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"Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!"

 (Psalm 144:15)

 

"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people." 

(Proverbs 14:34) 

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July 4th, 1776 is the birthday of the United States of America!

Every year the American people celebrate Independence Day on the 4th of July. They honor the birthday of the United States of America. On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted at the Second Continental Congress, which made known that the thirteen American colonies would be independent of Great Britain and were now united, free, and independent states. The Congress had voted for independence two days earlier, on July 2, but it was not declared until July 4, 1776.

 

The Declaration of Independence was prepared by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Two days earlier, from July 4, 1776, when the resolution of independence was approved in a session of Congress John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail: "The second day of July 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more."

In a remarkable coincidence, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, who signed the Declaration of Independence and later became presidents of the U.S., died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration. Also, James Monroe, another Founding Father who was elected President, died on July 4, 1831. He was the third President who died on the anniversary of independence. The only President of the U.S. born on Independence Day was Calvin Coolidge, born on July 4, 1872.

The 4th of July is now a national holiday in the United States. Americans celebrate by participating in parades and attending concerts where patriotic songs, such as "America the Beautiful" and "This Land is Your Land," are played. At night many people gather in parks to watch fireworks, displays of colorful lights exploding in the sky. Independence Day is also associated with barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, baseball games, family reunions, political speeches, ceremonies, and various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Since the 4th of July is during a school break, Americans often take a vacation during this national celebration. Families travel to many places in the U.S. to visit national parks, the mountains, beaches, and large cities. Many people also visit Washington D.C., the nation's capital, to celebrate the 4th of July. This holiday is an American favorite because it is a birthday celebration in the United States.

Besides all the above, we must remember that no other nation had such a Christian beginning as America. In the Mayflower Compact, our Pilgrim forefathers said their express purpose in coming to these shores was to spread the gospel and govern with biblical principles. For this reason, the glory of God was upon America. 

 

In June 1779, during the Revolutionary War, General George Washington (later the first President of the United States) penned this private prayer: "And now, Almighty Father, if it is Thy holy will that we shall obtain a place and a name among the nations of the earth, grant that we may be enabled to show our gratitude for Thy goodness by our endeavors to fear and obey Thee. Bless us with Thy wisdom in our counsels, success in battle, and let all our victories be tempered with humanity. Endow, also, our enemies with enlightened minds, that they become sensible of their injustice, and willing to restore our liberty and peace. Grant the petition of Thy servant, for the sake of Him whom Thou hast called Thy beloved Son; nevertheless, not my will, but Thine be done." 

James Madison, the fourth President of the United States, was known as the "Chief Architect of the Constitution." Madison was a member of the First Congress, where he introduced the Bill of Rights. Madison was a devout Christian who felt the future of American society rested on its commitment to God and His Truth. On our country's birthday celebration, reflect on these words of wisdom: "We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."

Dear Friend, how many members of Congress do you think have read the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution? I would guess not many, judging by the explosive growth in the size of government that we have seen over the past half-century, particularly lately. Today, our Founding Fathers would not recognize the America they created, as the Left use their political power to benefit only themselves and their own people--not all Americans. Today most of our politicians are not even close to being the men our founding fathers were; men who had a fear of God and respect for the individual freedoms of their fellow men. They have abandoned God, and the glory is gone. They became unthankful people whose ingratitude led them into apostasy. 

 

America has become a thankless nation. Many of them have forgotten the God who made us a great nation. They must become thankful people again. We need godly leaders and committed people to return to the source of glory. If the glory is to return to America, we must return to God, the source of glory. He is waiting for us to return to Him. God does not work through the unsaved. He works on the unsaved but works through His people. "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14). Our responsibility is to pray that the Lord will have mercy on us and help us vote for more godly people to become involved in our government. With our prayers and actions, we can take this country back for Jesus Christ if we will press the battle. Let's pray that God will send America a mighty revival in our days ahead! In the meantime, on the 4th of July, have a Happy Independence Day!

by Ted Matamis, copyright © 2022. All rights reserved.

*

 

The 56 Signers of the Declaration of Independence are (in alphabetical order):

 

 

John Adams (MA), Samuel Adams (MA), Josiah Bartlett (NH), Carter Braxton (VA), Charles Carroll of Carrollton (MD), Samuel Chase (MD), Abraham Clark (NJ), George Clymer (PA), William Ellery (RI), William Floyd (NY), Benjamin Franklin (PA), Elbridge Gerry (MA), Button Gwinnett (GA), Lyman Hall (GA), John Hancock (MA, President), Benjamin Harrison (VA), John Hart (NJ), Joseph Hewes (NC), Thomas Heyward, Jr. (SC), William Hooper (NC), Stephen Hopkins (RI), Francis Hopkinson (NJ), Samuel Huntington (CT), Thomas Jefferson (VA), Francis Lightfoot Lee (VA), Richard Henry Lee (VA), Francis Lewis (NY), Philip Livingston (NY), Thomas Lynch, Jr. (SC), Thomas McKean (DE), Arthur Middleton (SC), Lewis Morris (NY), Robert Morris (PA), John Morton (PA), Thomas Nelson, Jr. (VA), William Paca (MD), Robert Treat Paine (MA), John Penn (NC), George Read (DE), Caesar Rodney (DE), George Ross (PA), Benjamin Rush (PA), Edward Rutledge (SC), Roger Sherman (CT), James Smith (PA), Richard Stockton (NJ), Thomas Stone (MD), George Taylor (PA), Matthew Thornton (NH), George Walton (GA), William Whipple (NH), William Williams (CT), James Wilson (PA), John Witherspoon (NJ), Oliver Wolcott (CT), George Wythe (VA) 

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THOMAS JEFFERSON

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JOHN ADAMS

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JAMES MADISON

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BIBLE VE​RSES

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance."

(Psalm 33:12)

 

"The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace." (Psalm 29:11)

 

"Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!" (Psalm 144:15b)

 

"The Lord is righteous; He loves righteousness; The upright will behold His face." (Psalm 11:7)

"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people." (Proverbs 14:34)

 

“As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.” (1 Peter 2:16) 

 

“Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (2 Corinthians 3:17)

 

”Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1)

“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.“ (Galatians 5:13)

“And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:” (Galatians 2:4)

 

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)

"if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14) 

*

Our leaders must have fear of God and respect for the individual

freedoms of their fellow men.

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QUOTES

"America was established not to create wealth but to realize a vision, to realize an ideal – to discover and maintain liberty among men."— President, Woodrow Wilson

 

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same."— President, Ronald Reagan

 

"The patriot's blood is the seed of Freedom's tree." — Scottish poet, Thomas Campbell

 

"True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence."— President Franklin D. Roosevelt

"If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter." "It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible." — Quotes by President George Washington

"Do not let anyone claim tribute of American patriotism if they even attempt to remove religion from politics."

— George Washington’s Farewell Address to Nation

 

"Sure I wave the American flag. Do you know a better flag to wave? Sure I love my country with all her faults. I’m not ashamed of that, never have been, never will be." — Actor, John Wayne

"America today is running on the momentum of a godly ancestry, and when that momentum runs down, God help America." — Genera,l Omar Bradley

 

"We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount… The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants." "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not but religionists but by Christians, not on religion but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ." — A Founding Father of the United States, Patrick Henry

 

"We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that 'except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it.' I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel." — A Founding Father of the United States, Benjamin Franklin (From the debates at the Constitutional Convention, June of 1787)

"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our constitution was made for a moral and religious people… it is wholly inadequate to the government of any other…" — President, John Quincy Adams

The Colonists grew in their resilience and confidence in God, to the point where one Crown-appointed Governor wrote of the condition to the Board of Trade back in England: "If you ask an American who is his master? He will tell you he has none, nor any governor but Jesus Christ." The Committees of Correspondence soon began sounding the cry across the Colonies: "No King but King Jesus!"— From America’s God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations, William J. Federer, Fame Publishing

"Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people." (Proverbs 14:34) "This constitutes my politics – the negative and positive of my politics, and the whole of my politics … I feel it my duty to do all in my power to infuse this idea into the public mind, that it may speedily be recognized and practiced upon by our people."— Abolitionist, suffragist, author, editor, diplomat, Frederick Douglass

 

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."— President, Abraham Lincoln

*

 

It is easy to take liberty for granted when you have never had it taken from you.

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Happy Birthday America (Song)

 

[Chorus]

Happy birthday America

It's the Fourth of July

I get to wake up in your freedom

But sometimes I wonder why

Seems like everybody's pissin'

On the red, white and blue

Happy birthday America

Whatever's left of you

[Verse 1]

You were the darlin' when you saved the world

WW I and II

France would just be part of Germany now

If it hadn't been for you

 

[Verse 2]

Now your children wanna turn you in

To something other than yourself

They burn your flag in their city streets

More than anybody else

[Chorus]

Happy birthday America

It's the Fourth of July

I get to wake up in your freedom

But sometimes I wonder why

Seems like everybody's pissin'

On the red, white and blue

Happy birthday America

Whatever's left of you

[Verse 3]

Who they gonna count on

When you're not there to take their call?

Will the world keep right on spinnin'

Without the greatest of them all?

Without the helping hand of God

Your days are numbered, my old friend

We're sure gonna miss you, girl

You were the best that's ever been

Happy birthday America

[Bridge]

All the broken-down cities

By the left's design

And the right can't seem to get it right

Most of the time

Every time I go to town and vote

I just come home with the blues

The lesser of two evils

All we ever get to choose

 

[Chorus]

Happy birthday America

It's the Fourth of July

I'll get to wake up in your freedom

But sometimes I wonder why

Seems like everybody's pissin'

On the red, white and blue

Happy birthday America

Whatever's left of you

Happy birthday America

 

— Song by Toby Keith

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"America was established not to create wealth but to realize 

a vision, to realize an ideal – to discover and maintain 

liberty among men."— President, Woodrow Wilson

 

*

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. 

We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. 

It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same." 

— President, Ronald Reagan

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The Declaration of Independence

"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."

 

So reads the Declaration of Independence, signed on July 4, 1776. Members of the American Colonies were declaring themselves free from British rule, free to make their own decisions, free to buy and sell as they wished, and free to make their own laws and impose justice as they saw fit. The important document ends thus: "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."

 

What stirring words! No doubt much thought, and even prayer, went into the writing of them. Our early fathers believed in the all-powerful God and we can be thankful that our nation was founded by men who read their Bibles and put Scriptural principles into practice. In all, fifty-six men put their signatures on the Declaration of Independence. Once there, they could not be erased, and they were compelled to stand by what they had signed.

 

This reminds us of another important record. We read in Revelation 20:12 that God keeps books—books of works and another book called the Book of Life. "And whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:15). We read in Philippians 4:3 of some women "whose names are in the Book of Life." What an important place to have our names recorded! Many famous or benevolent people have their names recorded in places of great significance or value, but I wonder how many have their names recorded in heaven. You may have your name recorded on your birth certificate, perhaps a "church" roll, or a deed to a house, or a will. BUT, is your name recorded in the Book of Life in heaven?

 

We are enslaved in a bondage far worse than that of the American colonists to England. We are servants of Satan, under his control, doing what he wants us to do, whether we realize it or not. Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin" (John 8:34). Oh, to be free from this dreadful, dangerous bondage!

 

Each one of us is individually responsible to God. We can't answer for our neighbor and our neighbor can't answer for us. Each one of us needs to see our lost condition before God and come to Him as a sinner, acknowledging that Christ died for our sins on the cross, and accepting Him as personal Saviour and Lord. Then we can "rejoice, because your names are written in heaven" (Luke 10:20).

 

Once our name is written there, it can never be erased for the Lord Jesus says, "I will not blot out his name out of the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels" (Revelation 3:5). But if your name is not written in heaven your end will be the lake of fire as we saw from Revelation 20:15. Don't delay any longer. Trust in Christ today, thus making sure that your name is written in the book of life, and that your sins have been washed away by Christ's blood shed on Calvary (1 John 1:7; Hebrews 10:17). — M.B.J.

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Daniel Webster's Greatest Thought

Daniel Webster was one of America’s best known statesmen and orators. Many stories have been handed down concerning his career of brilliant speeches and ability to captivate audiences. It is worthy to note that he once said of himself, “If there is anything in my style or thoughts to be commended, the credit is due to my kind parents in instilling into my mind an early love for the Scriptures.”

 

One time, it is told, he was asked what he regarded as the greatest thought that ever occupied his mind. He replied: “The sense of my individual responsibility to God.”

 

That man is responsible to God, and must meet Him, the Scriptures plainly testify. This thought is not pleasant to those who are living in their sins and out of relationship to Him, and consequently are not prepared to face the tremendous issues involved. But whether the issues are faced or not, the fact remains: “Every one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12). We all are responsible to God, as the Word of God declares, and we cannot escape our responsibility.

 

To come to Him now, in the day of grace, by confessing our sinfulness and accepting His Son—Jesus Christ—as our Saviour, meets our responsibility on His terms, and bestows upon us His gracious forgiveness, making us one of His children forever. Not to come to Him in this day of grace, being left behind at the coming of Christ for His own (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17), or to die in our sins, forever closes the door of opportunity that God has opened for us in Christ to fulfill our responsibility to Him. To all such He will say in perfect righteousness: “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41).

 

Another incident in Daniel Webster’s life gives his testimony to the fulfillment of his responsibility by his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. During a summer holiday in a district far away from the Capitol, he went each Sunday to a little country church building. His niece asked him why he went there, when he paid little attention to far abler sermons in Washington.

 

“In Washington,” he replied, “they preach to Daniel Webster the statesman. But this man has been talking to Daniel Webster, the sinner, and telling him of Jesus.”

 

Reader, will you allow me to do the same for you? For just a few moments, completely set aside any thoughts you may have about your name or title, your reputation and station in life, your religion or lack of religion, and think of yourself as God sees you in His sight—a sinner in need of the Saviour. I should like to tell you of what can meet the desperate need of your soul, bring peace to your conscience and joy to your heart. It is all summed up in the one word that meant so much to Daniel Webster: JESUS!

 

The great God has thought of you with thoughts of deepest, truest compassion. Your sins made it impossible, however, to take you into favor, for He is holy and hates sin, and “is of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look upon iniquity” (Habakkuk 1:13).

 

But He has found a way to extend His mercy to sinners without compromising His holiness in the least degree. He sent Jesus, His own Son, to come “into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). On the Cross of Calvary, Jesus willingly stood in the sinner’s place to bear the consequences of the sinner’s sins, and to exhaust the judgment righteously due to the sinner. “God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). “Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24). This is what Jesus has done. This is the work that He accomplished when He hung as our Surety on the Cross, and cried, “It is finished” (John 19:30). He atoned for our sins by His sufferings and death. The judgment due to us fell upon Him, and now God freely pardons and saves the sinner who trusts in Jesus, the resurrected, living Saviour.

 

God is Just, and “the Justifier of him who believeth in Jesus” (Romans 3:26).

 

“The sinner who believes is free,

Can say, ‘the Saviour died for me!’;

Can point to the atoning blood

And say, ‘This made my peace with God!’”

 

No wonder Daniel Webster, whose greatest thought was his responsibility to God, should, as a confessed sinner love to hear of JESUS!

 

Reader, this same Jesus longs and waits to receive you and save you from your sins and their dreadful, eternal consequences. He says: “Him that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). — D.T.J.

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Enduring Freedom

 

"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." --the Declaration of Independence

The United States of America is a nation built on the principle of freedom. The Founding Fathers believed that men and women should be free to assemble together, free to express themselves, free to defend themselves, and free to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences. For over 200 years, our nation has gone to extraordinary lengths to protect and preserve the freedoms we enjoy today. With the passing of time, we have grown accustomed to these freedoms--we expect them as a matter of course. We even take them for granted.

But as we've recently been reminded, our freedom and security are not invulnerable to attack. Liberty has been our way of life, and now that way of life has been threatened. History records the rise and fall of many nations, many cultures, many peoples. When we consider the dangers that confront us, we are faced with a frightening question: "Will our freedom endure?"

The reality is that freedom can be won and freedom can be lost. We have no guarantees for the future. No wonder our hearts grow heavy.

There is only one freedom that will last forever, only one freedom that can never be taken from us. That's the freedom of the Spirit--the freedom that comes from having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

 

The Bible tells us that we are all in bondage to something far worse than a rogue government or enemy nation. We are in bondage to sin--the darkness of our own hearts. Our failures and mistakes, our willful disobedience to God's laws--this separates us from Him. Our behavior falls far short of His holy and righteous standards. The sin that enslaves us leads ultimately to death and hell, an eternal separation from God.

But God wants to set us free from sin. He longs to be reconciled to us. In His love for us, He found a way: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

 

God sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin. Because Jesus died in our place, we can be forgiven. We can be set free from the power of sin and death. We can be set free from guilt and fear. "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8:36).

If we put our trust in Him, we can face whatever the future holds with confidence--knowing that our hearts are right with God. He is with us. He will strengthen and sustain us. And when our life on this earth comes to an end, we will be reunited with God in Heaven. There we will experience unspeakable joy and unshakable peace that will last for all eternity.

This is truly "enduring freedom."

 

If you want to experience the freedom that comes from knowing Jesus Christ, you might pray something like this:

"Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, in need of a Savior. Please forgive me. I believe You are the Son of God. Thank You for dying on the cross to set me free from sin. Help me to live in that freedom day by day. Fill my heart with Your joy and peace as I learn to trust in You. Amen." — G.N.P

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"Freedom isn't free. We pay installments of blood, sweat, & tears."

 

— David Muecke 

 

 

*

Freedom Isn’t Free

Freedom isn’t free! Freedom isn’t free!

You gotta pay a price…You’ve gotta sacrifice,

For your liberty.

 

Freedom is a word often heard today,

But if you wanna keep it there’s a price to pay.

Each generation’s gotta win it anew,

‘Cause it’s not something handed down to you.

 

Freedom isn’t free! Freedom isn’t free!

You gotta pay a price…You’ve gotta sacrifice,

For your liberty.

 

There was a gen’ral by the name of George,

With a small band of men at Valley Forge,

Left the comfort of home for the cold and ice,

They won Independence ‘cause they paid the price.

 

Freedom isn’t free! Freedom isn’t free!

You gotta pay a price…You’ve gotta sacrifice,

For your liberty.

 

To some people freedom is a waving flag,

To do your own thing is another man’s bag.

For ev’ry man freedom’s the eternal quest.

Free to give humanity your very best.

 

Freedom isn’t free! Freedom isn’t free!

You gotta pay a price…You’ve gotta sacrifice,

For your liberty.

Freedom isn’t free! Freedom isn’t free! 

 

— by Paul Colwell

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Stars and Stripes

A man was preaching in a public square one day when someone in the crowd shouted: "Tell us something about the Stars and Stripes!" As passers-by heard the challenge, the crowd quickly gathered around as the preacher turned to face the scoffer, saying: "Tell you something about the Stars and Stripes? I will, and with pleasure, for we read about

the Stars and Stripes in the Bible."

 

Turning first to Daniel 12:3, he read of some who "shall shine as the stars for ever and ever."

 

Then referring to Luke 12:47, he spoke of others who "shall be beaten with many stripes" of judgment.

 

Reader, how do you stand with regard to the stars and stripes of the Bible? Will it be your happy lot to shine as the stars in the glory of God? Or will the many stripes, the wages of sin, be your portion in eternity?

 

Perhaps your reply is that you do not know, or that you do not see how that question can possibly be answered until the great Judgment Day. Well, my friend, the question can be more easily answered than many suppose. The Word of God is clear as to the present and eternal blessing of those who as wretched sinners place their soul's confidence in Christ and His atoning blood. If you, unworthy and sinful though you be, have gone to the Saviour for the salvation which He died to bring to sinners—if you have looked in faith to the uplifted Substitute, Jesus Christ crucified—then it is certain as God's Word can make it, that you will be one of the ransomed host, shining as the stars forever.

 

But, if Christ is nothing but a name to you, if you have never experienced the reality of His free forgiveness nor the cleansing power of His precious blood, then upon you the many stripes of His wrath must assuredly fall.

 

"Stripes," we are told, "are prepared for the back of fools" (Proverbs 19:29). Who is so great a fool as the person who deliberately refuses or neglects to avail himself of the free offer of mercy and pardon of God?

 

The wages of sin must always be paid. For every offense, a stripe must fall. But those who have fled to the Saviour for refuge know that the stripes due to them have already fallen on the Lord Jesus Christ. They can say, "With His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5).

 

Reader, the choice is yours—either "stars" or "stripes." Be wise. Repent of your sins and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your own Substitute. Then you will gratefully say:

 

"Jesus died to set me free,

Jesus died on Calvary;

Not a blessing that I know,

But to Jesus Christ I owe."

 

— F.W.G.

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In God We Trust?

God has promised to bless those who trust in Him. In what are you trusting?

 

Strength? Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God. Psalms 20:7

 

Money? How hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! Mark 10:24

 

People? It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. Psalms 118:8

 

Jesus Christ? God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

 

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. Psalms 33:12— MWTB

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Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights, which consists of the first ten amendments to the Constitution, specifies the basic freedoms and protections which are the core of American civil liberty. Although the Constitution was ratified in 1788 and became effective March 4, 1789, it was not without grave concern by the states that it established a strong central government with no guarantees of basic individual rights. In fact, many prominent Americans were so alarmed at that time by what was not included in the Constitution that they would not ratify it without being assured that the adoption of a Bill of Rights would be an early order of business at the First Congress convened under the new Constitution.

This pledge was honored when George Washington, in his first inaugural address, urged the Congress to move swiftly on the “rights of freemen.” The Congress responded with a joint resolution proposing twelve amendments to the Constitution on September 25, 1789, which were then sent to the states for ratification. Eleven of the fourteen states had to approve the articles to have the necessary three-fourths majority. On December 15, 1791, Virginia became the eleventh state to ratify articles three through twelve of the proposed amendments. These first ten amendments, better known as the Bill of Rights, are therefore virtually contemporaneous with the Constitution.

In looking at these amendments in more detail, it is easy to see the important role they have played in the lives of Americans for more than 200 years. Thomas Jefferson wrote, “A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth.” Every citizen of the United States has benefited greatly from the provisions of our wise forefathers in the Bill of Rights. How grateful we are for the freedoms secured to us in the law of the land.

But there is freedom much greater than that protected by the Bill of Rights. It can be possessed and enjoyed by every person on the face of this earth, regardless of their social standing or government. This is the freedom from sin and its judgment as expressed in the words of Jesus, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). Man has been in bondage to sin long before the Bill of Rights. In fact, the power and consequences of sin have governed the world since the first man, Adam, disobeyed God. “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12).

Because man is in such terrible bondage to sin and Satan (Hebrews 2:14,15), God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to earth as “the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). On Calvary’s cross He, who knew no sin, was made sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). Christ died for sinners and thereby paid the penalty for sin, which is death. Now He offers freely to all the gift of God which is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23).

 

Have you received this gift of life and liberty from the Saviour? It is received by faith alone in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8,9). When one confesses to God that he is a sinner, and trusts the Lord Jesus as his personal Saviour, he is then made free indeed! All his sins are washed away in the precious blood of Christ (1 John 1:7). True liberty for man is found alone in the Saviour who ratified it by His death and shed blood. —T.D.J.

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We Pray, "God Bless America"

From large athletic stadiums filled with thousands of fans, to the steps of the Capitol Building where U.S. senators had gathered, to massive cathedrals with majestic spires, packed with reflective audiences, millions of people around the world watched by television as they all sang what has become our nation's prayer and our rallying cry--"God Bless America." Kate Smith first sang this Irving Berlin composition on Armistice Day in 1938, launching it on its flight across the United States and into our hearts. Since the events of September 11, 2001, in every corner and on countless occasions we hear:

 

While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,

Let us pledge allegiance to a land that's free.

Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,

As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer:

God bless America, land that I love,

Stand beside her, and guide her,

Through the night with a light from above;

From the mountains to the prairies,

To the oceans, white with foam,

God bless America, my home sweet home.

God bless America, my home sweet home.

 

This "solemn prayer" for America has already been answered in countless ways and in millions of lives. We are so blessed to live, laugh, and love in freedom--freedom to enjoy all that our hearts hold so dear.

 

God has singularly blessed our nation, from the peaceful Pacific that bathes our western shores to the restless Atlantic in the east; from the massive Great Lakes in the north to the winding Rio Grande bordering us to the south. The unique cities and towns that dot our land, the rolling hills, the spacious plains, the majestic mountains, and the colorful deserts all make up what we lovingly call "America." We are so blessed, and truly this is our "home sweet home."

 

We are a diverse population, gathered from the four corners of the earth, working together to make America a unique and unparalleled nation in which to live and move and have our being.

 

Approaching our country through New York Harbor and passing by "Lady Liberty" that has stood for more than a century, one can see the message she displays: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free . . . send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me . . ." America offers to share its blessings with people of every hue, nationality and ethnic origin and invites them to live in this great land of opportunity.

 

But . . . in the midst of these blessings we often fail to recognize the greatest blessing of all--the blessing that we, and all people of the world, were created for--a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. And this can only be possible through true repentance. The Bible says, "Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish" (Luke 13:5). And in Acts 17:30 we read, "God . . . commands all people everywhere to repent." The meaning of the word repent is to "turn and go in the opposite direction." Instead of turning our faces away from God, we must turn toward Him and accept His plan for our lives. Consider that plan:

 

First: Recognize and confess to God that we all have sinned before Him. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him [Jesus] the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:6).

 

Second: Realize that Jesus paid our sin-debt by dying on the cross. Three days later God raised Him from the dead. "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God" (1 Peter 3:18). "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him [Jesus] should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

 

Third: Repent of your sins and receive Christ as your personal Savior. "But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God" (John 1:12). "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Romans 10:13).

 

If you will pray this short prayer, and sincerely mean it in your heart, the Lord will hear you and make you one of His own children. You will be saved.

Dear Lord, I confess I have sinned before You and I do right now repent of my sins and accept what Christ did for me on the cross as payment for my sins. I turn my heart and life over to You, O Christ. Cleanse my heart from my sins and save me right now. Amen.  — G.N.P.

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The Liberty Bell

On July 4th, 1776, the day of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the bell pictured on the cover rang out its joyous message of liberty and thus became known as the Liberty Bell. For many years, it was rung to commemorate special occasions. However, on one such occasion it cracked, never to ring again. It is know on display at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where thousands come to view it each year. The bell is lettered around its crown with the words:

 

PROCLAIM LIBERTY THROUGHOUT ALL

THE LAND UNTO ALL THE INHABITANTS THEREOF - LEVITICUS 25:10

 

The Scripture quotation inscribed on the bell refers to the sounding of a trumpet after the sacrifice was made on the great day of atonement for the people of Israel. This is a type, or picture, for us today. Since the shedding of the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, on Calvary’s cross for the sin of a guilty world, God’s Word has been lovingly and righteously sounding out the joyous note of liberty and victory for ALL to hear. Have you heard its sound? Have you believed its message? Listen:

THE LIBERTY BELL OF GOOD NEWS tells out the fact of deliverance from the penalty and power of sin. “Be it known unto you, therefore, men and brethren, that through this Man [Jesus] is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by Him all that believe are justified from all things” (Acts 13:38,39). “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

 

THE LIBERTY BELL OF GOOD NEWS proclaims deliverance from the slavery of Satan. “Satan deceiveth the whole world” (Revelation 12:9). Christ came to “preach deliverance to the captives” (Luke 4:18), and through His work at Calvary, He has wrought an eternal redemption, or deliverance, through His shed blood. “It is finished,” He cried, and then bowed His head and dismissed His spirit. He now lives in a resurrected and glorified body in Heaven. From there His voice rings out, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free…. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:32,36).

 

THE LIBERTY BELL OF GOOD NEWS peals out the sound of deliverance from the curse of a broken law. The law condemns all: “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things that are written in the book of the law to do them” (Galatians 3:10). All come under the curse, for “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). But through the death and resurrection of Christ, the believer can claim the promise: “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13).

 

THE LIBERTY BELL OF GOOD NEWS rings out the message of deliverance from the fear of death and judgment. Of the Lord Jesus we read in Hebrews 2:14,15, “Forasmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” Thus, all who repent and believe in Christ are told by Him, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth My Word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).

 

The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is valuable only as a memorial. Being cracked, it can no longer ring. God’s LIBERTY BELL OF GOOD NEWS, however, is still as useful and powerful as ever. “It is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” (Romans 1:16).

 

THE LIBERTY BELL OF GOOD NEWS will not always ring out! The day of grace is fast drawing to a close. The Saviour is coming, and the door to heaven will be forever shut. Instead of the sound of Jesus’ invitation, “Come unto Me,” there will be the dreadful, “Depart from Me.” Each tolling of the bell warns of an impending doom. “He that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36).

 

THE LIBERTY BELL OF GOOD NEWS loudly says to you “Now is the accepted time … Now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). “Today, if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 4:7). “Hear, and your soul shall live” (Isaiah 55:3). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). —D.T.J.

Pray for our Military

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A prayer for the protection of our Armed Forces

Lord,

 

Thank you for the men and women who have stepped up to serve and protect our country.

May they know the blessing of serving well.

Thank you for your promise to never leave or forsake your people.

We pray for the protection of our Armed Forces serving our country at home or abroad, whether in drills or in deployment.

Keep from harm all those in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard.

Help them to be strong and courageous and do not let them be discouraged.

Help them to feel Your presence. Help them to stay morally strong and free from untoward influence.

Keep them healthy and free from sickness as well as injury.

Guide them, be their eyes and their ears as they move about and carry out their order and missions.

 

In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

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Testimonies

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Live, Love, Laugh!

"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine"

(Proverbs 17:22)

ONLY_IN_AMERICA

 


Only in America...can a pizza get to your house faster than an ambulance...

Only in America...is there braille on an ATM drive through window...

Only in America...are there handicap parking places in front of a skating rink...

Only in America...is there a box for a "blind" person to check on their tax return...

Only in America...do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions.

Only in America...do people order double cheese burgers, a large fry, and a diet coke...

Only in America...do banks leave both doors open and then chain the pens to the counters...

Only in America...do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and leave useless junk in the garage...

Only in America...do we use answering machines to screen calls and then have call waiting so we won't miss a call from

someone we didn't want to talk to in the first place... 

 

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Take Off To A Great 4th Of July! (Greeting Card)

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"If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

"It is impossible to rightly govern the world without

God and the Bible." 

 

— Politician, Robin Hayes

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