How blessed we are to have been born in a free country. As we watch the news on television or read the newspaper, it may occur to us, that freedom really isn’t free. Our peace and freedom costs someone or something daily. We pay the price of freedom when our sons, daughters, husbands and loved ones are dying on the battlefields for freedom’s sake. Every day somewhere in the United States a person or a family is picking up the tab for freedom by feeling helpless and hopeless. Right now a mother is sitting in a dark room wondering if there is hope for her child returning home from a tour of duty. Many lives are being lost on the blood-stained streets our cities. The price of freedom is great.
Our only hope, our only peace and our only real freedom in found in our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. Yes, there is hope! As long as Jesus is alive, there is hope. Yes, the price for freedom in this country is great, but the price Jesus paid is far greater than the loss of physical life. “He was despised and rejected of men; a man or sorrow fully acquainted with grief. He was detested, and looked upon as despicable, battered and beaten. He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities” (Is. 53:3-4).
There is a freedom that the enemy cannot take away. Spiritual freedom is far more valuable than physical freedom. We can be eternally free through the blood of our Lord and Savior. Salvation is free but not cheap! It cost God His only begotten Son (John 3:16). Lest we forget we shall all be castaways...”He who the Son sets free is free indeed!”
— Sister Catherine Raphael
Because government is instituted by God as His “minister ... for good” (Romans 13:3-4), it functions best when leaders honor and obey Him. Throughout Israel’s history, God commended kings who followed His laws and worshipped only Him. The course of the nation was influenced by each king’s beliefs and behavior. Since this principle is still applicable today, righteous leaders have tremendous potential to affect their nation in a positive way. The Lord will guide and support God-fearing leaders who seek His wisdom and direction for their decisions.
As important as rulers are in determining a nation’s future, its citizens also play a vital role, especially in democracies where leaders arise from within the populace. Christians who share their faith and raise children in God’s ways can influence their nation’s values and choice of rulers. When both leaders and citizens align their views with God’s, the helpless are protected, the guilty are punished, and the innocent are vindicated.
Looking at our nation today, you might feel discouraged. But you can make a difference in your circle of influence by living compassionately and sharing the good news of Christ. The more the love and freedom of Jesus is understood, the more our nation can be blessed by its citizens.
—Dr. Charles Stanley, In Touch Ministries
This Month's Scripture
Scripture - Luke 14:16
God calls us to a total commitment—nothing less will do. He called Abraham to complete devotion, and the same was true for Moses, David, all of the disciples, and the apostle Paul. We can’t be halfhearted in our love for the Lord and expect to fully experience His joy and peace in our lives. In fact, until we make a full, uncompromising commitment to Him, there will always be distracting factors at work in our lives. We’ll constantly be tempted to step away from His very best for us.
In order to be His disciple, you must be willing to deny—not only yourself and your personal desires and passions—but also your love for anyone or anything that could possibly take His place in your heart. Nothing can be more important than Him.
For many people, this concept is hard to accept. They want to say, “Lord, surely You don’t want me to give up my only dream for the future?” Or, “Lord, I really want to marry this person. I love her. I know she’s not a believer, but I need her. Besides, if I walked away, who would help her know You? Isn’t my love for her a testimony about Your love for us?”
To make her point clear, a Christian counselor climbed up on a chair and asked her client to pull her down. The object lesson? It is easy to pull someone down but next to impossible to pull another up—especially if that person resists the truth. God wants you to be solely devoted to Him so that He can bless you with His very best.
The Enemy of your soul, however, wants you to settle for much less. In fact, his goal is for you to step out of God’s will through disobedience. He knows if you do, you will not only miss a blessing, but your life will become shrouded with feelings of guilt and disappointment. When that happens you become ineffective as a witness for Christ. God has a great plan in mind for you. When you dedicate yourself fully to Him, you will see it unfold.
One Minute Please
True worship always gives God the nearest, dearest, and most treasured thing in our lives.
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