Good Friday morning ...
It's the day before July 4th ... a day of celebration for the freedoms we enjoy in these United States of America.
In my mind ... we've come a long way from the principle of "unalienable rights" for which our forefathers risked "their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor."
Human rights have degenerated into "I can do as I please," and "If it feels good I do it."
Our ancestors laid down their lives for human rights. We've made them payable on demand.
Freedom has been reduced to license. Responsibility is a forgotten word ... as is the God who endowed humans with their rights. In our passion to legislate rights, we forget that the Authority which grants our rights also has the power to revoke them.
God-given rights are inalienable, and no power on earth has the authority to abrogate them. Indeed, in the minds of those who founded our nation, government existed to preserve those rights, and it ruled by "the consent of the governed." What incredible wisdom!!!
But without God, those inalienable rights are lost. Government moves from the position of protecting rights to the position of granting them. Today rights have become up for grabs ... they come by lobbying or demonstrating or protesting or rioting. The louder the noise, the larger the protest, the more widespread the disruption ... the more likely to force change. Meanwhile, rights of others are stomped upon, disregarded, disallowed.
Jesus said, "If you hold to my teachings ... you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." [John 8:31-32]. How liberating!
Gracious God, as we celebrate Independence Day tomorrow, we remember those who sacrificed so much to protect those freedoms won for us by the blood, sweat and tears of our forefathers. Help us to be thankful for our priceless heritage and dedicated to its preservation. Help us not to demean or devalue the freedom that has been so costly in American lives, but to understand that freedom is never cheap, that it has been purchased at an awful price to be preserved only as we realize how precious it is and how rare it is in today's world. Then, Father, make us mindful that our relentless vigilance is required to preserve our freedoms. Give us such vigilance, in Jesus name.
So, celebrate Independence Day tomorrow, give thanks to God for our country and share your joy for being part of it ...