Friday, July 1, 2016

Ultimately, true freedom comes through the resurrection at Christ's return. As Paul explains in Romans 8:21, “the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.”

Good morning and welcome to the Friday, July 1st edition, in the year of our Lord, 2016. I am not off from work today, therefore, I am glad to be in my regular place. For some reason, I may not have the edge that I typically try to bring to the table. I know. Having any edge at all is in the eye of the beholder. Give me a break. I'm just trying to make conversation here, not vying for a prize of any kind. I've been thinking some about our nation as we anticipate the anniversary of our founding. The rallying cry was all about freedom. Freedom from the tyranny of taxation without representation. I often choose an occasion like this to teach a special lesson in my Sunday morning Bible study class that relates to the subject matter at hand. However, this Sunday we continue our verse by verse study through John's Gospel and we happen to find ourselves in Chapter 19. That's where we find John's eyewitness account of our Savior's payment for the price for sin on Calvary's Cross. Throughout this weekend, much will be said about freedom. I decided to stay with John 19 because there is no true freedom except that which was won for us by God the Son giving Himself up on our behalf. I'm thankful for the freedoms we enjoy as a nation. I'm thankful that many of those involved in our founding sought God's help in guiding their efforts. Yet, all that we enjoy as Americans pales in comparison to this truth: "If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed." (John 8:36) Amen.

Let me assure you that I do believe in patriotism. We, as a nation, have so much to be thankful for. I believe this United States of America was ordained by God. He has greatly blessed us even though we have not always been faithful to Him. I am thankful for the blood shed by so many so that you and I can pursue lives of purpose and meaning. Sadly, we find ourselves today in somewhat of a confused quagmire when it comes to our recognition of God's hand in our beginning. The record is clear. The overwhelming majority of those who led in our founding were not confused nor did they lack perception and understanding of God's role. Here are a few examples: "It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favors."-- George Washington, [Thanksgiving Proclamation, October 3, 1789] ~ "...implore His pardoning mercy, through the great Mediator and Redeemer, for our past transgressions, and that through the grace of His Holy Spirit we may be disposed and enabled to yield a more suitable obedience...that He would interpose to arrest the progress of that impiety and licentiousness in principle and practice so offensive to Himself and so ruinous to mankind; that He would make us deeply sensible that "righteousness exalteth a nation but sin is a reproach to any people." - John Adams, [Upon proclaiming a National Fast Day on March 6, 1799] ~ "The belief in a God All Powerful wise and good, is so essential to the moral order of the world and to the happiness of man, that arguments which enforce it cannot be drawn from too many sources nor adapted with too much solicitude to the different characters and capacities impressed with it." - James Madison, [Letter to Frederick Beasley, November 20, 1825] ~ Enough said!

The quotes I used are authenticated. There are many Christian quotes attributed to historical figures that we cannot be sure of. We don't need folks to make up stuff to support the truth. God's Word is truth. History tells us the majority of those involved in our founding recognized the same God of the same Bible we use today. Not every individual who lived at that time shared this view. Their right to see it that way was an essential part of the freedoms we established. However, the majority of those who influenced us becoming a nation did believe. That, my friend, is a fact. Period. No amount of historical revisionism or political correctness will change the facts. Let's all think about that as we enjoy our barbecue and fireworks celebrations. Amen. I do hope you will enjoy your Saturday and that Sunday will find us all in the meeting place where we can collectively give thanks to our Great God for all that He has done for us, individually, and as a nation. Thanks for tuning in today and know that Lord willing I will catch up with you next time. May God bless us all and may He bless this great nation again! Amen. ....More later.

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