1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
For most of my life I have celebrated the blood bought freedom we enjoy each day but with a special fervency in July. I even sing the National Anthem without a smidgeon of shame as I have long been proud of my country. And yes I join with patriots of all our years and ask our Lord to mend our every flaw.
In 1805 Frances Scott Key wrote a song that was set to the same tune as The Star Spangled Banner. Our military was returning home, victorious mind you, from the Barbary War. It is known by two titles, Song or When The Warrior Returns. Here is the third stanza:
“In the conflict resistless, each toil they endured,
'Till their foes fled dismayed from the war's desolation:
And pale beamed the Crescent, its splendor obscured
By the light of the Star Spangled flag of our nation.
Where each radiant star gleamed a meteor of war,
And the turbaned heads bowed to its terrible glare,
Now, mixed with the olive, the laurel shall wave,
And form a bright wreath for the brows of the brave.”
Later Mr. Key called America the “Home of the brave.” Perhaps he was thinking of the ancient line from Thucydides, “The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before, glory and danger alike, yet notwithstanding go out to meet it.”
Every aspect of American Life is under fire around the world and in our own United States. We have been brain and heart washed into an acceptance of Miller Lite, Ice Cream Lite and now Loafers Lite. Religion Lite is the order of the day and Jesus must never be mentioned. The very name of Jesus is officially off limits let alone the idea of Him being the Son of God who is risen from the dead. These two biblical truths are too offensive to some and we must Speak Lite.
Because Christ is risen from the dead we are exhorted to stay on course, to be like the Rock of Gibraltar considered impregnable in the first century. The enemies of freedom especially American freedom understand that the concept has its roots in scriptural truth.
When the Tyrant Saul was on his rampage to destroy every aspect of God, David wrote in Psalms 11:3 “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” The question is rhetorical as David answers in the ensuing verse the righteous at all times, good and evil, must rely on God who gives liberty and peace personally and nationally.
The times in which we live are times when the foxes are running in the chicken house of the free. The free seem to suffer a paralysis rooted in fear.
I claim no wisdom to solve the unparalleled economic problems of these times. My calling places me in the position to study the spiritual manual, apply the principles to myself and hopefully convince others by the simple yet enormous power of the ideas, the truth of God’s word that His way is infinitely better.
A trip all the way back to Genesis points out that the entire civilized world is in a crisis identical to the first human crisis which came as a result of a clash between God’s plan for man, and a human buying into the idea that God, life and God’s plans are unfair thus we are entitled to everything that we can think of and do not actually possess.
I heard some uninformed commentator ranting about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as a constitutional entitlement. I agree with his premise that at least in theory our wars are fought to guarantee these three landmarks. But he may be flabbergasted to pause and ponder that our magnificent constitution does NOT guarantee happiness, but only the right to life (How is abortion justified under this) and liberty to enable the pursuit of happiness.
Throughout the history of the world, God gives a form of Eden, and man as a whole blows it in pursuit of a life of ease at the expense of those who labor.
Church life is really no different than the populace at large. A president of my early adult years made a statement that reverberates to the now. His statement is the missing ingredient in our societies both secular and sacred. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy said in his Inaugural Address, "And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
I don’t think most people hate the idea of immigrants coming to our country. We do not like the idea of coming here with no intention to obey our laws and expecting working citizens to support said immigrants.
I talked with a pastor a few weeks ago who noted what many pastors of smaller works are noting; a serious generation gap in our churches. The age group of 20 to 40 somethings are absent. Why? In our experience said group walks into a church with the same idea as illegal immigrants openly asking, “What can you do for me?” A young married mother went to our diaper changing station and began literally hollering, ‘where do you keep the diapers?’” One friend who pastors a Mega-Church in an affluent area admitted they keep diapers, formula and professional paid nurses for their nursery. Said pastor admitted that he now has little chance of getting the folks to grasp the biblical truth concerning individual responsibility.
The mentioned generation’s motto seems to be, “Do not ask me what I can do for Jesus, but tell me; what
will Jesus give to me?”
67 years ago this coming September 2nd General MacArthur stood on the deck of the USS Missouri and accepted the unconditional surrender of the Japanese Empire. Part of his speech included this:
“We have had our last chance. If we will not devise some greater and more equitable system, Armageddon will be at our door. The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence and improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science, art, literature, and all material and cultural developments of the past 2000 years. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.”
The General’s closing statement bears repeating: “Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always. These proceedings are closed!"
One day Christ will stand upon the Mount of Victory and let us know that all former proceedings are closed. Until then may we be as much as possible instruments of Christ.
I believe the Spirit of Christ was the prime mover in the founding of our country. May we look to Him in this time, a spiritual recrudescence if you will. LML
Each time I am subjected to a TSA search I think of the words of William Pitt:
“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.”
“If America is going to survive, it will be because husbands and fathers again place their families at the highest level on their system of priorities.”
“The policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free, neither restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits.”
You may get the other three pages of Larry Lilly's Journal, July 12 issue at http://www.larrylilly.net/the-journal-7-2012.html
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