A dignified debate
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I was proud of the candidates during the debate Wednesday night.  I thought they handled themselves with dignity and showed respect, one for the other.  The evening gave me hope that the current trends in politics, and in our society might change.  Those who run for office, and hold office, have the opportunity to set strong examples for our country and its citizens.  We don’t have to agree with a candidate, but we should be able to respect him or her.   Maybe if our leaders behave well, we can expect more out of ourselves as well. 

I recently spoke on Numbers 13-14.  The Hebrew people were at the edge of the Promised Land, the land God had promised to give them.  Moses sent 12 spies into the land so they could bring a report about all they found.  They found the land was everything God had said it would be – a land flowing with “milk and honey.”  The twelve spies returned to report all they had seen.  That debate didn’t go as well as Wednesday night’s!  Ten of the spies told Moses that the land was exactly as God had promised, but…it is full of giants and huge, fortified cities.  They told Moses there was no way they could conquer the land.  Joshua and Caleb told Moses that with God on their side, there was no way they could lose.  The ten spies wanted Joshua and Caleb killed for their opinion.  Debates don’t always go well and democracy does not always arrive at the right answers.  The vote was 10 – 2, and the two should have won.  Eventually, they did. When God votes only one vote matters.

Joshua and Caleb would enter the promised land one day, Moses and the others did not.  God’s promises are ALWAYS fulfilled.  God never loses a debate.  God had promised Abraham he would be the father of many nations.  He was.  God promised Moses that his people would live in the land of Canaan.  Eventually, they did.  God promised his people a Messiah.  Jesus was born in Bethlehem and was crucified outside Jerusalem.  He was the “lamb that was slain from the creation of the world” (Revelation 13:8).  God has always had a plan for the salvation of the world, and He keeps his promises. 

It is easy to lose sight of the most important issues.  Does it matter who wins this year’s election?  Yes.  Does it matter eternally?  No.  Does it matter that we don’t have cures for cancers and other diseases?  Yes.  Does it matter eternally?  No.  Does it matter that our country is in huge debt to other nations?  Yes.  Does it matter eternally?  No.  The most important issues you face today are probably not what seem to be the most important issues.  If it doesn’t matter forever, should it matter as much?

Trust me, I don’t want to make light of the burdens we face each day.  I know all that I just said, but it is much harder to live according to what I know, than according to what I feel.  Ryan had his second MRI last week.  Did it matter what the results were?  More than I can say.  Once again the report came back, “cancer free.”  But here is what matters most.  Ryan has given his life to Jesus.  Cancer free means he will live.  His faith means he will live eternally. 

A lot of people debate the existence of God and an eternal life.  We may even come to a time when the popular opinion is a 10 – 2 percentage vote!  God has promised those who place their faith in “the lamb that was slain from the creation of the world,”  will live eternally in heaven.  God has always had a plan for the salvation of the world, and God ALWAYS keeps his promises.  When God votes, only one vote matters.

Here is the debate for the day:  Does it matter?  Or does it matter eternally?  May all of us dignify God with our answer.

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