Monthly Archives: October 2013

BLOCKING HELP

 

 

 

Some of us in our comfortable homes, with our nice cars, and our balanced household budgets may not know it, but thousands of people in Alabama are poor and needy. Thousands don’t have health insurance; therefore, many will suffer, and some will die.

 

Their suffering can be helped. The U.S. Government has recognized their needs and made large sums of money available for them through a real sweetheart of a deal. Alabama can get $1.5 billion each year for 2014, 2015, and 2016 without paying anything. Starting in 2016, the state would only pay 10 percent. The money is available to help over 300,000 needy women and children through the expansion of the Alabama Medicaid Program, which will be funded by the Affordable Care Act.

 

The money will aid and assist all 67 Alabama counties and it will create jobs. It is estimated that Georgia, with a cooperating governor, could gain 70,000 jobs and Alabama at least 35,000. That would be the greatest job increase in the history of the State of Alabama.

 

This money is for our use, but we have a problem. Robert Bentley is blocking it from coming to Alabama. We might ask why a governor of a poor state like Alabama would block such aid and assistance. It may be because he is a Republican and cares very little about the poor and needy. It may be because he dislikes President Obama and wants to do everything he can to make the president and his programs look bad, regardless of how much it may hurt his own people. It may be because he wants to be re-elected and believes there are enough uncaring Republicans and Tea Partiers to elect him if he stands in the State House door and refuses to let aid come in. We don’t really know his reason, but we hope and pray for the sake of the poor that he will change his mind.

 

We would say to him have a heart, love the people of Alabama, not just the rich and powerful, but the poor and needy as well. As a physician, you took an oath, the essence of which admonishes a physician to do no harm. You will do great harm to thousands of people if you continue to block these funds. Remember the words of the Great Physician Jesus Christ, who said, “Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.”

 

 

 

Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer, and founder of People for the Christian Way, an organization whose mission is to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics, and every area of life. drbobwilkerson@bellsouth.net, http://www.peopleforthechristianway.com

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GOD’S REQUIREMENTS–PART II

“. . . to love mercy . . .” (Micah 6:8)

The word “mercy” in this verse is translated best as “kindness.” In fact, Moffatt translates the verse as saying “To be just and kind and live in quiet fellowship with God.” It sounds simple and easy, but it is not. It demands our best efforts and God’s help.

Kindness is so rare in our day that we need to define it. To be kind means to be affectionate, loving, sympathetic, helpful, forbearing, gentle, and to give pleasure or relief. At least five things are necessary to meet this requirement.

We must:

·        Be kind to each other, and forgive each other, as Christ forgave us.

·        Show mercy and compassion for each other, and don’t oppress or take advantage of the widows, fatherless, strangers, and poor. We who are strong ought to bear the infirmities of our neighbors. The word stranger applies to immigrants. God’s word tells us that we should treat them as if they were born here, and love them as we love ourselves (Leviticus 19:34).

·        Give to those who ask us, and loan to people.

·        Love our enemies.

·        Rejoice with people that rejoice and cry with those who are crying.

Remember that this instruction is not a helpful hint or a suggestion, but a requirement of Almighty God. Let us ask ourselves how well we are meeting it.

Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer, and founder of People for the Christian Way, an organization whose mission is to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics, and every area of life. drbobwilkerson@bellsouth.net, http://www.peopleforthechristianway.com

AVOIDING WAR

 

The U.S. did a wonderful thing a few weeks ago. We solved a problem without going to war. That has been rare in our recent history.

The issue was Syria and its possession and use of chemical weapons on rebels fighting to overthrow their present government. The Hawks in Washington began to advocate several different military actions that we could take. Some even suggested that our President and our nation would be seen as weak, cowardly, and undependable allies if we did not take some sort of military action.

However, cooler, more intelligent heads prevailed. President Obama, working with others including Russia’s President Putin, negotiated a deal for the inspection and removal of chemical weapons from Syria. All is going well at this time.

Because of not going to war, many good things have happened. Many, possibly thousands of lives have been saved. Thousands of young military people will not be killed. Thousands will not lose arms and legs, and become disfigured and disabled. Horrible atrocities will not happen. People will not come home with scarred and damaged minds suffering with post-traumatic stress syndrome. Military cemeteries will not be forced to add more graves to their already over-crowded fields. Rivers of tears will not flow from the eyes of mothers and fathers, and newly widowed spouses, and fatherless/motherless children.

The lives of thousands of Syrians will be saved. More of their cities and homes will not be turned to rubble, at least not by us. Many Syrians will survive to return to their normal lifestyles after their internal conflict is resolved.

Avoiding military action in Syria will help America’s national reputation. It will weaken the perception that we are international bullies, out to run the world and willing to go to war quickly with little, if any, justification.

Years ago, someone asked, “What would happen if they threw a war and no one came?” In Syria, someone threw a war, we did not come, and it is absolutely wonderful!

Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer, and founder of People for the Christian Way, an organization whose mission is to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics, and every area of life. drbobwilkerson@bellsouth.net, http://www.peopleforthechristianway.com


GOD’S REQUIREMENTS–PART 1

“Act justly. . .” (Micah 6:8)

 

“Would you look at that! I’ve been cheated! I’m going to take it back,” said the man when he unfolded his grilled chicken wrap, and found only a tiny piece of chicken.

Justice is only the first of three things that God requires. Two deal with people, only one with God. This is because it is useless to talk about loving God whom we have never seen until we first come to love people whom we can see (1 John 4:20).

It requires us to act justly in our daily relationships. We are not to lie, cheat, or steal. We are not to take unfair advantage of others. We are to be just in all areas of our lives, doing unto others only as we would have them do unto us.

This requirement applies to businesses and corporations, as well as individuals. It says that they must not accumulate wealth through using false weights and measures in buying and selling. Neither lies nor deceptive practices should be used. We need to recognize and remember those who are not just, such as title loan companies, banks and credit card companies, and utility companies who charge unfair rates, and have hidden or unnecessary fees, manufacturers who use deceptive packaging to avoid giving full measure, and employers who victimize their employees by not paying a livable wage or providing basic benefits.

What can we do? First, we can be sure we act justly in all of our dealings. We can confront those individuals and businesses that treat us unfairly, and we can refuse to buy products or services from them. Any measures past these, we can leave to God. He will take care of them.

Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer, and founder of People for the Christian Way, an organization whose mission is to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics, and every area of life. drbobwilkerson@bellsouth.net, http://www.peopleforthechristianway.com

 

A HERO’S PRAYER

On October 4, Christians the world over remembered one of the greatest heroes of our faith—Francis of Assisi. He was born the son of a wealthy merchant in a society much like our own. The gap between the rich and the poor was unacceptably wide. Christians and Muslims were killing each other in the name of God. Both the church and the world were going through great change.

Francis was not always popular, but he was always Christian. He was one of the first to criticize capitalism, one of the first environmentalists, a church reformer, and a conscientious objector to war. His social activism was the natural outworking of his love for God, and his belief in the Bible. These are the words to his famous prayer:

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love.

Where there is injury, pardon,

Where there is discord, union,

Where there is doubt, faith,

Where there is error, truth,

Where there is despair, hope,

Where there is sadness, joy,

Where there is darkness, light.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved as to love; for it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.”

Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer, and founder of People for the Christian Way, an organization whose mission is to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics, and every area of life. drbobwilkerson@bellsouth.net, http://www.peopleforthechristianway.com

 

WHAT GOD REQUIRES

 

“To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).

 

“Here are my dues. I haven’t been to church in a long time, but I always pay my dues,” said the elderly man. He had just plopped down an offering envelope bulging with money on the church secretary’s desk.

The pastor smiled sadly when he overheard him. He thought to himself that man believes he has to pay regularly in order to maintain membership in the church and stay in God’s good graces.

Paying God off is not a new concept. The Old Testament has many examples of people sacrificing animals in order to please God. They were giving blood sacrifices, but God didn’t want them. The real demands of God are moral and spiritual, and the proper worship is a life of obedience to Him.

The prophet Micah tells us that God has shown us the better way. This way has three aspects, two related to our dealings with other people and one with our relationship with God. We must act justly in our daily relationships of life, show kindness (mercy) to others, and walk humbly before our God.

God is far more concerned with how we live than He is with how much we pay. On the cross at Calvary, Jesus paid it all!

Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer, and founder of People for the Christian Way, an organization whose mission is to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics, and every area of life. drbobwilkerson@bellsouth.net, http://www.peopleforthechristianway.com

 

WHY ISN’T EVERYONE A CHRISTIAN?

Jesus often explained the mysteries of God in little stories called parables. The parable in Matthew 13:1-9 explains why not everyone became a Christian after hearing the Word of God.

In this story, a farmer (God) goes out scattering seeds everywhere in order to grow his crop. If there was a problem, it was not the farmer or his seeds. The problem was in the ground receiving the seeds. Jesus speaks of four types of ground (people) in this parable.

The first type person is compared to the ground between rows. People walking on it pack it down. The seeds merely sit on top of it until the birds come and steal them away. He may have been referring to the closed minds of the Jewish leaders who had their belief system in place, which did not include a carpenter’s son named Jesus, or a gospel proclaiming love and grace. The idea that God was doing a new thing was unacceptable to them. A living God does new things, but sadly, if our minds are closed, we miss them.

Jesus compares some people to seed falling on rocky soil. It has no deep root system, so it springs up quickly and disappears the same way. They are bandwagon Christians who profess Christ because everyone else is doing it. Some have revival religion. They get hot for God during the revival, but when the revival disappears, they do too.

Jesus compares some who hear the Word of God to thorny ground. The ground cannot grow two crops at the same time, and neither can we serve two masters. One crop will crowd out the other. Sadly, “money” is the god of our world. It crowds out all else, including God.

We are thankful that this parable is not completely a sad one. Jesus compares some people to good ground. When the seed falls, they take it in, keep it, and care for it. Given time and cultivation, the crop will come, and multiply thirty times, sixty times, or even a hundred times. The abundant glorious harvest will make the losses insignificant.

Jesus speaks of four types of people. Which are you?

Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer, and founder of People for the Christian Way, an organization whose mission is to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics, and every area of life. drbobwilkerson@bellsouth.net, http://www.peopleforthechristianway.com