I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes from faith— to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen. Romans 16:17-20, 25-27 NIV
I have always loved the way Paul ends this letter to the church at Rome. His acknowledgments and encouragement are a source of strength when things tend to tilt a person’s world out of kilter. At least, that’s the way I see it.
For the past six months, the world has indeed seemed tilted by all the hate and vitriol, the bigotry, and misogynistic rhetoric, the untruths and deliberate falsehoods, the attempts to mislead and distort truth to draw attention to self–it has been mind-boggling! But today–brings the culmination of the political rhetoric and hopefully, insight into a brighter future with opportunities to heal the hurts, instead of creating obstacles so our country can move forward, meeting the needs of all people.
America, as a nation, has proven for over 200 years–just how resilient we are when faced with opposition and threatened by tyranny. I know with God’s guidance, we can find our way to a place where we all realize–whether we agree with the methodology or not–we’re in this together and together we make our country strong and invincible. With other countries looking at what we do–with of the anxiety and intense rhetoric–we need to make sure they know–removing all doubt that may linger in their minds–we are united–by One God–as One people–with the same goals–liberty and justice for all who reside within our borders.
Whenever we allow the enemy to use the cracks in our flawed characters to create chasms–or wide gulfs–in our environment, we give him power to destroy and since his job is to destroy–hope, unity, and faith in God–we allow him to reign. We don’t have to let him reign. We can be watchful–acknowledging when we are not operating in God’s strength or wisdom, but our own, and turn away from selfish desires and allow Holy Spirit to keep us on the path of righteousness–blocking any influence the enemy puts in our way.
If we admit we truly have no wisdom without the Wisdom of God in our lives, we will find ourselves in a place where peace and love abound. No matter what else happens–we must receive the love of God, so we can love others and when we love others–no devil in hell can hinder the plans God has for us.
I’m Mary Hall-Rayford, and I approve this message!