What can God do with someone whose life is totally His? I think that I have caught a glimpse of that.
When you think back across your life, who are the people who stand out? Who do you remember the most? Were they your parents? Your teachers? Ministers? Neighbors?
When we think deeply about this question, we can almost always come to “ah-ha” moments which pinpoint individuals. Our religious views, our character development, and our career choices probably were influenced by a person or persons who encouraged us – or enlightened us – or, well, you get the point. (more…)
A major election cycle is about to begin, and many politicians are emerging as possible presidential candidates. There will be declarations of intentions – and many views espoused concerning the keys to a successful future for our country.
There has been – and will be – lots of babble in the mix. Some of the babble will be about the importance of keeping religion out of government, implying that our forefathers set it up that way. But let’s not be deceived.
Our country has been the greatest country ever to be established for one reason, and only one reason. Our country has been blessed by God.
Now I know that the imperfect humans who started our great nation made some terrific mistakes. Some of the treatment of Native Americans was horrendous. As was the practice of slavery. Yet in the middle of those errors, there were many of the founding fathers who were true to their Christian beliefs, and they looked for God’s blessing on the entire endeavor.
One of the main reasons the first settlers endured the hardships of travel to arrive on our shores was that they were seeking religious freedom. The government of England had encroached on those freedoms to the point where these brave Christians were willing to tackle the harsh journey for the sake of having that freedom. That freedom was sacred to them.
Now, nearly 250 years later, we hear many people babbling falsehoods concerning these original intentions. And unfortunately, others begin to believe them. That’s the power of a lie. Even if it isn’t true, there will be those who believe it.
So what am I saying? I am saying that we should look for ourselves. Let’s take a look at some of the early writings of our forefathers. What did they really say? What were their intentions? As we look at these quotes from men of old, we will see for ourselves why God has blessed America.
God has blessed us. Over the years he has corrected us. And in our future, if we will turn our hearts back to Him, we will see Him continue to bless our country with His grace and peace.
Today is the first in a series of posts featuring the words of our American ancestors. May you be enlightened by these, and may you be encouraged to stand up for your God in these days ahead.
May He continue to bless America.
Now let’s hear from John Adams.
SIGNER OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE; JUDGE; DIPLOMAT; ONE OF TWO SIGNERS OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS; SECOND PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.1
The Holy Ghost carries on the whole Christian system in this earth. Not a baptism, not a marriage, not a sacrament can be administered but by the Holy Ghost. . . . There is no authority, civil or religious – there can be no legitimate government but what is administered by this Holy Ghost. There can be no salvation without it. All without it is rebellion and perdition, or in more orthodox words damnation.2
Without religion, this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite company: I mean hell.3
The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity.4
Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited. . . . What a Eutopia – what a Paradise would this region be!5
I have examined all religions, and the result is that the Bible is the best book in the world.6
1, Thomas Jefferson The Writings Of Thomas Jefferson, (Washington, DC: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), Vol. XIII, pp 292-294. In a letter from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson on June 28, 1813. 2. Letter from John Adams to Benjamin Rush, from Quincy, Massachusetts, dated Dec 21, 1809. 3. John Adams, The Works Of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1856) Vol X, p 254, to Thomas Jefferson on April 19, 1817. 4. John Adams, Works, Vol III, p. 421, diary entry for July 26, 1796 5. John Adams, Works, Vol II, pp 6-7, diary entry for Feb 22, 1756 6. John Adams, Works, Vol X, p 85, to Thomas Jefferson on Dec 25, 1813
Have you noticed that there is a lot of “newness” around these days? It’s the new year, of course, but it’s more than that. As I have been talking to people, there is a freshness and excitement in the air.
There are new assignments and new challenges. Many have felt a fresh presence of the Lord as they have gone about their lives.
There is a sense that God is about to do some things in the earth which will demonstrate His love and His purposes.
I love it!
So what do we do to seize the moment? Several things, I think. (more…)
In Colossians 1:26-27, Paul speaks of a great mystery which has been “hidden from ages and generations, but has been revealed to the saints.” It’s this mystery which makes Christianity so totally different from any other religion in the world. Yet this mystery seems to be misunderstood even by many Christians.
So what is it? It’s “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” It’s the absolute indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit in the inner most part of you, leading you, empowering you, changing you, and growing you to reflect the attributes of God Himself.
All other religions have laws – lists of do’s and don’ts – which, if followed, are supposed to bring people into perfection. But our faith is different. In our faith, our lives of sin are forsaken at the cross of Jesus. We accept His sacrifice for our sinful nature – and then we accept the empowerment of His Holy Spirit to walk away from sin and into the life He has for us.
That’s why we know that we have authority over sin, sickness, and poverty. The “Greater One” lives on the inside of us and causes us to overcome the evils of the world…if we are relying on Him and not ourselves. (more…)
There is a great mystery involved when we make a covenant with the Creator of the Universe. He created us, yet He wants to make a covenant with us. Isn’t that amazing? He wants to make an agreement – a sort of contract- which will benefit both of us. This is the amazing part: He lets US decide how big the partnership will be.
God’s kingdom principle of sowing and reaping is a major teaching throughout the Bible.
Give and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, they shall pour into your lap. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.
Your “standard of measure” will determine your walk with the Lord. Because of your free will, YOU get to decide how much of God’s involvement you have in your life (more…)
Even a surface reading of the Bible shows us that faith is important in prayer. Jesus marveled at the great faith of the Roman centurion who came to Him (Matthew 8:10), and rebuked His disciples when they showed lack of faith (Matthew 17:17).
In Mark 5:25-34 a woman who had suffered with a “hemorrhage” for twelve years, touched Jesus and received her healing. Jesus said, “Your faith has made you well.” When the Syrophoenician woman asked for the Lord to heal her daughter, Jesus said, “O woman, your faith is great, be it done to you as you wish.” (Matthew 15:28).
Okay, we could go on with examples of faith’s importance all day long, so we know that we need faith. But the question is, “How do we get it?”