Russell and Duenes

President Lyndon Baines Johnson: Human Nature, Writ Large

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LBJPresident’s Day is Monday. As presidents go, I admit that I find Lyndon Johnson to be a highly fascinating and compelling one. This is a bit ironic, as President Johnson and I could scarcely be farther apart in our views about the nature and purpose of government. Yet Johnson comes across as a kind of towering personality, with a tragic aspect to his life that draws me in. He could win and persuade people, though not always in righteous ways. He worked hard and knew how to get things done. But probably what interests me the most about Johnson is the way in which his life shows forth so many things about human nature: fear, pride, loyalty, hunger for power, our need for connection and our powerlessness in the face of so many circumstances. It’s all there, writ large, in President Johnson, so I find myself returning again to a study of his life.

Our reasons for resisting God’s commands often have little, if anything, to do with a lack of understanding of what those commands require of us. We might know perfectly well what they mean. Yet we are simply convinced that it’s not possible for obedience to God to be what’s best for us.

In thinking about a financial philosophy for our family, the first priority seems to be a giving of the first-fruits of our wealth to the Lord. Giving to the Lord first and foremost honors Him and proves His happy generosity in providing for our family. There is no legalistic NT rule as to how much will count as “first-fruits,” but ten percent seems a good place to begin. “The best of the first-fruits of your ground you shall bring into the house of the Lord your God . . . The first-fruits of your grain, of your wine and of your oil, and the first fleece of your sheep, you shall give him. . . Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the first-fruits of all your produce, then your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will be bursting with wine. . . Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.”

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Written by Michael Duenes

February 13, 2015 at 8:47 pm

Posted in Duenes, Government, History

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