This Tuesday we will celebrate, running to see fireworks, grilling out, doing all of the things families and friends do to enjoy another day off at work and perhaps even giving a passing thought to the meaning of the day.
The 56 signers of our declaration of independence knew what it would cost them. They were on an uphill battle against the greatest nation in the world. They were on an uphill battle with their own countrymen a population of 2.5 million as slightly more than 1/3 (900,000) of this land sided with the English, they were called Loyalist, as they were loyal to King George, they were content to be sheep not caring about the tyranny of the British government, 1/3 (850,000) didn’t care period they were unconcerned about the war, leaving slightly less than 1/3 (750,000) of the population as patriots willing to put it all on the line for everyone’s freedom even the other 2/3’s of America
5 were captured by the British and tortured before they died
12 had their homes ransacked and burned.
2 lost their sons in the Revolutionary Army.
Another 2 sons were captured.
9 of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardship from the war.
One of the signers, Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships sunk by the British Navy. – He sold his home and properties to pay his debts and died in poverty.
At the battle of Yorktown, the British General Cornwallis had taken over Thomas Nelson’s home for his headquarters. Nelson ordered George Washington to open fire on his own home. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.
John Hart was driven from his wife’s side as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives and his fields were destroyed. For over a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home only to find his wife had died and his children had vanished. A few weeks later, he himself died from exhaustion.
They paid a great price for our natural freedom, even giving us the right to worship today as we please. Their allegiance to this nation cost them much!
When you make a bold declaration, it will always cost you. They fought a very physical battle for our physical freedom even when those around them even two out of three didn’t understand but it was worth it for them all and for us!
They paid a high price for the freedom of all Americans not just those who agreed with them but for all. They understood that some needed to see the difference they could not understanding the need for freedom until they were shown it. Our nation was born by the blood of these and so many other patriots. However, a nation was born where every person would eventually be free and have something to say about their government.
All of our founding Father’s paid a great price for our freedom, something your children may not be hearing in their schools but many reaped the blessings of that freedom after the wars end.
2 of the signers became presidents…
10 became U.S. congressman…
19 became judges…
16 became governors…
Dozens of others held other high political offices…
- and all of them—those who survived and those who didn’t—have the everlasting gratefulness of the American people.
Those patriots paid a great price but they reaped the rewards for all of us, freedom, a new country, a bright future that many around the world are still hoping for!
The Nation of Israel, and we too, are faced with a similar challenge as Christians today.
“So fear the LORD and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD alone. 15 But if you refuse to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD.”
There are so many things in our culture pulling us this way and that! Both good things and bad. Politics and the truth and injustices there, immigration, energy, the economy, our children’s education or lack thereof, (That is one of the key reasons for this teaching)
1st – Our community needs to see a family of believers with the courage and resolve of our founding Father’s….we never hear about the price they paid but we need to remember the price Jesus paid for us!
As Christians, like our founding Father’s we need to make a Bold declaration to our work, community, neighbors and family….
Your world, sphere of influence needs to know where you stand…they may know where you stand politically but do they know where you stand with Jesus.
By professing to be a Christ-follower to your sphere of influence you are making a bold statement to the world, your flesh, and the devil that your devotion and your life belong to the Lord
Matthew 10: 32,33
Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.
There is no middle ground in this battle…Ephesians 6:10-18
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
We must stand and if we do not there is no hope for this country, our families or the world!
2nd we will all pay a high price….gee Pastor thanks for being so encouraging
It is one thing to come to church, sing the songs, listen to the teaching but it is quite another to make sure that everyone sees by your actions every day that you have faith in God and He is your number one priority. I say see by your actions because some times in our culture words mean nothing if actions don’t reflect the words.
So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” 19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. 20 How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?
James isn’t saying you are saved by works but instead that your faith will be lived out daily in what your say, do, and how you react. You do good things because you love not because it will get you saved….The cost continues with Jesus words…Luke 9:23,24
Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.
But if you give up your life daily, you gain His life and the Holy Spirit’s power daily….which do you prefer, the life Christ has planned for you and the power of the Holy Spirit or your best life and no power of the Holy Spirit?
Last today…There are blessings to choosing to live the bold Christ-life
When you make your bold declaration for Christ….as we read earlier Christ stands for us!
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Jesus in responding to Peter’s concern about giving up everything to follow Jesus said this
Jesus replied, “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, 30 will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property—along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have eternal life. 31 But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.”
Jesus assured them that even if they go through great sacrifice, because they are standing for the Lord, as they continue to stand for Him, they will be persecuted but the Lord will bless them with abundant blessings in this life and the one to come!
Without our bold declaration in this world, we would be like, as if the declaration of independence and the revolutionary war had never happened. We would still be in bondage to England living under their demands and tyranny. So it is with your friends, family, work, acquaintances, without your bold declaration living the life of freedom in Jesus your sphere of influence is destined to slavery, bondage, and even worse, hell! We can’t afford to live any other way, if we love people and we love the Lord
Too many lives are at stake….this week declare your own personal declaration of independence and fight for the freedom of your friends, family, community, and co-workers….be the revolutionary God has called you to be!