Something Both You and I Tend to Be Tempted to Do
Liz Truss, previously the UK’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, has been appointed the country’s new prime minister. Today, Queen Elizabeth II officially appoints her to succeed Boris Johnson as foreign secretary.
All fourteen of the queen’s former prime ministers were appointed in London, at Buckingham Palace. However, throughout the months of August and October, the 96-year-old queen will be on vacation at her Scottish residence. It will be a historic event, unlike any other in the queen’s seventieth year of reign, and the new prime minister will come to her to make it easier on her to participate.
The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of the political party that wins a majority of seats in Parliament elections. Like Boris Johnson, a leader can be driven out of office if their own party no longer backs them. And if their party loses an election, like Winston Churchill’s did in 1945, they’ll be out of a job, too.
That is, the new prime minister will only remain in office if her party is successful in the upcoming election and backs her as leader (which must be held no later than 2025).
INVENTORYING FOR TERRORISTS FROM MARS
Both the electoral system in Great Britain and the senior age of the monarch serve as reminders of the brevity of human life. Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, was laid to rest in Moscow last Saturday. The Kremlin claims that President Vladimir Putin was too busy to attend the burial.
One thing Mr. Putin might not think about is that one day it will be his turn to be buried. Life expectancy for men in Russia is 68 years, thus he is about a decade older than average. The average American life expectancy dropped from roughly 79 years in 2019 to 76 years in 2021.
One epidemiologist, however, claims that annual transmission rates of the virus in the United States will continue to hover around 50%, with over 100,000 fatalities.
Yesterday, after severe shelling knocked off a transmission line at Europe’s largest nuclear reactor, the Ukrainian minister of energy issued a dire warning that the “world is once again on the edge of nuclear tragedy.” No longer is there any evidence to suggest that alcohol use has any positive health effects, and new studies have found that there are really negative ones. Colorado authorities say a lady from Denver fell from 900 feet and died after she fell from a cliff. The death toll from the earthquake in China has risen to 65.
Furthermore, the dangers we face may lie in areas we have yet to discover; NASA is developing a unique laboratory to process Martian materials that will be sent back to Earth. The reason for this is frightening: microbes from Mars might cause a global epidemic against which Earth has no defenses.
Here’s a sin both you and I are very tempted to commit:
Yesterday, we discussed how “the LORD delights in those who fear him, in those who hope in his unfailing love” (Psalm 147:11). The sin of arrogance is an example of something he does not “take delight in.”
Stories from today’s world reflect the scriptural admonition, “Do not brag about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring” (Proverbs 27:1). The Bible says, “No man has authority to keep the spirit, or control over the day of death” (Ecclesiastes 8:8).
Those of us who are trying to live Christlike lives are, unfortunately, particularly vulnerable to the temptation of assumption. When compared to the vast majority of people, we realize how really blessed we are to be called God’s children (John 1:12). When most people aren’t, we take the time to learn about God via reading his Word, talking to God, going to church, giving our tithes and offerings, and perusing articles like this one.
If we resist his temptations, Satan will try to get us to do crimes that aren’t as heinous, but still make headlines. It’s possible that if we engage in these crimes yet are (superficially) more religious than others, God must consider us religious enough.
Sins, no matter how “little,” are offensive to the Holy Spirit. “Whoever observes the full law but falls at one point has become guilty of all of it” (James 2:10). One of these sins is thinking too highly of ourselves and letting it cloud our judgment.
What have we done that God has not done first?
Therefore, a comment made by Max Lucado rings true today: “I’m wondering if you’d be ready to join me in a prayer of repentance—repentance from hubris. What have we accomplished that God hasn’t already done? Not even our own lives are our own without God’s provision. Has anybody here ever constructed a structure that even God couldn’t destroy? Ask yourself this question: “Have we built any monument that the master of the stars can’t turn to dust?”
When he’s done, Max says, “Let’s humble ourselves before the hand of God. The Bible assures us that God has the power to bring shame upon people who walk arrogantly. Besides, we don’t want him to make ourselves seem bad, now, do we?
When I read that the average American now only lives to be 76.1 years old, as I mentioned up there, I felt personally invested in today’s subject. Life expectancy for a boy like me, born in 1958, is significantly lower, at only seventy-four years. Ten more years is not much of a wait. To rephrase, actuarial calculations estimate that I have just 520 weeks left to live.
My future is in your hands, as David prayed (Psalm 31:15). My grandpa reached the ripe old age of 99. The tragedy is that at age 55, my father passed away. This may be the last Daily Article I ever write, or I may continue to do so for the next two decades.
But I do know that I must resist the temptation to think that today is all I need to be and that I will be here tomorrow. Every day of my life must be a “living sacrifice” to God (Romans 12:1), marked by a deep and enduring communion with Christ (John 15:5) and a total dependence on the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).
You do, too.
The secret of the missionary is—I am his, and he is carrying out his enterprises through me,” said Oswald Chambers. Continuing, he said, “Be completely his.”
When did you become “totally his” today?