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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

"Made in ___________"


For some reason I have taken a deeper interest in the candidates and issues that are prevalent in the upcoming presidential elections next year here in the USA.  Throughout the years I have lightly followed the various campaigns and the hot issues during the elections, but this year just seems somewhat more important to me than the others.  I think our inability to vote in 2009 has strengthened my resolve to be an even more knowledgeable and active participant in the election process.
Back then we were still in Oklahoma, but according to the Registrar of Voters we were in a sort of No-Man’s-Land or Catch 22 situation!  I had done my homework before we moved there and learned that since we would only be temporary residents attending school in a state other than our home state, that we could keep our California drivers licenses while maintaining the Suburban’s registration in our home state as well. 
The only time that things got a bit sticky for us was when my daughter and I got pulled over on the way to school one morning driving the car that a fellow student and co-worker had given us.  The confusion came when the city policeman questioned why the car had Oklahoma plates and was registered to us with a Broken Arrow address… but California driver’ licenses! 
When I explained our temporary-in school status the officer was not too pleased.  It became rather obvious that he was not a fan of our Bible School which was well known and had a good standing in the community.  It seems that he felt like our school did not necessarily meet the qualifications for the law I cited.  I must admit that the whole time I was in Oklahoma, I met very few people who did not hold a high regard for our school.  And although he was not pleased about it, he did not push that issue anymore and only ticketed us for late tags (oophs!)
But the reason I said all this is to explain that since we did not have Oklahoma driver’s licenses, we were not considered Oklahoma residents by the Registrar of Voters and could not vote there nor as an absentee resident from California because I listed our address as being in Oklahoma!  (Does that make sense?)  I later learned that I probably could have listed my folk’s home as our home state address since we had stored a lot of our things with them and planned to live with them temporarily when we returned.  I just remember feeling very out-of-place when we couldn’t vote and resolved to not let that happen again!
In watching the two Republican debates, I noticed that among the many hot issues discussed were included immigration, the minimum wage and bringing manufacturing jobs back to America.  The subject of bringing manufacturing jobs back into this country hits a particularly hot button for me as I (and a few thousand others) lost my job back in the early 2000’s to economic downturn and the subsequent overseas outsourcing of our jobs to Malaysia.
I have the habit nowadays of turning over almost everything I pick up in a store to find the tag that tells where it was made!  And to be honest, most of the time it says “Made in China.”  Very seldom do I find items that are made in America.  In fact, that unique qualification seems to have become a marketing tool nowadays as it is hard to find items 100% made in our home country.  I raed the other day that the car that has its various parts mostly made and assembled in the USA is a Toyota!
With all that in mind, I had to stop in my Bible study in Ephesians two the other morning and consider what people would see if they turned me over… What would they find my “Made In _______” sticker to say?  How about yours?  Ephesians 2:10 tells us that “God has made us what we are.  He created us in Christ Jesus to live lives filled with good works that he has prepared for us to do.” (God’s Word ©) The King James Version says that “we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus.”  Hopefully that’s what people will find stamped on me!
The original Greek for “workmanship” describes the word as meaning “a product or fabric.” (Strong’s)  So according to that thought, you and I are His product or made from the same fabric as He is.  Interesting huh?  It gets even better when you look at that tiny little preposition “in.”  Vincent’s Word Studies says that “it originally means to make habitable.”  That immediately got me wondering that since we are God’s workmanship, created “in” Christ… then what are we supposed to be inhabited with… and the answer was pretty simple: Jesus Christ and the truth of His Word!
Strong’s defines “in” as “a fixed position in place, time or state; instrumentality.”  So if we are “in Christ” we stand and operate in and from a fixed position in Him with His character and power. The FreeDictionary.com describes “instrumentality” as “The state of being instrumental or a subsidiary branch, as of a government by means of which functions and policies are carried out.”
That definition would go right along with 2 Corinthians 5:20 where Paul declares that we “are ambassadors for Christ…” (KJV)  In other words, as Christians, you and I are representatives or a subsidiary branch of the kingdom of God and are responsible for and commissioned to carry out the functions and policies of His kingdom on this earth as detailed in His Word!
Now when you think about it… that responsibility carries with it a lot of weight and potential power to make positive changes in our places of assignment doesn’t it?  I would say so!  If you carry that revelation a bit further, it becomes quite apparent that you and I therefore do have some definite say so concerning the daily events of our lives… right?  We don’t have to simply be moved to and fro with the daily swings of life, but because of our position, the truth of His Word and the love and grace of our Papa God, can make a difference in our world today!
I’d better stop there for now… as that is a lot for us to chew on!  Check it out for yourself.  It may cause you to make a complete paradigm shift in the understanding of your Christian walk in line with your position “in Christ.”  I’ll share a little more on Friday… but until then… Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What or in Whom am I expecting to empower and change my world today?”

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