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Men Who Paid Freedom’s Price
Our nation’s founding fathers knew how to count the cost of liberty.
On July 7, 1776, there was signed in the City of Philadelphia one of America’s historic documents: the Declaration of Independence. It marked the birth of this nation which, under God, was destined for world leadership.
We often forget that, in declaring independence from an earthly power, our forefathers made a forthright declaration of dependence upon Almighty God. The closing words of this document solemnly declare:
“With a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”
The fifty-six courageous men who signed that document understood that this was not just high-sounding rhetoric. They knew that if they succeeded, the best they could expect would be years of hardship in a struggling new nation. If they lost, they would face a hangman’s noose as traitors.
Of the fifty-six, few were long to survive. Five were captured by the British and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes, from Rhode Island to Charleston, sacked, looted, occupied by the enemy, or burned. Two lost their sons in the army. One had two sons captured. Nine of the fifty-six died in the war, from its hardships or from its bullets.
Whatever ideas you have of the men who met that hot summer in Philadelphia, it is important that we remember certain facts about the men who made this pledge: they were not poor men, or wild-eyed pirates. They were men of means; rich men, most of them, who enjoyed much ease and luxury in their personal lives. Not hungry men, but prosperous men, wealthy landowners, substantially secure in their prosperity, and respected in their communities.
But they considered liberty much more important than the security they enjoyed, and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. They fulfilled their pledge. They paid the price. And freedom was won.
Someone has said, “To be born free is a privilege. To die free is an awesome responsibility.”
Yet freedom is never free. It is always purchased at great cost.
Little did John Adams know how significant his words would be when he spoke to his wife, Abigail, on the passing of the Declaration of Independence and said, “I am well aware of the toil, and blood, and treasure, that it will cost to maintain this declaration, and support and defend these states; yet, through all the gloom I can see the rays of light and glory. I can see that the end is worth more than all the means.”
To those who sacrificed for our freedom, the end was worth the painful means. Where would we, who are citizens of the United States of America, be today if there had not been those who counted the cost of freedom and willingly paid for it? Where will we be tomorrow if men and women of integrity do not come forward today and pay the price to reclaim a dying America?
“Posterity–you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.” –John Quincy Adams
“What we obtain too cheaply, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a price upon its goods, and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.” –Thomas Payne, 1776SHARING
Saul’s Loss Of Grip On His Life
Saul’s Glorious Start
1 Samuel 10:9 God gave him another heart.
1 Samuel 11:6 He was backed by God when rightly engaged.
1 Samuel 11:12-13 He was sustained by grace, rising above human passions and faults.
How He Chose To Define Himself When He Was Strong
1 Samuel 13:11-13 He was unafraid to set his own boundaries and draw his own lines.
1 Samuel 14:24 He exercised judgment according to his own feelings, that lacked consideration for the interests of others.
1 Samuel 15:13 He was unafraid to declare his actions to be right, even when they were in violation of God’s command.
The Effects Of His Self Determination
1 Samuel 16:14 He was troubled in spirit; no longer being kept with the joy and peace of the Lord.
1 Samuel 17:32-58 He was sidelined by God; no longer being used of God to advance the cause of Israel.
1 Samuel 18:8-9 Bad feelings began to arise within him towards those whom God was using.
1 Samuel 18:21 He became deceitful in his dealings with the faithful.
1 Samuel 19:1 He openly announces his opposition to David; uses his status as king to be the authority to destroy David.
1 Samuel 19:9-10 His evil spirit continues to dominate and drive him.
1 Samuel 19:11 Saul has no room in his heart for reconciliation; only to go to war against David.
1 Samuel 22:17-19 Saul considers anyone who doesn’t side with him to be his mortal enemy.
1 Samuel 24 & 26 Being openly reproved, he admits wrong doing; yet would not humble himself before God unto seeking forgiveness and submission.
1 Samuel 31 Being wounded in a losing battle, he chose to end his own life.
When Saul lost sight of God’s purpose for his life, he lost his way in living his life.
Out of his own mouth: “I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.” 1 Samuel 26:21
He Was Willing To Do It All For Us
“Let this mind be in you…” Philippians 2:5
He divested Himself of all personal honor: “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant…” Philippians 2:7
His service to God was unconditional: “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death…” Philippians 2:8
He thus qualified for the highest exaltation: “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.” Philippians 2:9
Christ’s experience in fulfilling God’s will was that NOTHING WORKED LIKE IT WAS SUPPOSED TO!
Instead of rejoicing over His birth, the powers that were sought His death, Matthew 2.
Instead of being supported by family members, His brethren held Him in contempt, John 7:3-5.
His own countrymen had no use for Him, John 1:11. Instead of memorializing Him, they hung Him on a cross.
The religious leaders of Christ’s day perverted their knowledge of the scriptures to becoming an excuse to destroy Him rather than receive Him as their Saviour and Lord, John 11:49-53.
Rather than the judicial authorities exonerate Him of all the baseless, hateful, false accusations made against Him, it rather betrayed His innocence due to political pressure, John 19:1-16.
Rather than the news media report the undeniable truth of His resurrection, they were complicit in changing the story to a lying narrative to further their claims of Christ and His followers to just be a bunch of Bible thumping liars and deceivers (deplorables), Matthew 28:11-15.
Thus, as far as the response of the people to Christ, they let the truth fall in the streets and then bent their tongues like bows for their lies, not being valiant for the truth.
Even though nothing worked like it was supposed to work, Christ never wavered from fulfilling the will of the Father.
THIS IS THE MIND THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT SAYS IS TO BE IN US! Be sure we will all be tested as to whether we are of this mind. This mind is not just unique to certain ones, but is the result of having the frame of mind to draw as near to God as opportunity affords. We must never think we have enough and don’t need anything more than our own judgments of our own self sufficiency.
“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:12SHARING
The Calendar Of Events Surrounding The Death Of Christ
Note: In Biblical days, the 24 hour daily cycle was divided into two equal parts: night and day – the night preceding the day, Genesis 1:5,8,13,19,23,31. The sun controlled the day, and the moon the night, John 11:9. In Biblical days, the day started at 6:00pm (in the evening) and ended at 6:00pm the next evening. Our days are reckoned from 12:00 midnight to 12:00 midnight.
MONDAY: Mark 11:20: Jesus returned to Jerusalem by the same route and sees the withered fig tree. Mark 11:27–Mark 14:1, Jesus teaches and answers questions. Mark 14:1…In 2 days (Wednesday) would be the Passover.
TUESDAY: Mark 14:12-16:The day before the Passover, the Preparation Day. The Jewish Passover began on the 14th day of the month Abib or Nisan, by killing the lamb that was caught on the 10th day of the month, Exodus 12:3-6. The Passover is a type of Christ – 1 Corinthians 5:7. The Passover lasted 7 days. The first day of the Passover (the 15th) and the last day were High Sabbaths (annual). – Leviticus 23:4-8.
WEDNESDAY: Their Wednesday began at 6:00pm…our Tuesday (see above note.) During this time, Jesus ate the Passover with His disciples, and instituted the Lord’s Supper, Mark 14:22-25. Mark 14:26-52, Tuesday evening (Wednesday Jewish time) they go out to the Garden of Gethsemane, where Christ prays and is arrested. Mark 14:53-72, The trial of Christ before the Sanhedrin, in the night hours (our Tuesday, their Wednesday.) Mark 15:1-25, The trial before Pilate and the crucifixion in the third hour of the day, which would be 9:00am Wednesday, our time. Wednesday, He is on the cross. Mark 15:33, There is darkness from the sixth to the ninth hours (12:00 noon to 3:00pm.) Mark 15:42-47, In the afternoon before 6:00pm, His death and burial, which would make it before the beginning of the next day, which was a High Sabbath (not the weekly Sabbath)…see John 19:31. So, before 6:00pm Wednesday, Christ was placed in the tomb.
THURSDAY: Matthew 27:62-66: Guards are placed at the tomb.
FRIDAY & SATURDAY: He is in the tomb. Saturday ended at 6:00pm.
SUNDAY: The tomb is visited, Matthew 28:1-7. Matthew 28:1 – as it begins to “dawn,” speaking of daylight. NOTE: Sunday (the first day of the week) had begun at 6:00pm Saturday, our time. Matthew 28:6, The tomb is already empty. He was in the tomb Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights…three nights. He was in the tomb Thursday, Friday, and Saturday…three days, just as He had said – Matthew 12:39-40. This is essential to have the gospel according to the scriptures – 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. He arose after 6:00pm Saturday evening, which was the Jewish first day of the week. So, we observe the first day of the week as the Lord’s Day. It is to be observed weekly on the first day of the week, rather than on an annual basis, just as the Old Testament Sabbath was observed weekly. If it were an annual observance, God would command it and it would fall on a different day of the week every year, just as any other annual holiday does…see 1 John 2:21.SHARING
Maintaining Uprightness Of Faith
“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.” Jude 24
This is not a presentation of self-righteous perfection. That is a religious illusion of self-exalted thinking. No matter how spiritually advanced one may be, they are still of finite mind and imperfect flesh. “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Ecclesiastes 7:20 “And if any man think he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.” 1 Corinthians 8:2
But God doesn’t forsake us to flounder in failure, or appoint us to be overwhelmed unto confusion and offense. We can see the fleshly imperfection of God’s Biblical servants. But we see differences. Some underwent their ups and downs while keeping their heart open to God and their eyes to discern His will. They remained constant in their determination to press on for the Lord. Whereas others never seemed to recover from their failures, but just continued to play the fool until there was no remedy. These differences are seen to be with what lies within what the people involved could control, rather than with that over which they had no control. Thus, the degree to which Christians overcome is seen to be in direct proportion to how they exercise their faith in God to obtain His deliverance through grace.
With these things in mind, the need is for Christians who exercise faith in their own decision and determination to remain on course with the Lord. Galatians 2:9 refers to James, Cephas, and John, “…who seemed to be pillars…” Their determination and consistency became a challenge to others, making a positive impression. No doubt many sins were discouraged by their teachings and stand that “…cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalted itself against the knowledge of God.” No doubt many recovered from discouragement through seeing their steadfastness and undying hope. No doubt many a sour disposition was neutralized through being made ashamed by seeing their joy in being counted worthy to suffer reproach for the name of Christ.
“And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none.” Ezekiel 22:30 God is looking for those who choose not to fall through the cracks, who won’t allow themselves to be swallowed up in bitterness and resentment, who will not permit themselves to abandon their responsibility to the will and way of God. His eyes are ever searching for the true, wholehearted person, 2 Chronicles 19:9.
It is within the grasp of real Christians to become that beloved servant. Fellow Christians are refreshed by such spiritual vitality. This is an unmistakable witness to the lost, and the rewards are unspeakable.SHARING
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” 2 Timothy 3:1
PERILOUS TIMES because of the social approval of sin. Not only is sin deceitful and deadly, but it now enjoys public acceptance and approval, which grants it unrestrained power.
PERILOUS TIMES because of the contagion of sin. In and of itself, technology is amoral, that is, neither bad or good. Technology can serve wonderful purposes. But technology also affords man the opportunity to commit more sins, in more ways, and faster than ever before. Beware of its temptations and conquests!
PERILOUS TIMES because the world is uniting. The politics and economics of other nations, both friend and foe, are now entwined with America. The affairs of nations, with international economics, politics, commerce, conflicts and struggles, have become dynamics pushing toward a new world order. The principalities and powers that be, seem to all be manipulated for this. Bible believers know “the god of this world” (Satan) is behind this, with the mystery of iniquity moving full steam ahead unto globalism, under the power and ruthlessness of the coming Antichrist.
PERILOUS TIMES because of the widespread dominance of corruption, in the very midst of that which is supposed to fight corruption. Rather than government be the deterrent to that which is morally corrupt, it has lent itself unto becoming the legal guardian for that which is corrupt.
PERILOUS TIMES, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” Romans 1:21-22 The drive is on in this nation to exclude God, the Bible, prayer, and every semblance of anything pertaining to Christianity from the public, and force it all to withdraw from society. Our founding fathers drew their wisdom from the Biblical principles that the “wise” (foolish) men of our day declare to be opposed to the principles and progression of a free society.
Just as the “wise” (foolish) in the days of Christ declared Him to be unfit to exist in their society, and politically pressured the government to crucify Him, that same “spirit” is prevalent in shaping the political and social agendas of our day. PERILOUS TIMES!SHARING
“Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid.” Romans 5:20, 6:1-2a
Grace isn’t just amazing in the things we do understand, but in that it goes beyond our understanding. The human mind is insufficient for grace. The human conclusion either fails to believe in grace, or interprets it to being a green light unto sin. Without grace, all would be hopelessly condemned under the law, because to keep the whole law and yet offend in one point, is to be guilty of all – James 2:10 – AND all have sinned, Romans 3:23.
The law defines guilt as being the fact of sin committed. Grace is God’s provision for after the fact of sin. Thus, “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” And since grace is for after the fact the sin, it is not about continuing in sin, or thinking because of grace, it is okay to go ahead with sin. So under grace, we are not correct if we eliminate man because he has done wrong by the law. And neither are we correct if we use grace as a license to do that which is contrary to the law.
Salvation by grace is established on the grounds that Jesus Christ’s shed blood made the atonement for all sin, and that His Divine righteousness stands as the only merits upon which any and all are accepted. So under grace, it is not a matter of what sins have or have not been committed, but whether or not the sinner repents and accepts Christ as their Saviour. Since salvation is a heart matter, it is something that no one other than the individual and God has anything to do with.
Since grace abounds beyond sin, salvation is not relative to our sin, but relative only to Christ’s substitution offering for our sin: “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 Thus, David did not lose his salvation when he committed adultery with Bathsheba and arranged for her husband’s death on the battlefield. But the rich young ruler, who professed to have kept God’s commandments all his life, was not saved, because he did not receive Christ as his personal Saviour.
But even though grace abounded beyond David’s sin, it did not serve as a license for his sin, because God judged David for his sin. Even though grace provides for the sinner’s salvation who does not measure up to the law, grace never authorizes the practice of the sins that it stands as a provision for. God’s grace is amazing, in that it provides deliverance from things that are never approved of by God.SHARING
Joyous Thoughts On Joy
“…neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
DON’T READ THIS IF YOU ENJOY FEELING SORRY FOR YOURSELF!! It might spoil your fun! If you would rather be pitiable than strong, stay away from the joy of the Lord!
God doesn’t go around feeling sorry for Himself and He commands us not to, “neither be ye sorry.” Rather, “Rejoice evermore” (1 Thessalonians 5:16) and “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). Though you may not be happy with yourself or your circumstances, you can be happy in God. It is God’s joy that is our strength and not our own. We may strain to find things over which to be happy in or of ourselves, but there is plenty to be happy about in the Lord.
I read about a grandfather who fell asleep on the couch and his grandson took some Limburger cheese and rubbed it onto his mustache. The grandfather stood up and began sniffing. He said, “This living room stinks!” He went into the kitchen and said, “This kitchen stinks!” He went into the backyard and said, “Our backyard stinks!” He went into the front yard and yelled, “The whole world stinks!” Unless one has the joy of the Lord, the preaching is sad; the church is sad; other Christians are sad; nothing is what it ought to be in the estimation of those who don’t have the joy of the Lord!
The joy of the Lord is the fruit of the Holy Spirit within, rather than the happiness from circumstances without. God has joy Himself. Up in heaven right now there is joy. God’s will is for His joy to be shed abroad in our hearts by His Holy Spirit. The more Christ-like we strive to be, the more of the Lord’s joy we will have in our hearts. Carnal living quenches the work of the Holy Spirit within and there goes the joy and the strength that joy affords.
A man went to a mechanic complaining that some of his lights were no longer working on his car. When he went to pick it up, the mechanic explained that it had taken him several hours to locate the problem and that that the bill would be $100. The customer asked what the problem was that caused such an expensive bill. The mechanic held up a penny. He said, “You put pennies in your ash tray. When you closed your ash tray, a penny went down into your cigarette lighter socket and shorted it out, blowing the electrical circuit.” So, one penny had cost him $100! Christian, one sin has the potential to short circuit your whole life. Like David, it can rob you of the joy of the Lord. It can leave you broken inside, with a heavy burden of guilt and sorrow. Unconfessed sin can just keep bearing down on you until you are so beat down that you can no longer function as a Christian.
God, with His joy, stands at our heart’s door and knocks. But it is up to us, whether or not He and His joy enters.SHARING
I have been through the valley of weeping,
The valley of sorrow and pain;
But the “God of all comfort” was with me,
At hand to uphold and sustain.
As the earth needs the clouds and the sunshine,
Our souls need both sorrow and joy;
So He places us oft in the furnace,
The dross from the gold to destroy.
When He leads through some valley of trouble,
His powerful hand we can trace;
For the trials and sorrows He sends us
Are part of His lessons of grace.
Oft we shrink from the purging and pruning,
Forgetting the Husbandman knows
The deeper the cutting and paring,
The richer the cluster that grows.
Well He knows that affliction is needed;
He has a wise purpose in view,
And in the dark valley He whispers,
“Hereafter thou’lt know what to do.”
As we travel through life’s shadowed valley,
Fresh springs of His love ever rise;
And we learn that our sorrows and losses
Are blessings just sent in disguise.
So we’ll follow wherever He leadeth,
Though pathways be dreary or bright;
For we’ve proof that our God can give comfort,
Our God can give songs in the night.
Being Careful In Where We Place Our Hope
“Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8
The most devastating thing a person can experience, is to lose hope. Without hope, a person’s reason to go on living is diminished. When one loses hope, no matter what else they have, it will not fill the void of hopelessness.
Thus, it is imperative that one has a well placed hope, hoping in that which will not let them down or vanish away.
It is a grave mistake to assume that self confidence is the same as real hope. Even foresight, based on evidential supporting circumstances, may prove to be insufficient grounds for hope: “here today, gone tomorrow.”
If we settle for that which we deem to be hopeful by our self determination, we may just be setting ourselves up unto becoming ashamed of our hope.
What determines how good our hope actually is, is how good is that in which we are hoping. To have good hope in that which is no good, is the epitome of hopelessness.
The Bible gives examples of those who have started out with their hope all being in God. They sought no other refuge, and their hope in God proved to be a blessing. But as time progressed and their blessings accumulated, they shifted from hoping in God, unto having their hope in what they had been blessed with.
The difference? Placing one’s hope in God assures victory over failure. But blessings fade away, or can be taken from us, crushing the hope that has been based on them.
We must never allow the good God has given us to become bad for us. Unless our conviction of sin and faith in God affords us to “afflict ourselves” through self denial, humility, soul searching, and full surrender, the good things we have will wean us away from dependence upon God for our hope, unto the false hope of self dependence.SHARING