by Pastor Tim Burt
Happy 4th of July! God Bless America!
We live in a nation that has greater freedom than any other nation upon the earth. Freedom isn't free and a price higher than we could ever comprehend or appreciate was paid for it. This nation was liberated for us by men and women that loved God and desired a country where they could freely worship Him. They gave and staked their lives on this vision and dream put in their hearts by God. I am talking about those that pioneered this land and our religious freedom long before we had a military to defend this country. I thank God for and will never forget those who were willing to lay down all to pioneer the vision to live in this country with the liberty to freely worship our Lord Jesus Christ.
The first freedoms that were established and defended in this nation were the opportunities to worship the Lord Jesus Christ from the heart, freedom to read God's Holy Scriptures, freedom to learn of the God of the Bible and the salvation that He provided for mankind, freedom to learn with the opportunity to know and love Him beyond dead religious structure that renders God's Word void of life and life-changing power, and freedom to dare to believe that the promises that God promised to the eternal offspring of Abraham by faith—“us who believe,” would be today's recipients of God's supernatural touch and miraculous power.
Jesus Himself, who knew no sin, became the scapegoat of our sin to clothe us with His cloak of righteousness. The result? When the Father looked upon us from His Heavenly throne, He would see blood bought, washed children made righteous and adopted into His family.
This is the liberty—the most awesome liberty known to mankind. We must cherish, honor, and with great diligence—prayerfully guard it with our hearts. For when we allow it to become devalued by taking it for granted, then we begin to lose sight of its true meaning and value. If we take it for granted as a ‘right’ and forget that it was divinely given to this nation by Almighty God as a privilege, we’ll lose it. Contrary to what some might imagine, it is a privilege that can be lost. When we as a nation wrongfully uses our freedom to focus solely upon our self and our own personal happiness instead of being lifted and empowered to help others, it’s in danger. We become tainted by the focus of self that can only enslave us once again to the yoke of bondage and the power of sin.
Be blessed and thankful for the abundance of everything that God has allowed us to experience in the United States of America. It is a gift and privilege. It is the liberty that God has bestowed upon us that can be lost when it becomes forgotten. Let’s remember it and value it. Let us thank God for it and pray for those who lead our nation. Let's let our freedom forever ring with His Praise!
Signer of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence
Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.
I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that "except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing governments by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.
I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service. ~ Benjamin Franklin
Source: Benjamin Franklin, The Writings of Benjamin Franklin, Jared Sparks, editor (Boston: Tappan, Whittemore and Mason, 1840), Vol. X, p. 297, April 17, 1787.
Galatians 5:13-14 (NLT) ”For you have been called to live in freedom—not freedom to satisfy your sinful nature, but freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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