Enjoying the sweet taste of the fruit of freedom

Published 5:30 am Tuesday, July 19, 2022

In the wake of celebrating our nation’s independence, it might encourage us to take a look back at the founding era of our great nation.
Something quite miraculous took place.
A handful of preachers–Jonathan Edwards, George Whitfield, Gilbert Tennant among others, began to preach in churches, streets and in fields.
These meetings soon turned into great revivals that spread throughout the 13 colonies. So many people came to Christ it became known as the “Great Awakening”.
Benjamin Franklin wrote, “It was wonderful to see the change made in the manners of our inhabitants. From being thoughtless or indifferent about religion, it seemed as if all the world were growing religious, so that one could not walk through the town in an evening without hearing psalms sung on every street.”
The Great Awakening was a precursor to the American Revolution!
By the time our founders were inspired and moved to declare Independence from England, they themselves were committed leaders who had grown up during this great time of national revival. It should come as no surprise that when the framers gathered to decide how best to organize our government they looked to the Bible and not to other European nations.
Among voices such as John Locke and John Wise, it was also Isaiah 32:22 that inspired the pattern. “The Lord is our judge [that’s judicial], our lawgiver [that’s legislative], and our king [that’s executive]. It is he who will save us.”
I celebrate God’s hand in our nation’s history today, don’t you?
Growing up in beautiful Southern Ohio, I was given the gift to dream of what I could become in life.
Good neighbors, clean fun and an opportunity to begin my adult life married to the girl of my dreams, pursuing the career of my choice, raising my family in the fear and admonition of the Lord with no fear of threat or reprisal.
Kind of what the founding fathers had in mind, don’t you think?
It was 246 years ago in 1776 these brave men proclaimed, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
They then felt it necessary to end with these words…. “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.”
Perhaps it’s because those pledged their lives realized that God had brought them to this point in history and it be with God’s help alone that this country would be born and prosper!
Maybe that’s why for well over 2,000 years, thousands felt it worthwhile to bleed and die for this great land that God has so graciously blessed. They still do!
The only concern I have at this juncture in our history is that we are inclined to forget the help we need from God.
“Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side. My great concern is to be on God’s side.” Abraham Lincoln, when asked if he thought God was on our side.
The founding fathers realized the truth found in Psalm 33:12, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.”
They, as we, must realize that it is God that gives us real freedom.
Listen to the Apostle Paul in his letter to the church at Rome, “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.”
Paul then goes on to say… “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
A free country, because of those who sacrificed for it.
For this we are grateful.
The free gift of eternal life, because of a Savior who gave His life for you and for me. For this we are forever thankful.
God has lovingly entrusted the stewardship of this moment in history and this chapter of America’s journey of Freedom to you and me.
The question that arises is, what will we do with this moment?
Jeremiah 29:7 says to us, “But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” I have heard it said that the fruit of our lives grows on the trees of others.
May those who follow us know the fruit of freedom!

Tim Throckmorton is the national director of Family Resource Council’s Community Impact Teams.

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