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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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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True Charity

Travis BishopI want you to meet an everyday saint named Travis Bishop. He is a Christian business owner from Martinsburg, West Virginia. Brother Travis saw the devastation brought on by the floods that are ravishing his neighbors in nearby Clendenin. Travis decided to do something about it. Brother Travis has been leading a rescue operation for the past seven days, closing up his business and spearheading an effort to meet the needs of people. You can listen to an interview he did on my friend Tom Roten’s radio show here:

http://tinyurl.com/zp9qlrl

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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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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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Lacking Longsuffering

I am by nature an impatient man. As a retired Army First Sergeant, I am experienced in “making things happen.” Yesterday, our Minister of Students Andrew Bosak, preached from Ephesians 4:1-6. During the initial reading, I immediately came under conviction:

    “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

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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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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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We Live To Fight Another Day

DeterminationLast night Karen and I had the privilege of spending election night with Dean and Jan Young and many of his loyal supporters. Dean came up short in his bid for Congress, but as he said, “The whole world took notice because we took on the GOP Establishment and scared them.” Many of his supporters were obviously disappointed and determined not to vote for Bradley Byrne because of the dishonorable campaign he ran.

What I was most proud of my friends Dean and Jan is there is no bitterness in their hearts, just a steeled resolve to honor the Lord Jesus Christ with their words and deeds. Dean told the press that he would not support Byrne because of the blatant and knowing lies he told about Dean. Byrne accused Dean of stealing money from Christians and putting it in his pocket. When Byrne was proved to be lying, he refused to retract his charges and apologize. Instead he dug in his heels. Dean told the press that Byrne would reap what he had sown.

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Letting Go Of The Future

Letting_GoWe have all struggled with our past. Some have needed to forgive others, some have needed to forgive themselves. Holding onto the past is like shackling yourself to a heavy ball and chain. It is spiritual bondage. I have had to let go of many things from my past and having done so I have experienced spiritual freedom the likes I never thought possible.

But I also struggle with my future. I am not talking about struggling about my salvation. I long ago dealt with that by not trusting my emotions about my salvation and trusting only God’s Word. My eternity is secure and I rest assured in that truth.

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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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Hope In God

HOPE-IN-GODYesterday I was delighted to receive a call from a wonderful couple in Missouri whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting through a political organization of which I am a member. The Nolands are two of the godliest Christian patriots I know and have dedicated their entire lives to living holy lives and defending our constitutional republic. Judge Janice Noland is passionate about politics and seeing that only men and women of character serve the public.

As we were speaking on the state of our union, Judge Noland ask me, “What can we do about all of this mess?” That’s a good question. Normally I like to start at the root of the problem but I think we need to look at everything from God’s point of view.

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Our Sense Of The Heroic

Little boy with swordLast night the incredible loss of my son Eddie came rushing back to me in a brief yet refreshing sense of grief. It is refreshing because grieving is necessary and its briefness is the mercy of God keeping us from dealing with it all at once. The knowledge that the Memorial Day weekend is upon us brought the memories of September 19, 2007 back to me again for the first time.

My son was a hero in every sense of the word. While Eddie would not agree with that statement, he and hundreds of thousands of men and women have given what Abraham Lincoln described in his Gettysburg Address as “the last full measure.” It is a sacrifice many of us imagine making but only a few are asked and even less answer the call. It is a sacrifice that our Lord Jesus not only admired but also freely gave:

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