Friday, July 3, 2015

"July 4th, 2015"

"If I would go to Hell for an eternal moment or so, I might be knighted" ~ Shakespeare

"By a courtier I mean one who applies himself to the passions and prejudices, the follies and vices of great men in order to obtain their smiles, esteem and patronage, and consequently their favours and preferments. . . . 

A master requires of all who seek his favour an implicit resignation to his will and humor, and these require that he be soothed, flattered, and assisted in his vices and follies, perhaps the blackest crimes that men can commit.  The first thought of this will produced in a mind . . . a soliloquy, something like my [Shakespeare] motto, as if he should say, the Minister of State or the Governor would promote my interest, would advance me to places of honour and profit, would raise me to titles and dignities that will be perpetuated in my family, in a word would make the fortune of me and my posterity forever, if I would but comply with his desires and become his instruments to promote his measures. . . . 

We see every day that our imaginations are so strong and our reason so weak, the charms of wealth and power are so enchanting, and the belief of future punishments so faint that men find ways to persuade themselves to believe any absurdity, to submit to any prostitution, rather than forego their wishes and desires.  Their reason becomes at last an eloquent advocate on the side of their passions, and bring themselves to believe that black is white, that vice is virtue, that folly is wisdom and eternity a moment. . . . 

I dread the consequences. [A master] require of me such compliance, such horrid crimes, such a sacrifice of my honour, my conscience, my friends, my country, my God, as the Scriptures inform us must be punished with nothing less than Hell fire, eternal torment.  And this is so unequal a price to pay for the honours and emoluments in the power of a minister or Governor, that I cannot prevail upon myself to think of it.  The duration of future punishments terrifies me.  If I could but deceive myself so far as to think eternity a moment only, I could comply and be promoted." ~ John Adams. In his diary, Sunday February 9, 1772.

Stars and Strips, what has it took to build such a nation?  What is today all about?  Is it our freedom and Independence?  I suppose it may have come down to that, but O' it is so much more, so much more to those who fear God.

Yes there is freedom and Independence to be assigned to this Nation, but are we to assume this freedom and Independence are the works of our own hands?  Words like the one's above are rare in today's time, but very relevant.  We have arrived at a time in our history where what was once vice is now considered virtue, and what was once foolishness is now considered wisdom and greater understanding.

This affects our character as a nation and our ability to stand against the pressures placed upon us to let go of those precious principles rooted in our history and embrace the new understandings.  We are accustomed to striving for our happiness and prosperity through the measures provided for us through the government of this country. But the values of this government have changed, and to achieve those goals require us to submit to things that weigh upon the conscience and press upon the mind. They require us to comply to values that by conscience sacrifice our honor, betray our friends, disobey our God, and by sacred Scripture inform us must be punished by Judgment.  Do we have the fortitude of heart that our founders did?  Will we compromise rather than forfeit our places of honor and profit, the prosperity of our families?  Most of all, will we obey men or God?

This is a time for courage, the weak will not survive, they will be assimilated to a new culture at a much quicker pace that has heretofore been experienced in this country.  Mr. Adams was driven and protected by a healthy and adequate fear of God and so must we.  This is a time for a courageous people to hold forth the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the love of God to mankind. Courageous people will forfeit their pleasures and resources for the cause of the Great Gospel of Jesus Christ.  His Grace has been offered to all who will receive it, so our defense to these things is the Gospel proclaimed.

Elections will be held, our vote will be counted, but the political will not yield the hope, only the Gospel.  Our lives must reflect it, no, must live of it and draw our life source of it.  We must stand for righteousness and only through Grace may we do so.  We must be wise a serpents, but as harmless as doves.  The words of our Saviour were stern, but His hand gentle and loving to His own.  The Gospel is a Glorious Gospel, the time is a glorious time to diffuse it among men for the hope of our nation.  This 4th of July, let us not be discouraged, but hope in the Glorious Salvation that has been brought to our ears and through the Grace of God make it known to God grants us.

May the Grace of God be to each of you,


        Speaking the Truth in Love...

During the course of conversations in the previous week, often the statement has been made, "We are not to judge."  Even though this statement may stand alone with its own legs, it's likely being used as a dismissal to the notion of having to confront the ways of the transgressor.  Surely, judgment belongs to the the Judge of all the earth.  Rightly so will He, indeed, judge all in that Great Day.

The point intended here is there is a way to express the Truth as an effective witness of the Gospel through the provision of His great love.  Without the Grace He has given within the life of each believer, words are empty and without power to produce a desired result in the life of one choosing to walk in the way of iniquity.

The Apostle Paul in an exhortation to the Ephesians explains the varying gifts given to the body of Christ for its edification.  The implications  (at least in part) are that these are there to aid in the growth and maturity of a believer.  It's a time for growing up and not being tossed around with deceptive speech of what may even seem to be correct in some distorted appealing way.  As he warns of being aware of the "cunning, crafty" folks just waiting to lead astray, he gives an approach so tried and true, and so like our Lord.  "But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:"  Eph. 4:15

Hateful speech and big sticks in our hands are not becoming to those who are the children of God.  But, mighty warriors in prayer and supplication who stand upon the precepts of His Word and follow with obedience thereto comprise the weapons of warfare which He has graced us to possess.  As we  attempt to rightly divide His Word of Truth, may we "speak the truth in love" as we "abstain from all appearance of evil." (ref. I Thess. 5:22)

In moments when this world is spinning in circles all about and that one well articulated instruction is needed to surface within the soul, this seems so appropriate to the occasion:

"He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"   Micah 6:8

For His Glory.....

Scripture reference:  Eph. 4