The Greatest ‘Liberty’ [v113]

JULY 2008

THE GREATEST “LIBERTY”
Last month I used the end of the first sentence of the Declaration of Independence, “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness,” to investigate where ‘real’ happiness comes from.

This month I thought I would back up a few words and consider what is probably the most cherished ‘ideals’ of this country—LIBERTY—a freedom that many other countries seek, and people from all over the world come to this country to realize.

In America, and especially during this particular holiday, I think people would say that the most important ‘fulfillment’ of our life in this country is the FREEDOM we have—the ‘liberty’ and ‘independence’ our Constitution affords every American.

The Declaration of Independence and The Bill of Rights speak of all people being “created equal,” and that we are endowed with certain “unalienable rights” and liberties. These documents guarantee that the government will protect those rights for all its citizens, and clearly reveal that the nation’s freedom depends largely on a strong constitution of independence.

For me, this ‘liberty’ is shown visibly towering above New York Harbor, in the form of the Statue of Liberty. For more than 100 years, this stately lady, with freedom’s torch held high, has beckoned millions of people worldwide who are choking from the stifling ‘air’ of tyranny and oppression. They’ve been drawn to what that monument symbolizes—freedom and independence.

Inscribed on Lady Liberty’s pedestal are the deeply moving words by Emma Lazarus: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

One of the ways the “homeless, tempest-tossed” have gained some freedom and independence is through an organization called “Motor City Blight Busters.” Since its founding in 1988, it has boarded-up and secured over 400 abandoned buildings, demolished (and re-purposed) over 100 homes, renovated almost 200 houses, and built over 115 homes to “stabilize, revitalize, beautify, and repopulate the city of Detroit with homeowners.” During their existence, with the help of over 700,000 volunteers, they have created suitable housing for over 1,200 people!

So, a bunch of us from one of my networking groups, “Motor City Connect” got together on Saturday, 18 JUN 05, on the west side of Detroit to help Blight Busters demolish a previous ‘crackhouse’—that will now be converted to a community garden!

[ The following link is to a short video on YouTube I did that shows an overview of the entire day—and how just a few determined and committed people can make a difference! (You’ve got to see the roof come down—too cool!):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lE2_F34YWj8 ].

For one organization to do so much is amazing and incredible—and we ALL should ‘pitch in’ and do all we can for organizations like Blight Busters! But, let me suggest that the GREATEST LIBERTY we will ever have is NOT to own our own home, the privilege to ‘fashion’ the purpose and fulfillment in our lives, or even all the rights and independence given to us by our “Constitution.”

The ‘greatest liberty’ is FREEDOM FROM SIN—something the Bible says only Jesus Christ can do!

Almost 2,000 years ago, Jesus cried out on the cross, “It is finished,” proclaiming the believer’s “declaration of independence.” In God’s ‘eyes’, all of humanity was under the tyranny of sin and death. But Christ, the sinless One, took our place on Calvary and died for our sins. Having satisfied God’s righteous demands, He now sets FREE FOR ETERNITY all who trust in Him.

This Roman cross is a bit different kind of ‘monument’ that towers over history—it offers spiritual freedom to enslaved people throughout the world. At first, the ‘scene’ repels—and even the thought I am suggesting here may be even ‘worse’ to you.

So, I am suggesting that REAL FREEDOM and independence depends on ‘who’ you think Jesus is—and what ‘weight’ you believe are behind His words.

The Bible is the primary ‘source’ where you can find out more about Jesus, and in my opinion, is a more far-reaching “bill of rights” than either of the documents we ‘treasure’ as Americans. I believe it originated with God, who backs it up with His justice, His concern for all people, and His sovereignty—and states that it is the only ‘charter’ that guarantees freedom from sin’s penalty and power.

The apostle Peter said to the Christians in the first century, that as “a holy nation, we are to proclaim the praises of Him who called [us] out of darkness into His marvelous light” [1 Peter 2:9].

That’s what I call TRUE FREEDOM! When we live by this ‘constitution’, we will be able to enjoy our rights and fulfill our life’s ‘calling’.

The Bible states that if you trust in Christ as your Savior, the heavy burden of guilt ‘rolls’ from your sin-weary soul—and you will be FREE FOR ALL ETERNITY!

Have you heard and responded to the ‘invitation of the cross’? Consider this verse written by Neil Enloe:

“Oh, the cross is my statue of liberty,
For it was there that my soul was set free!
Unashamed I’ll proclaim that a rugged cross
Is my statue of liberty.”

Hopefully you will enjoy your “Fourth of July” festivities this weekend and will celebrate the freedom of our nation. Personally, I believe God has blessed this nation, and I thank Him for the freedom I enjoy as a U.S. citizen—but more than that, for the FREEDOM that is found in His Son, Jesus Christ!

[Excerpts from: John J. George (Blight Busters Founder)]

[Click this link to read about how you can receive ‘freedom’ from sin:
http://www.thesearchformeaning.net/sfm_pres/sp_q9_d5_4of10.html ].

Blessings….
Mark

LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v113) for JULY 2008
If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net

*****************************
*****************************
LET FREEDOM RING
The Declaration of Independence pronounced the colonies free from British rule on July 4, 1776. What proceeded and followed this declaration were the historic battles still taught in every elementary school.  For six years the colonies shook with the Battles of Concord and Lexington, Bunker Hill and Saratoga. The war finally ended at Valley Forge where British General Cornwallis surrendered to what would be the United States’ first president, George Washington. Two years later the British and the Americans signed a peace treaty in France.

Freedom does not come without a price. Within the Revolutionary War our nation’s freedom was paid for by the blood and sacrifice of the men and women who fought for their dream of what would become the United States. The battles were not easy, and the years took their toll on our young nation.  But in the end, the price was paid and freedom achieved. By 1781, the Fourth of July was named a national holiday and today fireworks, parades and picnics mark this celebration.

The Gospel message preaches a similar tune. We have been given freedom in Christ.  The freedom we have is freedom from death caused by sin. God sent His only Son to die and shed his blood for us. The ultimate price has been paid in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. Although the cost was high, Jesus’ death and resurrection purchased the freedom of anyone who trusts in Him. By faith, we become children of God and co-heirs with Christ. Through Him, we are made pure, holy and blameless—all gifts—God gives to us freely.

Still, with this freedom comes tremendous responsibility. The gift of freedom is not a license to do as you please. Rather, it is a calling to live unselfishly and righteously.  Freedom rings when you chose not to indulge all your desires, but chose to live a life honoring to the Lord.

As you enjoy Fourth of July festivities this weekend and celebrate the freedom of our nation, say a prayer of thanks to God for the freedom He has given you from sin and for the life He has given you to live now—and throughout all eternity with Him.

“God alone made it possible for you to be in Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Christ to be wisdom itself. He is the one who made us acceptable to God. He made us pure and holy, and he gave himself to purchase our freedom”  [1 Corinthians 1:30].
[Kelly McFadden]
*****************************
QUOTES ABOUT FREEDOM
“In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.”
[Franklin D. Roosevelt]

“Life, liberty and property do not exist because men made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.”
[Frederic Bastia]

“Freedom is the oxygen of the soul.”
[Moshe Dayan]

“We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.”
[William Faulkner]

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
[Benjamin Franklin]

“Everywhere the human soul stands between a hemisphere of light and another of darkness on the confines of two everlasting hostile empires, –Necessity and Free Will.”
[Thomas Carlyle]

“Everything can be taken from a man but … the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
[Victor Frankl]

“…they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
[Victor Frankl]

“Freedom is not America’s gift to the world, it is the Almighty God’s gift to every man and woman in this world.”
[George W. Bush]

“Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.”
[Benjamin Franklin]

“The Declaration of Independence dogmatically bases all rights on the fact that God created all men equal; and it is right; for if they were not created equal, they were certainly evolved unequal. There is no basis for democracy except in a dogma about the divine origin of man.”
[GK Chesterton]

“The free man owns himself. He can damage himself with either eating or drinking; he can ruin himself with gambling. If he does he is certainly a damn fool, and he might possibly be a damned soul; but if he may not, he is not a free man any more than a dog.”
[GK Chesterton]

“The very idea of freedom presupposes some objective moral law which overarches rulers and ruled alike. Subjectivism about values is eternally incompatible with democracy. We and our rulers are of one kind only so long as we are subject to one law. But if there is no Law of Nature, the ethos of any society is the creation of its rulers, educators and conditioners; and every creator stands above and outside his own creation.”
[C.S. Lewis]

*****************************
*****************************
DEEP THOUGHTS
“America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
[Alexis de Tocqueville]

*****************************
*****************************
I hope you enjoyed some of these insights. Share them with your friends and colleagues, so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from—and more to share with! Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” especially if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” [2 Corinthians 3:17].

Mark

*****************************
*****************************
Disclaimer: All the above jokes and inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

<‘)))><     <‘)))><     <‘)))><     <‘)))><     <‘)))><     <‘)))><     <‘)))><

One Response to “The Greatest ‘Liberty’ [v113]”

  1. ‘FREEDOM’ FROM WHAT? « DEEP THOUGHTS Says:

    […] pursuit of Happiness.” [Note: See my Deep Thoughts (v113) for an expanded discussion of this: https://markbesh.wordpress.com/jul-08-v113/ […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: