Thursday, July 5, 2012

Independence Day

Yesterday was July 4th, 2012.  Our Nation is now officially 236 years old after declaring Independence.  Looking through some posts yesterday I came across a quote from John Quincy Adams that provoked some more thought about Independence, but even more Dependence.  Here it is:

"Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the World, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day [July 4th]? . . . Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth? That it laid the corner stone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity. . ?"  -John Quincy Adams

These are some great questions he brought up.  One of the main reasons for declaring Independence was for religious freedom.  So in short, they were declaring Independence from a government and big church structure, so that they could proclaim Dependence on the "Savior of the World".  God designed humans to be free.  This spiritually speaking as well.  Jesus came to set the captives free.  We, as Americans, can understand the impact of this.  Over time our Freedoms as citizens has been lost slowly but surely, but also our Freedom in Christ have been forgotten or overlooked in religion.  We need reform in many ways right now.  Very important is the reform we need in Washington back to how our Founding Fathers designed this government through the Constitution.  But most importantly, we need a reformation to continue to grow individually and in the churches in the U.S.A.  We must get back to the Five Solas from Scripture that pushed on the Protestants of old and started the Reformation in the past.  We need a New Reformation.  Those five things are summarized in one sentence:  In Scripture Alone, we see that we are saved by Grace Alone through Faith Alone in the finished work of Christ Alone to the glory of God Alone!  Enjoy your freedom because of Jesus' blood shed for it.  He accomplished what we couldn't.  As Christians, we can rest under the banner that reads "It is Finished".  As Americans we hope to rest free from Tyranny or an oppressive, intrusive Government.

I wrote a letter to an unnamed soldier that I would like to share.  It relates God's plan and work through Jesus to what our American Soldiers do, and have done, for us and our country.  I hope you enjoy it.

             Dear Brave American Soldier:

I write you from the security blanket you help provide here back home in the United States.  I am a Christian and this letter will reflect how I feel about your work for our country in that context.  I can’t send a generic thank you letter; it has to come from the heart. 
            You are part of a force for Good in this world.  Freedom is not free.  The life of a U.S. soldier demonstrates the highest Christian virtues.  Your selflessness and grace for the citizens of our great nation is much appreciated.  With the current problems our nation faces at home and the constant bickering and even some negative voices towards our military, the citizens and leaders don’t deserve this kind of sacrifice you give.  But you do it anyway.  You do it out of a love for us and the greatest country God gave the world. 
            My dad served in this way in the Vietnam War.  He is a great reason for my support of the military apart from what our government’s motives are.  I am so thankful for the Patriots like you and my dad that God raised up to sacrifice their life and limbs.  Feel certain that I will pray for you as an unnamed soldier.  I will leave you with the encouragement that only can come from a merciful, loving God shown in Jesus Christ.
            Jesus can be your source of Power, Courage, and Hope needed.  He knows War; He left the impenetrable stronghold of heaven to face a million enemies who hated Him.  The odds were against Him, but He won.  He conquered.  He died and rose again.  His death ultimately undid the world’s brokenness and provided a way to mend the brokenness of our hearts.  We don’t see War and Death done away with yet, but we will!  Jesus resurrected after His crucifixion and ascended back to heaven.  We now await His return to ultimately do away with this broken world and officially usher in a Peaceful everlasting Kingdom. 
            I see this paragraph’s thoughts are what you, as a soldier, do for us.  It’s Grace.  It’s laying down your life to fix and protect something you love.  Too many times we hear about what we need to do to get right with God or what we need to do to impress God or earn His love.  It’s not the truth.  His love and salvation is by Grace alone.  We can’t earn it.  It’s the same with you.  I haven’t earned what you are doing for me and my family.  You do it out of Love for our country and I sincerely thank you and love you for it.  Know this for now, God is more near than we know.  He is making all things new and using you and your fellow soldiers to do this.  Tell them thank you for me.  It goes for everyone doing this great work for our country.
From the Heart-

That is my pitch for the day.  Go in Peace and Freedom!  Amen.

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