Walking in Liberty

Two-hundred and forty years ago today, fifty-six men signed a document that was the equivalent of signing their own arrest warrant. If arrested, these men would be tried for treason, have all their earthly possessions confiscated, and mostly likely be executed.

Why did the signers of the Declaration of Independence decide that liberty was more important than anything else? What motivated these men to “ mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” How did they come to the conclusion that liberty, above all, was worthy dying?

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A Shrinking God

In the past week it has become abundantly clear that the American church is in a state of panic. We are panicking about the outcome of an election that is still over four months away. We are making predictions as though we have eyes into the future. The sad part of all this is these predictions of doom and gloom are the same ones I’ve heard in the last eight years. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Oswald Chamber once wrote that fear is calculating without God. For some reason, Christians cannot imagine God intervening into the affairs of man, including our elections. It is sad that of all the Founding Fathers who were Christians, it took a non-believer in Benjamin Franklin to remind them of a sovereign God:

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Joining the Were’s

Men are using ladies’ bathrooms. Government is so corrupt that we willingly support morally corrupt candidates. Society is so debased that it opposes any biblical standards. Christians compromise their beliefs because it is the road less traveled. Is there any hope remaining for this nation? The answer is, of course, yes.

However, for that hope to be realized Americans in general, and Christians specifically, are going to have to understand the root of America’s problems. America is not facing a political or economic problem. If that were the case our country’s issues would have been resolved long ago. America’s national malady is that we are spiritually sick. We no longer, outside and inside the church, allow the Bible to be our moral compass.

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The Gift of Liberty

Regardless the candidate for president, no man or woman can save America. No man or woman can make America great again. No man or woman alone is trustworthy enough to not have to be under constitutional checks and balances. No man or woman has all the answers to the needs of our nation. That is the description of a king or queen. We threw off the tyranny of king during the American Revolution.

What many voters, regardless the candidate, are seeking from whom they support is some form of kingship or soft tyranny. Our government was designed to not allow one person to have that type of power. Somehow we believe if it is our guy or gal then they will not be corrupted by the power and stay on the straight and narrow. As James Madison once said, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”

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Finding Firm Footing

Fear is overcome by faith. That which we fear can make us forget that which we trusted. Anything in life that is dangerous can bring fear. Whether it be a dangerous hobby such as rock climbing or hang gliding, or dangerous work such as law enforcement or the military, fear of danger is lessened with faith in our equipment and training.

So how do we overcome fear of the unknown? For example, we look across America and see defeat and depravity seemingly ruling the nation. We allow this fear to cause us to make decisions that are biblically indefensible and logically incoherent. How do we get back to our national motto, “In God We Trust?” We remember who God is:

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Saved from the Snare

Fear is one of Satan’s favorite and most effective weapons. Whether it is fear of the future, fear of the unknown, or fear of man, our enemy wants to entrap us with our own fear so that we do not trust the Lord in all things. The devil may wrap fear in the illusion of pragmatism, but it is still fear. It is relying upon our own wisdom instead of obeying the Word of God. Solomon connects this dichotomy:

“The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.” (Proverbs 29:25)

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Opposing the Truth Instead of Promoting It

In this election season, like never before in my lifetime, religious freedom is under attack and promises are being made by many candidates to protect it. While this might be comforting to some, the track record of political promise keepers is reason for doubt. Even if we do elect a president who will defend religious liberty, eventually Christianity will be persecuted worldwide. This is not my prediction; Jesus Christ predicted this:

“You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.” (Matthew 10:18)

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May We Fear His Wrath

What should Christians do when government defies God? Is the supreme law of the land the US Constitution, the US Supreme Court, or any man-made institution or instrument? Or is Almighty God, the Creator of the heavens and earth, the supreme law of the land?

With the recent rulings from the US Supreme Court, it is long past time for the American Church to do as the Prophet Isaiah warned Israel:

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Unmovable in Our Hope

The last couple of days I’ve been asked if I am happy about the outcome of the midterm elections. My response has been two-fold: it is a time of great hope, however I am cautiously confident. I can tell by some of the facial expressions that some are confused by my response. Let me explain.

I am very grateful to God that we have a Republican Party majority in Congress. As a voter, I align myself with the Republican Party platform. The platform stands for biblical principles. As my good friend Steve Deace is wont to say, “If Republicans would just govern by their platform, they would stay in power forever.”

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Spiritual Victory

So how does the once great Christian America rescue itself from spiritual captivity? Can our nation once again live by the Biblical principles upon which it was founded? We’ll answer the second question first: in a word, yes. The Old Testament tells us:

    “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

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The Liberty Of Jesus

FreedomIt was on a Tuesday, 238 years ago this date, that we as a nation declared our independence from Great Britain. Think I’m a couple of days too early? July 2, 1776 is the day the Second Continental Congress voted to adopt Richard Henry Lee’s resolution declaring independence from Great Britain. Twelve colonies voted unanimously, with New York abstaining. It was on July 4, 1776 that Thomas Jefferson made his final edit on the Declaration of Independence. John Hancock and Charles Thompson signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, with the 54 other delegates signing the document on August 2, 1776.

Why the history lesson in a devotional? I share this with you so that you know the complete and truthful history of our nation’s founding instead of what you learned in school. As John Adams declared while defending the British troops during the Boston Massacre trial, “Facts are stubborn things.” Facts are not only stubborn, but they are also very important.

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The Revenue of the Wicked

greed-moneyYesterday I was part of an email conversation that was discussing the coming collapse or correction to the market and how to prepare for it. The conversation brought me back to a verse I read last Saturday that just rose up from the page and I know the Lord wanted me to write about it. King Solomon wisely wrote:

    “In the house of the righteous there is much treasure, but in the revenue of the wicked is trouble.” (Proverbs 15:6)

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I Am Not What Happens To Me

BetrayalWe’ve all been hurt before. Someone you love, your spouse, your parent, your sibling, or your best friend betrays you, deceives you, hurts you, or ridicules you. No matter the cause the pain is real. Many times you have no choice what happens to you. However, you always can choose how you react to it. David knew something about being betrayed:

    “Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.” (Psalm 41:9)

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Divine Favor

prayer-for-divine-favour-of-godDivine favor is another word for God’s grace. Unfortunately when you do a web search for “divine favor,” some disturbing things come up. The first three websites have to do with gaming, magic and witchcraft. Mixed in and out of the choices is an occasional reference to God and Jesus. Such is the state of the world.

When you look at the state of our union, many words have been published as to its ills and the remedies to aright this ship called America. However, every remedy offered presupposes a righteous and virtuous people. So if the key ingredient to returning America back to her original founding is righteousness, should we not turn to the Bible for the answer? Indeed we should!

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Fixed Principles

Rock SolidOur pastor Bro Dennis is beginning a men’s study on leadership. Men, if you are a member of Midway Baptist Church or live in the Florida Panhandle, please consider this an invitation to join us on Monday evenings from 6:00 – 7:30 (Bible Study begins at 6:30).

I am so looking forward to this teaching.

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No Might Without Thee

We have many enemies in this world. Our greatest enemy, for those without Christ, is death. Death is the enemy of God. God created life; Satan created death, despair, and disease. Suffering is the antithesis to creation. As you read the creation story in Genesis 1 you see death, despair, and disease were not a part of the original plan. In fact when God finished, the Bible tells us:

    “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” (Genesis 1:31)

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Cause To Rejoice Or Mourn

So once again we are watching the circus live and in color on our television sets. The stage? Congress and the White House and the looming fiscal cliff. It is amazing to see after what was called the most important election of our lifetime that nothing has changed in Washington D.C. All the old leaders are the new leaders and you could not fill a bus up with those serving who are righteous in the sight of God. It reminds me of the old Rolling Stones song “We Won’t Get Fooled Again” where it ends with “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

I was asked by some, and accused by others, if I was looking for perfection in a candidate. My answer to both is I am looking for righteousness in our public servants. Those, whether or not they are Christians, who have a sense of responsibility to their electorate and more important to “the laws of nature and nature’s God.” As my buddy Steve Deace always says, “We want people of convictions, not positions.”

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Thanksgiving Is A Special Virtue

Happy Thanksgiving! I am so glad I decided to write this devotional because I’ve been down a couple of days with vertigo and was kind of feeling sorry for myself. Karen and I will be going over to friends later today to celebrate Thanksgiving with them, but I woke up not preparing a turkey as is our tradition in the past. At first it really didn’t feel like Thanksgiving morning. But alas, it is!

Thanksgiving is not a day as much as it is a state of mind. While the fourth Thursday of November is a declared American holiday, thanksgiving should be a part of my Christian character. Continue reading “Thanksgiving Is A Special Virtue”

Let Us Answer Every Fear

Glory to God, for He is on His throne! Jesus is King, Lord, and Savior to all who call to Him for salvation. America is today still the greatest nation in history and I praise God for being born an American. No matter the outcome of our elections throughout history, the peaceful transition of power is a God-breathed miracle captured by godly men who founded our nation. They were God-fearing men who recognized and relied upon the Providence of God.

Our nation is truly at a crossroads. The political outcome of yesterday’s election is a reflection…a symptom…of what ails our great country. Over half of our country clearly has an entitlement mentality where they believe by merely being Americans who may or may not have been dealt a bad hand that they are entitled to other people’s money. Beloved, that is a clear indication of a deeper issue that must be addressed.

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Trusting God: His Promises are Sure

Fear can strangle us or we can at least suffer from what many call the paralysis of analysis. Beginning on Friday I will begin writing on the fear of man because I believe we do so more than we realize.

I have taught my children to live by the rule that if you cannot justify an action in 30 seconds, then it is probably wrong. You see, there are no gray areas in my life. Oh there used to be plenty! But I’ve learned that there is right and wrong, and I don’t know. My associate pastor Pete Belmain shared with a few men at my house a couple of Sundays ago that he experienced tremendous freedom in coming to the conclusion that it was okay to say, “I don’t know.” I’ve taught my children, and I am still learning, that we can go to God’s Word for guidance and trust His promises within because they are sure. You can count on them; you can take them to the bank. King Solomon knew this as well as anyone:

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