How to get Real Freedom…

How to get Real Freedom!

What does it mean to be free and what is freedom. And of course where does Real Freedom and Truth come from? As always, our God gives us the answer. If we will seek it that is…..

John 8:32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Our world is ever changing, especially the technology portion of it. It is easy for satan to whisper in our ear that values and morals also change from age to age. Those not agreeing are considered old fashion or intolerant bigots or, well you put in the title. Again, as with all topics of eternal significance our God does not leave us without the truth. So where does truth come from and does it change down through the ages like technology?

Malachi 3:6 “For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”

Only believe…..

Romans 5:15-16 “But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if
through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and
the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto
many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the
judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many
offences unto justification.

John 3:18 “He that believes on Him is not condemned: but he that
believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the
Name of the only begotten Son of God.”

Acts 16:31 “And he said unto them, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and
you shall be saved.”

I have a great idea. How about picking up the one book that holds truth and start reading today!

 II Tim 3:16, 17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

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Roots of Faith in the USA…

II Chronicles 7:14a “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves…”

Roots of Faith in the USA…

Did you know that 52 of the signers of the Declaration of Independence
were orthodox, deeply committed Christians? The other three all believed in
the Bible as the divine truth, the God of scripture, and in His personal intervention.

It is the same Congress that formed the American Bible Society. Immediately
after creating the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress
voted to purchase and import 20,000 copies of scripture for the people of this nation.

Patrick Henry, who is called the firebrand of the American Revolution, is
still remembered for his words, “Give me liberty or give me death.” But in
current textbooks the context of these words is deleted. Here is what he
actually said: “An appeal to arms and the God of hosts is all that is left
us. But we shall not fight our battle alone. There is a just God that
presides over the destinies of nations. The battle Sir, is not to the strong
alone. Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of
chains and slavery? Forbid it almighty God. I know not what course others
may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death.”

These sentences have been erased from our textbooks. Was Patrick Henry a
Christian? You be the judge. The following year, 1776, he wrote this: “It
cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great Nation was
founded not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the
Gospel of Jesus Christ. For that reason alone, people of other faiths have
been afforded freedom of worship here.”

Consider these words that Thomas Jefferson wrote on the front of his
well-worn Bible: “I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the
doctrines of Jesus. I have little doubt that our whole country will soon be
rallied to the unity of our Creator “He was also the chairman of the
American Bible Society, which he considered his highest and most
important role.

On July 4, 1821, President Adams said, “The highest glory of the American
Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of
civil government with the principles of Christianity.”

Calvin Coolidge, our 30th President of the United States reaffirmed this
truth when he wrote, “The foundations of our society and our government rest
so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support
them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in
our country.”

In 1782, the United States Congress voted this resolution: “The Congress of
the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all schools.”

William Holmes McGuffey is the author of the McGuffey Reader, which was used
for over 100 years in our public schools with over 125 million copies sold
until it was stopped in 1963. President Lincoln called him the “Schoolmaster
of the Nation.” Listen to these words of Mr. McGuffey: “The Christian
religion is the religion of our country. From it are derived our notions on
the character of God, on the great moral Governor of the universe. On its
doctrines are founded the peculiarities of our free institutions. From no
source has the author drawn more conspicuously than from the sacred
Scriptures. For all these extracts from the Bible I make no apology.”

Of the first 108 universities founded in America, 106 were distinctly
Christian, including the first, Harvard University, chartered in 1636. In
the original Harvard Student Handbook, rule number 1 was that students
seeking entrance must know Latin and Greek so that they could study the
scriptures: “Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed
to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and
Jesus Christ, which is eternal life, John 17:3; and therefore to lay Jesus
Christ as the only foundation for our children to follow the moral
principles of the Ten Commandments.”

James Madison, the primary author of the Constitution of the United States,
said this: “We have staked the whole future of our new nation not upon the
power of government; far from it. We have staked the future of all our
political constitutions upon the capacity of each of ourselves to govern
ourselves according to the moral principles of the Ten Commandments.”

Today, we are asking God to bless America. But, how can He bless a Nation that has
departed so far from Him? Prior to September 11, He was not welcome in
America and is still unwelcome in all of our public schools.

Most of what you read in this article has been erased from our textbooks.
Revisionists have rewritten history to remove the truth about our country’s
Christian roots. We must not let it be removed from our minds.

“I tremble for my country when I recall that God is just, and that His
justice will not sleep forever.”
— Thomas Jefferson

II Chronicles 7:14 “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.

Eph 6:12-13 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

Freedom is Never Free…

Freedom is Never Free – The aftermath of July 4, 1776

Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.

Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army, another had two sons captured.

Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.

They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. What kind of men were they?

Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated.

But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty could be death if they were captured.

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.

Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.

Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.

At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire.

The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.

John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying.  Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later he died from exhaustion and a broken heart.

Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates.

Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution.

These were not wild eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty more. Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged: “For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

They gave you and me a free and independent America. The history books never told you a lot of what happened in the Revolutionary War.

We didn’t just fight the British. We were British subjects at that time and we fought our own government!

Some of us take these liberties so much for granted…We shouldn’t.

So, take a couple of minutes and silently thank our Lord for faithful patriots. It’s not much to ask for the price they paid. ..

LET’S ALL REMEMBER THAT FREEDOM IS “NEVER FREE”!!!!

Author unknown.

Beyond national freedom we can all have spiritual freedom from eternal punishment the wages of our sins by receiving the gift that was truly free!!

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have life everlasting.”

Finding the Real Problem in America…

Eph 6:10-12 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

 Daniel 12:4 “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”

Finding the Real Problem in America

Progress and change. How would you define them? Do they apply to technology only or to God’s truths also? Does truth change down through the ages? Think about it. The answer drives a lot of our decisions.

The past few generations in particular have been viewed as very progressive. While they have been on the technology side how have they stacked up on the spiritual side and do values and truths change in God’s eyes? Let’s look at some of the changes in values over just the past few years.

The 1960’s were the time everyone broke out of the family mold of “Father Knows Best” and “Leave it to Beaver” because those were “old fashioned” molds. For those of you too young to remember those were TV programs with zero obscenities or sexual innuendos. And they were wholesome and fund to watch.

The 60’s taught, “You are free to do whatever you want”, and, “if it feels good, do it”. Those years taught that nothing should stifle your creativity. After all, what you do only affects you. Right? We turned self needs and accomplishments and material things into our gods. And if you look down through history mankind has always done that, so it was not exclusive to the sixties. The battle cry of many is the fad of what to collect or keeping up with the neighbors because after all, I deserve it! What we forget is;

Ex 20:5 “you shall not bow down to your god, I am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me.”

The 1970’s was the decade of elevating self or the “me” generation. The most important
thing in the world is me and my situation and I view. I wonder where this all started? Sounds like a natural progression. And again it started way back roughly 4-6000 years ago with Adam and Eve. They first decided that their way was best for them and we have kept pace ever since.

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.

There really is nothing new under the sun! Look where we first see this attitude!

Isa 14:12a, 13 “How are you fallen from heaven O Lucifer son of the morning! For you have said in your heart; I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will also sit on the mount of the congregation, on the farthest sides of the north.”

The 1980’s were the escalation of all that was learned in the 6000 years preceding them. The cry was, “I am most important and I can do whatever I want. No need for commitment as long as I am happy. If I am not “happy” in marriage I can get out. If a church is convicting I will find one that meets my needs. I am most important and I can do whatever I want. My job and my career come first and I will run over anything and anyone that gets in the way, family included. Sounds terrible and it is.

Listen to God’s word describe it.

II Tim 3:1-4 “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come; For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, without self control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”

So what did we see in the 1990’s and 2000? More and more kids are growing up in single parent families, with the family under heavy attack. 50% of both and Christian and non-Christian marriages ending in divorce. Our nation struggles with what is the makeup of a family and continues to murder millions annually. In the interest of making sure everything and every person’s thoughts are accepted our nation has legalized sin and has outlawed God from our education systems and government. Many children of the people who grew up in the 60’s-80’s feel there really are “no wrong answers”.
You can say anything you want, dress any way you want, pierce anything you want, just make sure you take care of you. Discipline of children was labeled as abuse. But yet a loving God continued to say if we do not love our children we do not discipline them.

With the concept of no absolutes people were taught that there were no authority figures to be accountable to. They turned to emotions, feelings and human teachings or philosophies as their source for direction. The doctrine of no absolutes and ever changing truths was applied to self, family and religions. I wonder why business doesn’t buy into that? Children and adults were taught that there are no consequences for their actions beyond themselves. And of course with no absolutes then everyone’s ideas are correct and every religion is heading in the same direction.

Can that possibly be true or is it a strategy to keep the creation from seeking the Creator?

Revealing passages not well received by our world are;

John 14:6 “And Jesus said unto them, I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes unto the Father, but by Me.”

So much for all religions leading to one God.

II Cor 4:3, 4 “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to those who are lost, in whom the god of this world (satan) has blinded the minds of those who believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

That reveals the source of these errors.

Might this description fit the age?

Romans 1:21-23 “because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man and birds and four footed beasts and creeping things.

Not a pretty picture! But, there is hope!

II Chronicles 7:14 “if My people (are you one of His?) who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn (revival) from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

And it starts with_______?

Malachi 3:6 “For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”

Is it well with your Soul…

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

Is it Well with your Soul…

Maybe it is just my imagination and I hope so, but it seems to me that much of Christianity does not see the persecutions and trials of this world as having merit. Am I wrong and how does my life stack up is the nagging question? I know that in my heart I do not like persecution and trials so if I can avoid them, I will. Then I see scripture that says if there is no objection to my life style by the world then I may be a Christian in hiding. And worse yet, if no trials then I might not be saved. Ouch, that thought process is not one that I wish to pursue.

First I check out my eternal life and find I am confident that I have asked and am trusting in Jesus sacrifice for my sins to be sufficient for my salvation. Nothing can be added from my end (Gal 2:16-21). Then comes the question of how my life as a believer stacks up to His will for me. If I do not change to meet my Savior’s will for my life just what will I hear at the Judgment Seat of Believers. I know my sins are washed away so they will not be on display there but how about my life’s work or lack of work for my Savior after being “born again”?????

The second verse of “It Is Well with My Soul” puts persecution in perspective.

Tho Satan should buffet, tho trials should come,

Let this blest assurance control,

That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,

And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

And an example from scripture helps us to put trials into perspective.

Paul is one of those examples. As we review his life as recorded in scripture we see that he was given “a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet him” (2 Corinthians 12:7). Almost every saint of every age could echo Paul’s concerns and the request for God to remove those thorns.  Trials do come to each child of God.

That is a given. How we look at them is not. “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you” (1 Peter 4:12).  God had a purpose in Paul’s life, and He has a purpose for us.  Paul couldn’t clearly see the purpose, and, at times, we can’t either. We can, however, “glory,” as Paul did, or “rejoice,” as Peter advises, or “count it all joy” as James records in response to the knowledge of God’s loving oversight.

 

I love this thought from that passage on removing the thorn in II Corinthians. I memorized it so I could have it ready when the difficulties of my life are better understood by listening to my God. Paul accepted God’s answer to his prayer that he requested three times and the answer was.  God’s grace is sufficient; you need that thorn in your life for a much greater purpose and outcome than the immediate fleshly satisfaction of it being removed.

II Cor 12:8-10 “For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

Controlling your Temper…

Proverbs 25:28 “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.

Proverbs 16:32 “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who
rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”

Controlling your Temper…

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper.  His
Father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he
lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence.
Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger,
the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He
discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those
nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper
at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested
that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able
to hold his temper.

The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell
his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence.
He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the
fence.  The fence will never be the same.  When you say things in
anger, they leave a scar just like this one.  You can put a knife
in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say
I’m sorry, the wound is still there.”

A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one.  Friends are
very rare jewels, indeed.  They make you smile and encourage you
to succeed.  They lend an ear, they share words of praise and they
always want to open their hearts to us.”

As with all needs our heavenly Father provides the answer for correcting the problem called anger and also called sin. It goes against our flesh or what part of us feels is the solution. That is because our flesh and the world rebels against God. But to have that peace in our lives that passes worldly understanding we need to implement God’s solutions and deny our fleshly desires. Correcting anger starts here;

Proverbs 15:1 “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Priorities of Children…

Mark 10:14 “But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.”

Priorities of Children…

Recently I made a strong statement. My friend responded, “Wow, you certainly are passionate!”

“Don’t you feel passionate about certain topics?” I asked.

Our conversation instantly took another course as we began to discuss our passions.

Five years ago, I experienced a payoff for having practiced my passion. Not only did I realize a benefit from pursuing my zeal, but also I encountered a blessing in the midst of the worst of storms.

I have a deep passion for children, especially their salvation. I grew up in a developing country surrounded by third-world waifs. Living in the third world also afforded me the luxury of constant contact with missionaries. A combination of godly ambassadors, plus the financial and spiritual poverty around me reminded me daily of humanity’s need for Jesus.

You see, those who were poor truthfully had nothing. Yet those who were poor and had Christ had everything. I encountered God’s power in the simplest places and saw His overwhelming peace take control in the most desperate circumstances.

I am certain that the missionaries who encouraged me to visit their remote communities in South American jungles never realized their impact on the life of a little American girl. Without a doubt, God used them to plant the seed of Christianity in my life and call me to sow the seed of Good News into the hearts of others.

With the birth of my sons, I committed them to God. I told God, “I’m not sure I can be a good mother. I don’t like to cook and I am not much of a housewife. But I love You and I know my children will be eternally lost without You. Help me prepare them for the day they come before Your throne and account for their lives. My greatest desire for them is that they spend eternity with You.”

Years later tragedy struck. I received the phone call every parent dreads. Aaron, a junior in college had been admitted to the ER. I moved into the hospital and became his roommate, not a dream-come-true for a university student. During our first week as roomies, he had one of many brushes with death. He was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism. The grave information stunned me. He could die any moment! What’s a mother to do?

Aaron admitted to having struggled with God at times but eventually realizing, “Why wouldn’t I want to go to a better place? After all, heaven is where God lives.” He told me not to worry about him – he would go to heaven if he were to die.

Those words flowed over me with a comfort that only comes from God’s perfect peace. Death had its grip on my son, but my Father’s arms opened wide, ready to accept His suffering child. Never was the gospel I had taught my children more real to me, or Aaron.

Nothing we teach our children matters if it does not point them to Jesus’ saving grace. As it turns out, God did not call Aaron home during his illness. I agree with John who wrote, “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth” (3 John 1:4 NASB).  That, I am passionate about!

By Van Walton

Deut. 11:19 “And you shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”