Happy New Year


Silhouette young man Happy for 2017 new year

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. ~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

2017 has arrived and we are excited to share our new theme for the year. HOW SHALL WE LIVE? This is a great follow-up to last year’s theme of FACING THE FUTURE WITH CONFIDENCE.

Most of us have asked the question at some point in our lives, what is God’s will for my life? Pastor Bill Raws, the grandson of our founder, always said that if you want to know God’s will for your life, start be doing with the Word of God tells you is His will.

Our theme verse for the year answers that question. If you want be doing God’s will in your life, here are three things for you to do:

1. Rejoice always. Note that it isn’t just when things are going well, but the implication is that even when things aren’t going my way, I am to rejoice. It’s not sometimes or most times. Paul leaves no wiggle room here for wondering when we are off the hook. Always is pretty clear, right?

That means on the day our new President is inaugurated, if I voted for him, I get to rejoice. If I didn’t vote for him, I still get to rejoice.

2. Pray without ceasing. That is one of my goals for this coming year. I want to be more intentional in praying about everything. We normally pray when there is something big going on around us. But I think what Paul is suggesting here is that we should be praying about anything and everything.

3. In everything give thanks. Note that the text does say that I need to give thanks FOR everything, but IN everything. I think that rejoicing, praying and giving thanks are so linked together. If I am in a terrible spot, I need to rejoice – I need to be constantly praying about that concern/situation – and I am thanking God in the midst of this circumstance because we know that He is going to use this for our God and His greater glory.

So here is what I want to encourage you to do. First of all, memorize these two verses with me this year. Let the Holy Spirit burn this truth into the hard-drive of your mind.

Secondly, I have encouraged our staff to memorize a new verse each week. That’s 52 verses. Here is the link to the verses if you would like to join us. It is an important discipline for us to hide God’s Word in our hearts.

Thirdly, share with the Freedom Fighter team what God is teaching you. We’d love to hear what you are learning.

Fourthly, get one of our new wristbands. It will be a good reminder throughout the day of doing God’s will. Email me your address and I will send one to you (bwelte@americaskeswick.org). Thanks for being a part of the Freedom Fighter blog family. We appreciate you more than you know. Have a blessed 2017.

Written by Dr. Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Genesis 1-3 | You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here


Daily Quote: “When you pray for something and ask “that the Father may be glorified in the Son”, prepare for Him to do what He knows will bring Him the most glory.” ~From Living the Battle Plan

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; Let such as love Your salvation say continually, “The LORD be magnified!” Psalm 40:16

‘Twas the Day After Christmas

Manger at night under fog

‘Twas the day after Christmas and all through the town

The ones who weren’t Christians were feeling let down

The stockings weren’t hung by the chimney anymore,

And boxes and wrapping covered the floor.

The kitchen was covered from floor to ceiling

With enough dirty dishes to set Mother reeling

The children were whining over what they didn’t get

And rather than sharing, they were throwing a fit!

The malls were bustling with post-Christmas shoppers

Searching for bargains on racks and in hoppers.

The salesmen looked haggard, the shoppers looked worse

As credit cards flew out of wallet and purse.

There were no joyful sounds of carolers singing,

And the only bells heard, were registers ringing.

The scene was altogether too grim,

For all the people who didn’t know Him.

If only this unhappy crowd could know

That the Spirit of Christmas isn’t tied with a bow

And stacked in piles underneath the tree,

He lives forever in you and in me.

He didn’t start in presents piled up in a sleigh,

He started with Christ being born in the hay.

The perfect gift from our Father above

Sent to us sinners to show us His love.

He came without wrapping or boxes or strings,

No glitter or glamour or other vain things.

He came with a promise of hope for all men,

That even in death, we’d have life again.

The next face you encounter covered with strife,

Introduce them to Jesus and change their whole life.

Teach them that Christmas is a daily thing,

That comes from intimately knowing the King.

Someone sent this poem to me years ago and I thought you’d enjoy it. I trust you had a great Christmas.

If you haven’t already done so, I’d like to invite you to download a copy of our 2017 Bible Reading Plan. Pastor Chris Thompson shared this plan with me when he was here this summer and I loved it. Here is the link: 2017 America’s Keswick Bible Reading Plan. If you’d like a hard copy sent, send me your email address.

I look forward to you joining us for a new year of Freedom Fighter blogs in 2017. On behalf of our writing team, God bless you.

Written by Dr. Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 56; Proverbs 26

Daily Quote: The early Christians did not say in dismay, ‘Look at what the world has come to,’ but in delight, ‘Look what has come to the world.’ Carl F. Henry

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy, For You have considered my trouble; You have known my soul in adversities. Psalm 31:7

Praying as You Read The Scriptures

Stressed businessman

In just a few days we will be entering the month of December. A number of you committed to read through the book of Psalms and Proverbs with us this year and I trust it has been a blessing to you.
I am always looking for ways to keep my quiet times fresh and exciting. I have seen a number of great resources that I will share with you as we prepare for 2017, but resources that you can start right now.
I recently read a blog by Kristen Wheterell and she suggests 22 ways to pray as we read through the Bible based on principles from Psalm 119. I am using them in my quiet time and commend them to you:

  • Pray for wholehearted seeking: Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways (vv. 2-3)!
  • Pray for protection from sin: I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you (v. 11).
  • Pray for opened eyes: Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law (v. 18).
  • Pray for spiritual strength:  My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word (v. 28)!
  • Pray for delight and longing: Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!…Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life (vv. 36, 40)!
  • Pray to fight lies: Let your steadfast love come to me, O Lord, your salvation according to your promise; then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me, for I trust in your word (vv. 41-42).
  • Pray to live with trust in God’s promises: This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life (v. 50).
  • Pray for quick obedience: I hasten and do not delay to keep your commandments (v. 60).
  • Pray for good judgment and knowledge: Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments (v. 66).
  • Pray for God’s comfort: Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant (v. 76).
  • Pray for endurance against the enemy: All your commandments are sure; they persecute me with falsehood; help me (v. 86)!
  • Pray to depend on God’s enduring Word: Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens….I am yours; save me, for I have sought your precepts (vv. 89-94).
  • Pray for continual meditation: Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day (v. 97).
  • Pray for God’s light to guide you: Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (v. 105).
  • Pray for fear of the Lord: My flesh trembles for fear of you, and I am afraid of your judgments (v. 120).
  • Pray for trust in the Lord’s justice: I am your servant; give me understanding, that I may know your testimonies! It is time for the Lord to act, for your law has been broken (vv. 125-6).
  • Pray for victory over sin: Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me (v. 133).
  • Pray for joy in trouble: Trouble and anguish have found me out, but your commandments are my delight (v. 143).
  • Pray for God to hear you: Hear my voice according to your steadfast love; O Lord, according to your justice give me life (v. 149).
  • Pray for mercy: Great is your mercy, O Lord; give me life according to your rules (v. 156).
  • Pray to abhor falsehood: I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your law (v. 163).
  • Pray for a soul of praise: Let my soul live and praise you, and let your rules help me (v. 175).

Pretty cool, huh? I trust they will be helpful to you. I’d love to hear from you. Send me an email at bwelte@americaskeswick.org Trust you had a great Thanksgiving.

Resource: Kristen Whetherell blog

Written by Dr. Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 28; Proverbs 28

Daily Quote: The louder Satan roars, the more proof you shall have of Christ’s love. ~C.H. Spurgeon

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7

Response To Truth!

A man with his head bowed and holding a holy bible in prayer

“Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, “We will hear you again about this.” (Acts 17:32)

Paul was dealing with a severely Greek influenced culture with many wise and well thought out perceptions. The philosophers were known for unraveling new ideas and voicing their opinions on various matters. They even had ideas on the reality of gods and what was recognized as the Unknown God. Which Paul used as a segue to the gospel of Jesus Christ. But the key here is the various responses to the Good News.

Believers; has God been sharing new perspectives in your lives? Has he been calling you to new truths or deeper conformity? Are your convictions being challenged? And if so, what’s your response? Do we mock it, reject it because it’s different from which you are comfortable, or delay and say I will hear at another time?

“But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.” (Acts 17:34)

This is the response I enjoyed. These men heard the truth and their actions followed. We are faced with trying times and confusing circumstances. This is not the time to be casual in our walks with Christ. Jesus did not die on the cross for us to be lukewarm in our walks. God didn’t not call you out of darkness to display a dim reflection of His glory. He wants us to respond to His truths in a way that there will be immeasurable evidence that we are in Him. Respond well my friend!

Written by Juan Mendez: Juan is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and full-time staff member at America’s Keswick.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 23; Proverbs 23

Daily Quote: There is nothing that makes us love a man so much as praying for him. ~William Law

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. ~II Corinthians 5:6

Let’em Eat Stuffing!

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 22; Proverbs 22

Daily Quote: “We tend to take all the gifts and pleasures and happiness and the joy without saying much to God. We take our health and strength, our food and clothing and our loved ones, all for granted; but the moment anything goes wrong we start grumbling and complaining and we say ‘Why should God do this to me, why should this happen to me?’ How slow we are to thank and swift to grumble.”—Martyn Lloyd-Jones

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. ~II Corinthians 5:6

Finalizing Your Battle Plan

knights, pawns and other wooden chess pieces on the chessboard

Here is the last step in preparing to fight temptation in your life. I trust that these steps have been a help to you in your daily walk.

Don’t Go There – Take the Way of Escape

I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your regulations. Psalm 119:30

a. Stop thinking about it. The battle starts in the mind.

Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. James 1:12-15

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8

Do not look at temptation with a wandering eye if you do not wish to be taken by it, not allow your mind to dwell on that which you do not want lodged in your heart. William Gurnall

b. Purpose where you can and cannot go. Strategize ahead of time. If you don’t plan in advance where you can and cannot go, you have set yourself up for failure. Recently a good friend of mine had to miss a family birthday party because he knew going there would be a big step toward relapse. He chose to stay home and for him. That was a good move. c. Take the way of escape that the Father ALWAYS provides for you.

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Can you ever think of a time when you faced temptation where God did not provide a way of escape?

d. Don’t boast about temptations. “I don’t struggle in this area …” “I can’t believe he blew it in that area … how could they be so stupid?”

Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 1 Corinthians 10:12

e. Find someone who will hold you accountable. Ask the tough questions, hold your feet to the fire, not be afraid to get in your face.

d. Play the tape to the final conclusion. What the consequences if I do this? How will this all unfold/unravel? What about my wife? My kids? My ministry?

O what desperate madness it is to accept the wrath of God for joy that lasts but an hour! William Gurnall


Today you are not alone against temptation because the One who is your Savior is also your fortress, your hiding place, your defense.

Today you will fight temptation, but not alone because a Warrior Spirit lives inside you and fights on your behalf. Dr. Paul David Tripp

I am a fellow struggler. I am in this journey with you. But with God’s help and a strategy, we can be more than a conqueror.

Written by Dr. Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 21; Proverbs 21

Daily Quote: The Bible characters never fell on their weak points but on their strong ones; unguarded strength is double weakness. —Oswald Chambers

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. ~II Corinthians 5:6

Past Performances

Moment of rest

He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. ~Psalm 23:3

Not many of us learn from our mistakes, if we’re honest the truth is we usually are creatures of habit. A habit is defined – as a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up. Our reputation is based on our past performance as well as how we may react or conduct ourselves given the current circumstances. What we need is our souls restored. There are times when we can surely say “my soul is satisfied”. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

The transformational healing message of the Gospel is that we no longer have to react according to our past performances. Our next move or reaction will be determined by whether we are walking in the Spirit or the flesh. I am someone who can be overwhelmed by anxieties usually brought on by fear, so when I find myself in a situation where I’m about to react, there’s an uncomfortable knot in my stomach that is ready to explode. It’s then I have a choice, a pure antidote for putting the deeds of the flesh to death is scripture. I can recite certain verses such as

“The LORD is my shepherd;

I shall not want.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside the still waters.

He restores my soul”

To be able to allow God to “Restore my soul” is a sure fire way to step out of your typical “Past Performance” and walk according to the Spirit. I love when I am out of character especially when the character displayed resembles Jesus. I have often walked away from a situation thinking to myself, “that wasn’t me.” No, I would have not handled that well apart from the help from God.

I was in church recently and one of the songs during our worship time we sang “God with us, God for us, nothing can come against, no one can stand between us”. I was reminded of the passage in Romans 8:31 “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

There is a truth that we need to be reminded of and that is we belong to God. When I commit myself to God’s word it allows the Holy Spirit to restore my soul. I then respond to things according to the Spirit.

What are your anxieties today? What are you fearing? I believe God is waiting for you to come to Him so He can do what only He can do.

Our poor past performances no longer define us, we can walk in a newness of life when we commit ourselves to Jesus. Amen

Written by Rob Russomano: Rob is married to Terri, he is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and a full time staff member. He is also available as a speaker of the grace of God with a message of Hope for church events. You can contact him at rrussomano@americaskeswick.org.


The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 17; Proverbs 17

Daily Quote: The greatest tragedy of life is not unanswered prayer, but unoffered prayer. ~F.B. Meyer

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.– Philippians 3:10-11


Satisfied with work done

“When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned” (Roman 5:12)

Paul reminds us that humanity wasn’t originally sinful, however as a result of the fall we are now born in sin. And here we are with our fleshly nature and the ripple affects from the fall. The flesh is conditioned very contrary to our new identity in Christ; it rears its roaring head around us. I see this in my 3 year old.

For instance, Olivia comes down the steps with her hands behind her back and I ask her what are you doing? With makeup smeared on her face, She responds nothing and continues walk passed me. Reminded me of Adam, in the garden, trying hide from God, as His Creator ask ‘where are you.’ Adam and and Eve both try to fix the problem on their own.

Like Olivia and Adam, we are all in some type situation and our nature tendency is manage through the circumstances with own logic and or reasoning. Instead of instantaneously going to God, we slide and hide. However, when we were dead in our addictions, problems, uncontrollable situations, in state total depravity we cried, and God saved us.

Has self-sufficiency lead your back in a corner? Have you been managing through life fixing things with your own resources?

He is the same source to all of our resources. Let’s go back to trusting in One that holds the world in place, the Savior, the Redeemer; ‘the rock that is higher than I’

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1)

Written by Juan Mendez: Juan is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and full-time staff member at America’s Keswick.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 16; Proverbs 16

Daily Quote: When I pray, coincidences happen, and when I don’t, they don’t. ~William Temple

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.– Philippians 3:10-11

Blessed Poverty

little smile

If you are discouraged it is a sign of pride because it shows you trust in your own power. Your self-sufficiency, your selfishness and your intellectual pride will inhibit His coming to live in your heart because God cannot fill what is already full. It is as simple as that. ~Mother Teresa

“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with Me on My throne, as I also conquered and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’” ~ Jesus, King of The Universe, in Revelation 3

Oh beloved, it is true. What drove most of us to the edge of destruction in our lives, was the belief that we were OK. We listened to the drumbeat of the world, that was telling us that everything we wanted was just around the next bend. All we had to do was keep going… Keep trying.

Thankfully, some of us learned that this was not true, before it killed us.

This fool of a writer came to the end of his belief that he was rich, and doing fine exactly six years ago yesterday. I was sitting in my room, in my parents’ home. They had taken me in, after my own false beliefs in my own amazingness and riches had landed me in jail for a few months, and then released into homelessness.

I looked down at my barely-used Bible on a coffee table, and said: “God, just do whatever you gotta do. Kill me if You have to. Just do it.”

He did.

However, He did not do what maybe I had expected Him to do. Though, I am not completely sure what I expected… He sent me to The Colony of Mercy. And it was there, that I started on an odyssey well beyond my imagination.

Mostly though, it seems that G_d convinced me of the fact that I was – and had always been – the weaker kind of brother. I absolutely did not have the freedom to let my eyes wander in any direction. I am the kind of guy who really can’t even watch TV or movies. I don’t get to eat junk food. I don’t have the ability to safely do just about anything people do in the world.

Said more simply: He showed me that I am nothing. I have absolutely no power to resist any of the things the world wants to offer me. And, apart from Him, I am about 5-tenths of a second away from failure. My spiritual bank account is completely empty. Without Him, I got nothing.

And it is here, in this place of abject spiritual poverty, that I have become one of the happiest and most blessed men on the planet. In the years following His showing me my poverty, He given me a family, has sent me to live in three Asian countries and to introduce over 1,000 students to the Very Good News of Jesus Christ. He has given me a writing ministry that now has gone into over 150 other countries. And, He has given me the riches of His very Presence in ways that I will not cheapen with words.

But mostly, He has taught me to keep giving what He gives me, away. He has taught me that He really likes putting greater and greater true riches into the hands of His impoverished children (of Whom, I am a favorite [and so are you, by the way]). But, He gives the most precious gifts into my hands (and yours), when they are empty.

Can we see it? The blessing of spiritual poverty is not a cut down to my humanity. No, seeing myself as nothing, apart from Him, is for me to live as truly human as possible. It is the way that Jesus lived when He lived here on earth. He lived in abject dependence on every word that came from His Father’s mouth. He did nothing but what the Father guided Him and empowered Him to do by His Spirit.

And once we live the same way as Jesus did. We begin to see that we really have more power and riches than we ever imagined possible. We become rich beyond our wildest dreams. We realize that our picture of riches were a wretched missing of what true wealth really is.

So, are you feeling pretty good about yourself lately? This is a pretty bad place to be. Could this fool preach to you for a moment? It is time to quit believing in yourself. It is time to quit believing everything is OK. You are a mess and more poor than you can begin to know right now. However, in coming to believe this reality, you will be beginning towards a life of blessing beyond your wildest dreams.

Tonight is your night, beloved. Time to believe in your poverty.


The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 147; Proverbs 28

Daily Quote: For Ragamuffins, God’s name is Mercy. We see our darkness as a prized possession because it drives us into the heart of God. Without mercy our darkness would plunge us into despair – for some, self-destruction. Time alone with God reveals the unfathomable depths of the poverty of the spirit. We are so poor that even our poverty is not our own: It belongs to the mysterium tremendum of a loving God. ~ Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. ~Philippians 3:7

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The Art Of Being Out-Gunned Part #3



“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives His best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.” ~Matthew 5:43-47 (The Message)

So, with all that debating nonsense finally done and over with let me ask you this question…You still gonna vote? At first I thought it would be funny and write in a President that already has been (like Theodore Roosevelt) just to show them but in reality, I am really vexed by the whole thing. I see the ads on the T.V. and wonder who they are trying to fool. I, for one, don’t think that the laws of this land are actually geared towards one special individual or another and yet because of the mindset and strayed moral compass of the masses these T.V. ads want you to think yourself more highly thought of than you actually are…now anybody can that without an impending election, so who are they fooling?

As I have been going through the Sermon on The Mount and trying to run it through this election season I am having a hard time seeing any shred of it and, to be honest, why should I? Kingdom principles and Democracy don’t mix very well. You can’t vote for a Messiah. There’s only one and His party affiliation doesn’t cater to the masses simply because it is about saving the masses for Kingdom purposes, it’s for peacemaking and not peacekeeping. So, the real question is where can we find peacemaking in this coming election? The answer is simple here too…it starts with you.

Let’s go back into the Babylonian Exile for a moment. It is popular to believe that The Exile was punishment for the nation of Israel’s disobedience to a lot of what YHVH told them they shouldn’t be doing and that is a truth here. However, if we were to take a peek into Jeremiah 29:7, “And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the LORD for it; for in its peace you will have peace.” What I hope you see here is that the nation of Israel is given a purpose within its punishment. Now we all fall upon Jeremiah 29:11-13 for strength but we seem to leave out the condition that will bring that strength. So, what is that condition? Love your enemies…and pray for them. Easy to say, hard to do.

Here is a little something that brother Ray Pritchard noticed about Jeremiah 29:7. “Shalom, the Hebrew word for peace, is used three times in this verse. Besides peace, it means blessing, wholeness, completeness, the absence of conflict, prosperity. Here is the shocking fact—at least it would have been shocking to the Jewish exiles. God ties their blessing to the blessing of the Babylonians. This seems counterintuitive since the exiles were God’s people and the Babylonians were pagans. He is really saying they were better off in Babylon, and Babylon is better off because they were there. Said another way, we can summarize this verse this way: You need Babylon! Babylon needs you!”

Today’s media would have us think that a wide road is necessary to peaceful “Co-existence” (like the bumper sticker displays), but what it leaves out can only be found in a peace that is surrender to a crucified life (easy to say, hard to do). What we do see today is a people spending too much thought on “what they’re doing” and not enough on “what I should be doing”. It brings to mind this dialog found at the end of John’s Gospel…” Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?” Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, “But Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.” (John 21:20-22)

There’s more to come, until then…pray for Babylon/Rome/America. Amen?

Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 144; Proverbs 25

Daily Quote: “Christian love draws no distinction between one enemy and another, except that the more bitter our enemy’s hatred, the greater his need of love. Be his enmity political or religious, he has nothing to expect from a follower of Jesus but unqualified love.” —Dietrich Bonhoeffer

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. ~Philippians 3:7

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