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A Declaration of Dependence

The Blessedness of Blessings  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The Founding of Our Country

The Great American Patriot Patrick Henry was credited with saying “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For that reason alone, people of other faiths have been afforded freedom of worship here.”
In 1787 after the Constitutional Convention, Alexander Hamilton is to have said, “For my own part, I sincerely esteem the constitution a system which without the finger of God, never could have been suggested and agreed upon by such a diversity of interests.”
It has been stated that 52 of the 55 men that assembled for this Constitutional Convention, were members in good standing of Trinitarian churches. Many of them were presidents and founders of bible societies.
The Declaration of Independence, the very document that founded our country has at least 4 references to God in its body, including the last statement which reads
“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.”
Abraham Lincoln, our 16th President, stated, “ I am profitably engaged in reading the Bible. Take all of this Book up reason that you can, and balance by faith, and you will live and die a better man.”
Calvin Coolidge, our 30th President, stated, “The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country.”
Was that a bit of prophecy?
John F Kennedy stated that “America has been strengthened by Christian morality.”
Ronald Reagan has been credited in saying,
“Without God there is no virtue because there is no prompting of the conscience… without God there is a coarsening of society; without God democracy will not and cannot long endure… if we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a Nation gone under.”
Before there was a Declaration of Independence, the men that penned that great document had come to a point where they had individually established a declaration of dependence!
After there was a Declaration of Independence, our greatest leaders have also realized that they too must have a declaration of dependence.
There are many verses that we could study today in light of this idea, but one comes to mind.
Psalm 33:12 NIV84
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance.
There are several implications in this short passage that are necessary if you and I are going to make a declaration of dependence.
Though God has provided mankind with understanding and freedom of will, He does not empower Himself to the government, and even that which He is capable of doing Himself.
In other words, if we are going to be a nation that is blessed, we must first be a nation that chooses God. God gives us free will, the ability to choose.
This power of choice provides for us several things that we should consider.
First, God is not going to make us run a government a certain way. The previously mentioned quotes from some of our Presidents and founding fathers remind us that we can get direction from God only if we choose to do so.
Secondly, choice is ultimately just that: a choice.
Joshua 1:9 NIV84
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 24:15 NIV84
But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
Joshua 24
Proverbs 8:10 NIV84
Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold,
Proverbs 8:
John 7:17 NIV84
If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.
John
Thirdly, you and I can choose because we are chosen.
1 Peter 2:9
1 Peter 2:9 NIV84
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
Someone recently shared with me that we are the sum of the choices we make.
If that is the case, some of us need to make better choices!
If we are to have a declaration of dependence, our choices are going to have to be made with courage, conviction, and counsel.
It takes COURAGE to take a stand. The old country song said it right: You have to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything!
Joshua 1:9 NIV84
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9 NIV84
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
1 Corinthians 16:13 NIV84
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.
1 Corinthians 16
Not only will it courage, it will take CONVICTION!
Matthew 19:26 NIV84
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Matthew 10:27 NIV84
What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.
Matthew 10
Matthew 19
2 Timothy 1:12 NIV84
That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.
2 Timothy
2 Timothy 1:11–12 NIV84
And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.
2 Timothy 1:
Unless you and I have the belief that with God, all things are possible, we will not have the conviction to do what needs to be done.
What is your belief level?
In order to make these choices we must have COURAGE, CONVICTION AND COUNSEL
Proverbs 15:22 NIV84
Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.
Proverbs 15:22 NIV84
Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.
1 Kings 22
You see, if each one of us made choices with courage, conviction and Godly counsel, what do you think would happen in our country?
1 Kings 22:5 NIV84
But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “First seek the counsel of the Lord.”
St. Augustine summed this idea well in his thought on this passage. Basically, he said that people desire happiness. Whatever they do, good or bad, their motive is to get rid of misery and win happiness. Often we find ourselves trying to get happiness in land, riches, prestige or ice cream....but land can be ruined, riches can be lost, prestige taken away, and ice cream melts.
However, as Augustine carries this thought further, he says but think about He who poured all your gifts on you, who brought you into existence, who bestows on you his sun and his rain in common with all your neighbors even if they are wicked, who gives you crops, springs of water, life, health and immense consolations, He is keeping for you something that He will give to no one else but you. God is reserving HIMSELF for you! Our happiness will then, consist in possessing God, yet He will possess US! He does not possess us in order that HE may be happy.....no…He possesses us for OUR happiness!
You see, when a nation of folks like you and me allow the Lord God to reign over us so that we are making choices that are based on His desires and His word, we will live together in a nation that will be blessed and receive the inheritance. If we don’t we will live our lives without His blessing....living in vain and always coming up short.
Perhaps I can close with this illustration that I recently saw. If you know me, you know I love any kind of sport with a ball! I love watching, I love playing......
Recently I was watching ESPN and saw a women’s softball game. I watched this one girl at bat get a pitch inside and she timed her swing perfectly.....connected with that ball and literally knocked it out of the park. She tossed her bat down, ran to first and high-fived the first base coach, rounded second with that homerun trot, hit third and high-fived the third base coach, she headed home to her teammates greeting her, jumping up and down celebrating her incredible hit. When the dust cleared and the young lady was walking toward the dugout, the pitcher from the other team took the ball and gently touched her with it. The umpire called her out.....the homerun slugger never touched homeplate. Her coaches were furious, her teammates were appalled, the slugger.....well she was out. Her great accomplishment didn’t mean a thing because she forgot to acknowledge from whence she came.
You and I have an opportunity this week as we celebrate our nation’s 241st birthday. We can make a choice to serve our Lord individually and as a nation, or we can forget from whence we came!
Psalm 33:12 NIV84
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance.
When we do this....
We are sensitive to God’s prompting
We are secure in God’s promise
We are sanctified through God’s power!
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