Freedom's CostBro. David Chancellor
7/4/2004 11:00 AM
Our country is a pretty nice place to live. A lot of people sacrificed so that we can live as we do. Some people in other countries can't meet as we do, without fear of repercussions. What those who went before us did and wrote has a direct bearing on what we enjoy today.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident" If you understand the words, you should be able to understand what they mean.
"That all men are created equal" This doesn't mean that we're identical, but that God and the government should view us in the same way - on an equal level. We're all of equal worth and importance. This is what the founding fathers meant when they wrote this. Some people think that they are better than others. The reality is that we're all of equal worth to God. We all have equal opportunity and equal access to God. This speaks of "unalienable rights." These are things that no one has the right to take away from you: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The right to pursue happiness doesn't mean that you will obtain it. It just gives you the right to try.
The word of God speaks about our lives, our liberty and our happiness.
The Declaration of Independence ends with these words: "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor." Enjoying life, liberty and happiness will cost us something. It requires a commitment from us. The writers of the Declaration of Independence did indeed lose some things. Likewise, those who wrote the Bible also made a commitment that often times required their lives, their fortunes, and their honor.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
This is what God has to say about Life. "Whosoever believeth" This life is available to everyone. No matter what your station in life may be, "whosoever" may have it. It's up to you. God has provided life for everyone. He gave us a choice, and we're glad that he did. In Revelation 22:17 it says, "And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely" In Isaiah 55:1 it says, "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price." Life is priceless, but you can buy it. You can come into possession of this life through Jesus. We can have everlasting life and come into the presence of God.
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
"If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed, And ye shall know the truth" Truth is provided for whosoever will. Truth is available to the one who spends the time and effort to find it. There is no one person who is the "special repository of truth." The truth is for everyone. We can know what God has for us. The truth will make you free and you have a right to this liberty. It's not of private interpretation; it's for everyone. You can't own truth. It belongs to God and is available to everyone. It has no copyright. We can be blessed by it, but this doesn't mean that it is "ours" to be exclusive with. It's for everyone and to be shared by all. It is our source of freedom. People in ages past kept in bondage because they didn't have access to the truth. The truth can make us free. It tells us that we have free and equal access to God. We can ask him to help us to understand his word. The truth is for all men. We can all enjoy liberty and freedom. If you know the truth, you can be free even if you suffer because you know that all is clear with you and God.
I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee. It is he that giveth salvation unto kings: who delivereth David his servant from the hurtful sword. Rid me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood: That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace: That our garners may be full, affording all manner of store: that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets: That our oxen may be strong to labour; that there be no breaking in, nor going out; that there be no complaining in our streets. Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.
We have a right to pursue happiness. If you look in the wrong place, you won't find it. David felt that he had found happiness - in God. Some think that happiness is found in material prosperity, but a quick look around will show that this isn't so. Many pursue happiness this way, but they aren't happy. Their lives are being wasted. If you have God, you have found real happiness. Living for God brings happiness. It gives life purpose and direction. Pursue happiness in God. If you'll do this, you'll find it. Many pursue happiness in a selfish manner. They end up miserable instead of happy. Happiness is found in doing for others. It's found in serving God. By serving God, you go out and do things for others. It's working for God. It involves doing something for someone else.
Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.
Live the way that you know is right. If you avoid bringing condemnation on yourself, you'll be happy. Someone with a clear conscience is happier than one who's guilty. Obedience to God brings a happy life. A person who lives right can meet people and not have to worry about what they say to whom. We can live free from guilt.
For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
We can enjoy all this, but it requires something of us. It requires some commitment on our part. Those who wrote the Declaration of Independence suffered for natural life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. They gave a lot. What Christ provides requires something on our part. We don't enter into serving God lightly. It requires a commitment from us if we would have it. Our belief should produce something. Our love for God must be as strong as his love for us. You won't find happiness if you're looking in the wrong place. There's a real benefit in knowing the truth. Happiness is found in forsaking all to follow Jesus. We need to be willing to give time to finding the truth in God. Be willing to live out the life of Christ. There is real assurance if Christ abides in your life. It's worth it to commit yourself to Christ. This is where life, liberty and happiness are found. It's available to everyone.