|"Freedom" by Scott Robinson, Some Rights Reserved|
Galatians 5:1 NIV [Freedom in Christ] It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves. --Abraham Lincoln
Let Us Remember What Freedom Means
Monday May 26, 2014 is Memorial Day.Originally celebrated as "Decoration Day", to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers who died in the civil war. Today we celebrate and remember the lives of those soldiers who died in order to give us freedom from tyranny and oppression, so that we can be a free people.
I thought it would be good to remember some of the major events that led to this day.
- On July 4th 1776 the Declaration of Independence was drafted and signed. This led to the September 13, 1788 resolution putting the United States Constitution into effect. These events were surrounded by opposition from England. The King of England was a Tyrant and refused to allow the colonies to go free so easily. This led to the first great war: The American Revolutionary War. But we should also include in our memory all the men who died not only in "battle" but in prisons, put there unjustly by a tyrant king, who's death's led up to these fateful events and are mentioned in the very Declaration itself.
- The 13 Amendment, brought about in part by Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, was among the events that led to the American Civil War. In essence, this fight was about making sure that ALL men, not just white men, were free to pursue their "inalienable rights" as promised by the US Constitution. Many of the very people who had fought to be free from their bondage, were now responsible for the bondage of others. Lincoln had to over-see the worst battle in US History, a battle for our national soul.
Galatians 5:13 NIV You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.
- World War One, World War Two, Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War... all wars fought by a free people to help others gain freedom from oppressive governments.
- The still on-going, but now diluted, War On Terror, is a new kind of war. It's a war against those who would create terror and confusion in order to disable and destabilize existing governments and societies. Brought about by the attack of September 11, 2001 (9-11). This war is fought against a people who would put us in bondage to fear.
Freedom From Slavery
Decoration Day/Memorial Day has it's roots in the most evil war this country has ever faced. We fought an internal battle of good and evil.
Evil men wanting to enslave other men for their own profit.
Good men calling an end to this slavery, "enough is enough".
In this heated battle the North fought against the South to set a whole race of people free from the bonds of slavery.
Among the more heartfelt stories of this time in US History, it is told of a group of free blacks in Charleston SC, who were grateful for their newfound, hard fought freedom. They were so grateful in fact, they felt they must do something about it. Nearby were northern soldiers who had died in the war trying to free these people.
These soldiers had been buried in one mass grave. Wanting to give these men the respect they deserved for the ultimate sacrifice, the free blacks in the area unburied this mass grave to give these soldiers a proper burial.
I cannot imagine what a horrible job that must have been, or how long these had been buried before being reburied properly. But it was what they felt must be done. To this day their story inspires us to honor and respect those who would put their lives on the line for freedom.
For certain, freedom is hard earned.
President Ronald Reagan's entire legacy was based in the concept of freedom. Here are two quotes that highlight why he is one of the most loved Presidents in US history.
1. Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.
2. We cannot survive as a free nation when some men decide that others are not fit to live and should be abandoned to abortion or infanticide. My Administration is dedicated to the preservation of America as a free land, and there is no cause more important for preserving that freedom than affirming the transcendent right to life of all human beings, the right without which no other rights have any meaning.
The Modern Civil War - Attack On Freedom
We now live in a day and age where freedom is under attack in every way.
- In many parts of the world to say that Islam is false will get you beheaded, or in killed in some fashion.
- In parts of the US even, it is becoming increasingly difficult to be a Christian without persecution, even law suits.
- Millions of children have been murdered, sacrificed on the alter of convenience, in the name of "choice".
- One cannot speak their mind, choose when to and not to participate in social activities, even run a business without fear of being sued by someone who didn't like their choice.
- The US Government has waged taxes on the American people that far outweigh anything England was taxing us for in the 1700's.
- There are so many social programs, designed to perpetuate poverty rather than train people out of it; that many poor of all races today are just as mentally and financially enslaved to US Government Programs today as the blacks were physically enslaved to land so many owners years ago.
- The IRS is interfering with elections.
- People use their "freedom" to choose to justify using force to get other people to comply with their choices or to justify taking the life of the innocent.
- Young girls are forced into slavery through sex trafficking, even here in the USA. Yet because it's not out in the open it's going unseen without a fight.
But all of these things are not the war, not really. They are merely a symptom. You see, while Democrats and Republicans wage their ongoing battle in Washington DC, and on social media, and on TV...
There is another war, a deeper war, that is the real source of all this conflict. It's a war that has been waged since this country's inception and it's one that will not be fully won in this age, but must still be fought.
There is a thief, an enemy. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy. All war. All poverty. All Disease. All Death. Satan is behind it all. All attacks on freedom and liberty, Satan is behind it. So when someone attacks you (be that someone an individual or a nation), it is Satan working in and/or through that person.
Satan has been systematically attacking the USA's freedom since it's inception. Constantly working to erode our faith in the One who gave us this land, and called us to it's freedom.
Wherever you find an attack on God, God's Word, or God's People (Christian and Jew alike), you will find a decent into anarchy, lawlessness, frivolous law suits, sin, sickness, disease, poverty, economic crashes, wars, and all other aspects of The Curse (Deut 28:15-68)
The curse is on and in this planet. All who walk separate from God are subject to it. Not because God curses them. No! It is because the curse is here, thanks to Adam and Satan, and it is at work degrading everything. The Curse brings death.
To remove God is to remove the life preserving agent. Death is the natural result.
You hear natural disasters called "Acts of God". They are not acts of God, they are acts of Satan!
Children being killed in schools by other children. How could this happen? It never shocks me to hear about another school shooting. It saddens me, angers me, never shocks me. I'm surprised there aren't more of them. When God is removed from public schools for generations, death is the natural result.
In fact, if it weren't for the Grace of God through prayers of His people holding back the death, there would be more of these shootings.
The Life Giver
But Jesus came to give life, and life abundant, to the overflow.
He is THE Life giver. Where you find Christ (The Anointed One) you find the results of His Anointing: The Blessing (Deut 28:1-14)
This is why you find Christian's, historically and present, are by far the biggest givers to (and starters of) food pantries, hospitals, outreaches to the poor of every kind. More is done in the humanitarian efforts by Christians than all other groups combined.
(*To clarify: I include Catholics and Christians to be the same group - Bible Believing worshipers of Jesus).
We have been grafted into THE BLESSING of Abraham by Jesus!
The Bible has many things to say about freedom.
Just a casual search provides some interesting results. Here are some interesting verses to consider.
Isaiah 61:1 NIVThe Year of the LORD's Favor 1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion-- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. 4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. 5 Aliens will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. 6 And you will be called priests of the LORD, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast.Romans 8:21 NIV ...that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.1 Corinthians 7:21 NIV Were you a slave when you were called? Don't let it trouble you--although if you can gain your freedom, do so.2 Corinthians 3:17 NIV Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.Galatians 2:4 NIV [This matter arose] because some false brothers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves.Galatians 5:1 NIV [Freedom in Christ] It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.Galatians 5:13 NIV You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.
Living A Life Of Freedom
Let us remember that it was Jesus who gave the Ultimate Sacrifice so that we could be free. Free from sin, sickness, disease, poverty... Free from the Curse.
Let us remember those who followed in his pattern of life, and gave their lives to protect freedom all over this world. Patriots of the Kingdom from Peter the Apostle to every solider that has died in the name of freedom to this day.
Let us remember those who are dying today all over the world, especially in places like the Middle East, Sudan, China, North Korea, and other places that to be a follower of Jesus means death. And the soldiers fighting battles to keep US Citizens safe.
Let us remember that most of us, here in the USA, will not be called on to give our lives to the service of the gospel through physical death, or martyrdom. But we will be called upon every day to bring the light of that Great Sacrifice to those around us.
Let us remember to lay aside those things that so easily distract us and run the race that God has set before us (Hebrews 12:1).
Let us take a moment longer with our kids, spouse, friends, family... let us use this year to be fully engaged in whatever lies before us, not just living day to day with no purpose or direction. Too much has been sacrificed for us to take our freedom so lightly.
Let us take actions, big and small, to start a revival in our home, church, work, community, city, state, nation, and world. Let this be the year we have such a big revival for the things of God that we turn the USA back into the nation of God that it once was, and could be again. Maybe even causing such a ruckus that we usher in the return of Jesus Himself.
2 Peter 3:8-14 (New International Version)
8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. 11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. 14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.
This Weeks Resources:
Spiritual Freedom: What The Blessing means to you!
Personal Freedom: Freedom from sin, addiction, fear, and more
Grace: The Power To Change. By Dr James B Richards
National Freedom: The single most important issue facing the USA today, and we're getting it wrong in current policies and court decisions.
Separation of Church & State: What the Founders Meant. By David Barton
See my Store for more suggestions (Click Here)
And now I leave you with a question:
In light of the many sacrifices made for your freedom... what will you do differently today, tomorrow, and beyond?