Sermon "Skill in Your Hand & God in Your Heart"

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day!

It is Independence Day, though we typically just focus on the date, 4th of July. Some just see it as a day to be off from work, join with family and friends, cook on the grill, eat good food, and shoot some fireworks. Nothing wrong with that. After all, I plan on doing some of the things on that list.

But it is also important that we not forget the history that gives us this day to celebrate. I say that not just as a History major who believes that our past is the classroom in which we gain wisdom for our future. But also as a minister of God's word who believes that every earthly story can be a parable to teach us a heavenly truth. So let's take a closer look at this one.

Throughout the first half of 1700's, American colonists grew increasingly weary under the British government's control. As their unrest increased, King George of England responded by tightening his grip. The colonists finally got fed up.

On July 4th 1776, members of the Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence. But the execution of that document did not mark the beginning of our freedom, just the beginning of the fight to achieve it. The Revolutionary Army, led by General George Washington, would have to battle it out with the red coats until October of 1781. Finally King George decided to cut his losses, his general Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, and they got up outta here.  Otherwise, we might still be saying things like "bloody", "top of the morning" and ..."ello Guvna!".

Spiritually speaking, we as individual Christians follow a similar path. We get to a point we decide that enough is enough, and with faith given to us by God, we choose to make a change in our life. And for us to find the freedom we desire, we can't just settle for a few small changes; we need a revolution. We get tired of all the old things, old ways, old habits, and old devils ruling our over us. So we turn to our Saviour, the Lord of Hosts, the General of God's Army, Jesus Christ, who on Calvary signed our declaration of independence with His own sweat and blood. Yet His was not a long, poetic proclamation of our freedom. In fact it was only 3 words "!". And that, my Christian friends, is our declaration of independence.

This is the real point of my post (yes I am finally getting to it). Those of us who have been about this Christian life for a while already know what some of you who just got started haven't found out. That the declaration is not the end, but the beginning of the fight. Though you may already be on the path to spiritual victory, there are yet battles to be won. Our eternal enemy doesn't give up easily. So, even though your are committed to Christ, you are still facing challenges that sometimes feel like will take you out.

But I want to encourage you to not give up and to keep fighting. Though shots are still being fired and the enemies are still advancing, through Christ Jesus,  you ARE on your way to victory. And so, we as brothers and sisters can borrow the final sentence of the Declaration of Independence and proclaim, "...for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to [Jesus] our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."

Happy Independence Day!