Aim for selecting leaders after His own heart

By Leonard Lauriault

It’s a Presidential election year; our senior U.S. Senator is retiring, as is our State Legislator, and several are vying for local offices. We’re likely, therefore, to hear much double talk from those campaigning as well as the news/entertainment media about what America needs. Many promises won’t be kept, sometimes because they can’t be, but more often than not, because the one making the promise is just telling us what they think we want to hear to get themselves or their candidate of choice elected.

Some of Israel’s religious and political leaders also looked only to their own interests (Luke 18: 2; 1 Samuel 2: 12-36; Ezekiel 34: 1-31; Jude 4, 12, 13, 16; Philippians 2: 1-8). They knew the people wanted to be happy and worry-free, so they put a band-aid on a gaping wound and said everything was alright, when it wasn’t (Jeremiah 6: 13, 14; 2 Peter 2: 1-3; 3: 17; 2 Timothy 4: 3, 4). Other times they instilled by making things sound worse than they really were (Isaiah 8: 11-17). In both cases they used double talk.

Our preacher said those who call Jesus “Lord, Lord” but don’t obey him used double talk, repeating the word, “Lord,” to make their argument more convincing (Luke 6: 46; that’s the source of this article). They’ll even claim they obeyed Jesus, but they still won’t be admitted into heaven (Matthew 7: 21-23). God sees through our double talk because he knows the intent of our hearts (1 Samuel 16: 6, 7; 1 Chronicles 28: 9). We also can know because you can tell a tree by its fruit (Matthew 7: 15-20).

Repeating words for emphasis isn’t necessarily bad. Jesus said we’re to live by the word of God and he used repetition (in King James English; use your favorite version but be sure to read all scriptures cited) on several occasions (Matthew 4: 4; John 1: 1, 14; 14: 6; 6: 32, 33; 3: 11; 13: 20). Jesus’ promises aren’t empty. He’s been around (and stable) since eternity and his promises are underwritten at great cost (John 8: 58; 1 Peter 1: 18, 19; 2 Peter 1: 3, 4; Hebrews 6: 17-20; 9: 11, 12). He’ll will stand by us when things don’t pan out as we hoped (John 10: 1-13; Hebrews 13: 5).

Only faith in Jesus and being born again according to God’s will bring great blessings like seeing heaven (John 1: 50, 51; 3: 3-6; 1: 12, 13; 1 Peter 1: 22, 23; 1 John 5: 1-5; 3: 24; Acts 5: 32; 2: 38, 39; 2 Corinthians 7: 1). Jesus had to die to be glorified; so must we – to self, out of obedience to overcome our worldly nature (John 12: 23-26; Romans 6: 3-7, 16-18; 3: 21-26). Jesus said and did only what God did and only those who listen to him and obey from faith will have eternal life (John 5: 19-26; 16: 12-15; 6: 47; 8: 34-36, 51; 14: 12; Matthew 7: 24-27).

Jesus knew he’d be betrayed and denied; we can expect the same (John 13: 21, 38, 16). So we should be on the lookout for those who want to lead us for self-serving purposes, promoting an agenda that’s not healthy for our country (John 6: 26, 27; Philippians 3: 19; 1 Timothy 4: 1, 2; Galatians 6: 12, 13). We must recognize their double talk; otherwise, our fate as a nation will be the same as nearly every other great empire in history (Revelation 14: 8; 18; 2, 10; Matthew 15: 12-14). We need leaders who’ll give us the straight talk in every situation, comforting us in the realities of life, and pointing out that things will get better only if we turn back to God to curry his favor as Lord, Lord (Isaiah 40: 1; 57: 14-21; Acts 3: 19, 20). Then, we can “Rejoice in the Lord, again, I say rejoice,” even when we face undesirable circumstances, because we know that eventually it will be a win, win situation (Philippians 4: 4-7; John 16: 20, 23; 21: 18; 16: 33).

For now, like Jesus in the garden, we can address God as our “Abba (Father), Father” finding mercy and grace to help us in times of need (Mark 14: 36; Romans 8: 15, 16; Galatians 3: 26-4: 7; Hebrews 4: 14-16).

We need to return to God and continue following him by selecting leaders after his own heart (2 Corinthians 6: 1, 2; Jeremiah 3: 14, 15). Keep your eyes and ears open to what the candidates say and God will show you his choice if you let him during the upcoming elections (Acts 1: 21-26). Like King David, they’ll make mistakes, but at least they’ll be trying to lead us in the right direction (Acts 13: 22).
Leonard Lauriault, church of Christ