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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

The Fourth "L"

Learning Jesus at every level.

Educating for Godly Policy (7)

“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6.6-9

We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us—a sphere which especially includes you. 2 Corinthians 10.13

Three “L’s” of public policy
Early in our study on the Law of God and public policy we identified three “L’s” in connection with this aspect of our calling to the Kingdom and glory of God. We considered the logic of public policy—what policy is, how it works, why it matters, and why we as believers must be concerned about and active in shaping public policy.

Then we examined the various loci where public policy is forged, especially—but not exclusively—that of civil government. If we are going to have a hand in shaping the policies that define our society, we must address them in as many as we can of the loci—places or arenas—where policy is made.

Finally, we discussed the language of public policy, where we saw that working in the realm of public policy decision-making is neither a form of preaching nor evangelism. Rather, we must meet people at the point of their interest or concern and communicate in language that they can understand and that makes sense to them and is true to our Christian convictions.

The fourth “L” of public policy, which we will herein address, is meant to guide us in preparing ourselves and others for the important work of bringing God’s holy and righteous and good Law to bear on our society and culture. Here we look at the various levels of our lives in which we must seek to learn and be transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ.

The goal of all preparation
I reiterate what we said in our last installment, that the goal of all preparation—including all preparation for shaping public policy—must have Christ as our ultimate standard. He is the very embodiment of all things beautiful, good, and true. Thus, we must have Him always in view in all our training and education, for of Him and through Him and unto Him are all things, to Whom be the glory forever (Rom. 11.36).

Further, Jesus is working to fill the world with Himself (Eph. 1.22, 23; 4.7-10), which He does by first transforming those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Through their transformed lives, Jesus flows like a river of living water to refresh and renew people, culture, and life in society, so that righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit increasingly abound (Jn. 7.37, 38; Rom. 14.17, 18).

Paul instructs us to set our minds on Jesus (Col. 3.1-3) and do all things heartily as unto Him (Col. 3.23, 24). We are servants of the Lord Jesus and comrades-in-arms to realize more of the presence, promise, and power of His Kingdom, on earth as it is in heaven (Matt. 6.10, 33). Even our work in shaping the policies which guide our lives must have as its focus achieving the kind of life that would issue from Jesus Himself were He here among us.

For He is here among us, in each believer and every congregation of the Lord’s people. And we must expect, therefore, that His agenda will be our agenda so that everything we do in any aspect of our lives will be according to His plan and for His glory.

The fourth “L”
Which brings us to the fourth “L” of public policy—levels of learning and preparation. Christians are disciples of Jesus Christ, and all disciples of Jesus are learners of Jesus, as we have seen. Further, all disciples are expected to teach what they are learning, beginning with the Good News of the Kingdom of God and the work of Jesus, and including the Law of God and all His Word (Heb. 5.12; Acts 1.8; Matt. 5.17-19).

If this is to be the case, learning about Jesus and how the priorities, example, and teaching of Jesus can affect the policies by which we live must begin in every believer’s heart. Here, in the command center of the soul, is where we learn to love the Lord Jesus with all our soul and strength, where we gain the mind of Christ to take every thought captive for obedience to Him, and where His holy and righteous and good Law shapes all our values and priorities. When our heart is fully committed to Jesus we will eagerly take our place in His project of filling the world with Himself, so that, at every opportunity, we may bring the wisdom of our Lord to bear in this world (Eph. 5.15-17).

From the heart our work of learning Jesus must pervade our households. Fathers and mothers must encourage one another in knowing the Lord and seeking His Kingdom. They must teach their children as well. And they can learn from Jesus how to make their home a place where beauty, goodness, and truth are the norm, and from which those values are carried into the world.

Next, we must learn about Jesus in our habitat—the creation, culture, and community around us, including our church. Jesus reveals Himself in Scripture and creation, as we have seen. We must learn to see Him and the various ways His common grace is active in our world, to celebrate and reinforce His Presence where it can be discerned and to do what we can to extend that Presence even further.

Finally, we must learn Jesus so that He might pervade our homeland, and our culture and society be more transformed according to His teaching and example. This is where understanding our times and knowing what should be done to bring about God-honoring policies (1 Chron. 12.32) will see our love for Jesus and His Law have important applications.

And yet there is one more “L” that relates to public policy and which is more important than we might think.

For reflection
1. What are you doing to learn and teach Jesus in your heart and household?

2. How about in your habitat and homeland?

3. Is there any hope for more beauty, goodness, and truth to prevail in and characterize our society and culture apart from Christians being active in the realm of public policy? Explain.

Next steps—Preparation: Review your current approach to learning Jesus and growing in Him. Where can you improve?

T. M. Moore

Our bookstore offers three resources to help you grow in knowledge of, love for, and obedience to the Law of God. Please check out The Law of God (click here), The Ground for Christian Ethics (click here), and A Kingdom Catechism (click here). The Law of God arranges all the statutes and commandments of God under one or another of the Ten Commandments. It can be a useful guide for reflection as part of your daily time with the Lord. For The Ground for Christian Ethics and A Kingdom Catechism, read the table of contents and listen to the audio excerpts to learn more about each book.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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