Dependent Freedom

This morning I looked up the word independence in my Thompson Chain-Reference Bible index and could not find it. However, I did find the words dependence and freedom. Americans like to consider themselves as a free and independent people. As Christians, we are to consider ourselves dependent of Jesus Christ:

“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God.” (2 Corinthians 3:5)

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Living in the Now

If America is going to have a reversal of fortunes, then revival must come first. If revival is to come, it must come through the church. If revival is to come to the church, then it must come from Christians responding to the call of Christ on each of their lives. There is no other magic way it will happen. We must say yes to Jesus.

It’s been nine days since Americans decided who our next president will be, and many feel as though we’ve been given another chance. I believe this to be the case, however, my concern is that we the church will squander it. Do not confuse this mainly as a call for all of you to become more politically active. As a citizen, you should already be doing so.

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Training or Trying

Besetting sin is the one that keeps coming back. You return to it like a dog returns to its vomit, to borrow a phrase from the Bible. That may sound disgusting, but you are disgusted with yourself every time you recommit this particular sin. The problem is you try so hard not to. That is the problem; you’re trying not to instead of training not to.

It takes discipline to live a holy life. The Apostle Paul says we are striving for a crown. We are in a race and there can be only one victor. Victory over sin has already been won; Jesus defeated sin and death at the cross and leaving the tomb empty. So we need to live our lives in such a victory. Even though there can be only one winner in a race, we can experience victory in Jesus if we will commit ourselves to loving and obeying Him. We need to run the race because in the end we have an everlasting crown waiting for us on the other side:

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Cutting Through the Deception

Random House Dictionary defines deception as, “The state of being deceived.” It further defines deceive “To mislead by a false appearance or statement; delude.” The biggest deceivers in our lives are usually us. I can convince myself that I am living a life pleasing to Christ, all the while going back to a besetting sin like a dog returns to his vomit.

Self-deception is not a 21st Century phenomenon; the Apostle John addressed this delusion from which many in the new church suffered:

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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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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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Rest for Our Souls

One thing I’ve learned about other Christians and myself during this election cycle is too often we see things through our own eyes instead of eyes of faith. We fear what man is and can do to us, thereby no longer fearing God and rejecting His will for our lives. We trust in our own strength and wiles instead of seeking deliverance and forgiveness from God.

Some have given up. They believe there is no hope for America and are waiting for God’s judgment to fall on our nation. This defeatist attitude comes from weariness and a misplaced focus on man. Too many churches across America have checked out of society to the point that the church as a whole is no longer sought out for its take on current issues.

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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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Abandoning What We Know

Anger and fear are two emotions that can overtake our lives and bring us to destruction. There are cases of righteous anger and healthy fear, but usually those are not what consume us. Our imaginations can be preoccupied with fret, worry, and thoughts of revenge that lead us down the wrong path. Those paths always lead to wickedness:

    “Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evil. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn away from it and pass on.” (Proverbs 4:14-15)

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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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Spiritual Captivity

bound-with-chains-of-the-spirit-and-of-men11Our nation is under spiritual captivity. I was reminded last night that here in Northwest Florida on Memorial Day Weekend, designated to remember our fallen military in times of war, Satan celebrates the highest form of human depravity. On Pensacola Beach, homosexuals celebrate Gay Memorial Day Weekend and rename Pensacola Beach to Sexacola Beach.

We have witnessed in our nation, Democrat lawmakers praying and thanking God for increased governmental abortion funding, making abortions more accessible, and for doctors that murder unborn babies. They celebrate “the blessing of choice,” meaning they are thanking God for being able to choose to kill their unborn baby.

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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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Loving The Law

The Law of GodI hear many Christians say that we are no longer under the Law of the Old Testament. Many “churches” reject the Old Testament outright and claim they are “New Testament Only Churches.” If that is true, then might I lighten your load on Sunday and suggest you rip out the first 39 books in your Bible? Or perhaps you can purchase a New Testament all by itself. However, if you do that you’ll miss the poetic beauty of the Psalms and the eternal wisdom of Proverbs. King Solomon left us this little nugget:

    “Keep my commands and live, and my law as the apple of your eye.” (Proverbs 7:2)

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Due To Our Own Ignorance

head_in_the_sandOne of my quests is to help Christians learn how to critically think. The great majority of believers allow society to sway their thought process. Whether it is political correctness, ignorance, or fear, many Christians either do not have or cannot define and defend a Biblical worldview. This is the single-most reason the American church has become for the most part ineffective in society. We do not know what or why we believe and are unwilling to defend it if we do.

So how do I go about examining my critical thinking abilities? I turn to where Christians should always turn when looking for any answer. I turn to God and His holy word:

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Unless I Had Believed

believe This is a reprint from the original posted on July 9, 2009. I read Psalm 27 and verse 13 stood out and I recalled writing about this before)

Are America’s better days behind her? Have we lost the battle for the soul of our nation? Is it possible that God has righteously turned His back on us and we cannot recover? Can we ever recover from what Steve Deace described as “more sinners than saints“? Some days I believe the answers to the first three questions are yes; and the answer to the last is no.

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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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Reaping Righteousness

Reaping What You SowThroughout my involvement in politics, particularly in the last six years, I’ve met many a patriot who believes we can return our nation back to its greatness. There is one problem though. Many of these people do not want to deal with the “social issues” and want to concentrate mainly on fiscal issues primarily, and then national security secondly. There is one problem with that; it won’t work the way they envision it. In fact, it’s already been tried (is being tried) and it always fails.

Why is that? Because to reap righteousness, you must sow righteousness. We learned in church last Wednesday of the principle of righteousness. Bro Pete explained that “righteousness is doing what is right in the sight of the Lord.” He gave the Old Testament example of building and keeping a legacy through the lives of King Jehoash (Joash), his son King Amaziah, and his grandson King Uzziah:

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Loyal To Our Notions

misplaced loyaltyYesterday two men and three women decided that God no longer matters in America. In fact, these five impious and immoral jurists elevated homosexuality above righteousness. The body should never be surprised at the severity of skin sores when it is infected with leprosy. As I responded to many people’s inquiries to my thoughts, one verse kept coming to mind and I responded with it:

    “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25)

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