will you be found serving while you wait? Or pouting because you have to watch church online? I believe the church as a whole has done a disservice to it’s members. We (me included), have taught you only how to serve within the four walls of the church building, instead of showing you how to serve the people around you.

Jesus came riding in on a donkey; not a horse fit for battle. He came as a humble servant who washed His disciples’ feet; not a military general ready to defeat the oppression of the Romans. There is much we can learn from Him. We need to be servant leaders, humble and lowly; not prideful, arrogant, militant commanders barking orders at people and telling them they are destined for hell. Even if it’s true, I have yet to see that tactic win people to Christ.

May 2021 be the year that the church rises up and actually looks like Jesus. May we serve our community, be the hands of feet of Jesus outside the walls of the church. May our commitment to Him be greater than our commitment to a building. May we stop being consumers of what the church can offer and willing give of ourselves to those around us.

We have the hope the world needs. Follower of Christ, you have the hope of the gospel. Be the light of the world. Share the love of Jesus. And by all means, use your words! Yes, our lives can most certainly be a testimony to those around us, but we should share with people why we can have joy amidst trial, praise during pain, certainty during uncertain times, peace during chaos.

Pray for our nation. Absolutely. Please hear me: I am not saying I don’t care about what happens in the White House. I do. But I know Who holds all things together. I know nothing happens without God allowing it to happen. While it may to have been my vote, I can fully trust that God has a great plan and this will indeed, further His kingdom. Pray for your leaders. Do your best to respect them- you don’t have to agree with them to respect the position they hold. Don’t argue on social media. You aren’t going to change anyone’s mind. Instead, love and serve one another. Put your pride aside, and live in humility. That will speak volumes.

I truly believe things will not get better before the return of Christ. So what are we to do? Be ready. Prepare to face persecution and censorship. Strengthen your faith. Know what you believe and why you believe it. Have an answer ready for the hope you have in Christ. Be like Daniel- resolve to to be undefiled by the world. Be courageous like Esther- stand up for what is right, in the right way. Read and study your Bible- the Holy Spirit can reveal the truth of the Scripture to you the same way He can your favorite Bible teacher! Sign up for the Voice of the Martyrs magazine and being encouraged by the faith of the persecuted church. Some day, your story might be in there. I don’t mean for that to sound dreary, but rather to encourage you.

Today is the day to live for Jesus and set things right with God. Don’t wait. Don’t waste today. Take hope, friend. Jesus has already overcome the world.

Gail is a wife, mother, and Christ follower. Her and her husband Greg have been married for 17 years and have 5 beautiful children. Gail volunteers as the director of women's ministry and Greg is the part time worship leader at their church, where the serve together. With a goal to be a life long student of God's word, she is currently a student in Biblical Teaching and will graduate this May. She is passionate about equipping women to fulfill the calling God has on their life. Find out more about here at the about Gail page!

In His Grace,

Gail Marie Harris

  1. Gail, this is truly a post of wisdom, reality and challenge. Thank you for being true to the message on your heart today. I hope we, I, take courage here

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