Monthly Archives: May 2014

Freedom Comes With A Cost (Death)

It is fitting this day to honor those who have fought for our freedom–many at the cost of their lives. I have to admit that I have never been overly patriotic. I’ve taken for granted the freedom earned for America. I guess I am too far removed from the events of history for them to land on me. I am not a historian. In other words, I hated history. It wasn’t pushed in my family. I would guess that I am not alone in many of these contributing factors. When I look at the zealous patriot, who only talks about honoring freedom, I can easily decide not to be that way. That was until I stepped into Arlington Cemetery and observed the memorial at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

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Of course, it did not make me a zealous patriot. However, the reality of those historical events in plain sight landed on me. If possible, every American should make that visit–especially those visual learners like me. Stepping into Arlington was breathtaking. The sight of the magnitude of lives lost was humbling. It’s not a place to be entertained but reverenced. It’s not a place to laugh but to cry. So when you visit, set your mind to be more aware of your demeanor. May it be humble and honorable. 

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Now, if this is humbling how much more the reality that God the Son died for our freedom–the Innocent One for the guilty. Our freedom from sin cost something. It cost Jesus Christ his life. There’s no Arlington Cemetery for Christ because there is no need. The grave could not hold him. However, we can honor him today by not continuing in sin from which we have been freed!

Romans 6:3-7 “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.  For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin.” 

~Jason

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Prayer and Providence

Reading through 2 Samuel reminded me of the topic-Prayer & Providence-because there is an example clearly stated in the text. I think it would be helpful to draw your attention to this. Of course, some want the systematic theology answer. However, others are helped by narrative display. I hope you will be enriched to pray and trust that God is at work. Here are the texts:

But David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went, barefoot and with his head covered. And all the people who were with him covered their heads, and they went up, weeping as they went. And it was told David, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” And David said, “O LORD, please turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.” While David was coming to the summit, where God was worshiped, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat torn and dirt on his head. David said to him, “If you go on with me, you will be a burden to me. But if you return to the city and say to Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, O king; as I have been your father’s servant in time past, so now I will be your servant,’ then you will defeat for me the counsel of Ahithophel. (2 Samuel 15:30-34)

Of course, both Ahithophel and Hushai became Absalom’s counselors. As you can see, David asked the LORD to turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness. He then asked his friend Hushai to defeat the counsel of Ahithophel with his own counsel to Absalom. However, what else is going on? Where is God in this? We get an explanation a couple of chapters later.

 And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel.” For the LORD had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the LORD might bring harm upon Absalom. (2 Samuel 17:14)

Here we see what David had prayed for and sought means to achieve was also ordained by God for a purpose. You may struggle with one side of this issue or the other but here both are present. Both are true. Therefore, we should pray and trust (not completely understand) that God is at work.

Just this morning, I asked my son to do something  that involved reading. He replied, “But I can’t read.” I said to him, “That is not true. You can read. Just because you can’t read everything does not mean you cannot read. If that is so, then I cannot read.” Same goes for this argument. Just because you do not completely understand this does not mean you cannot pray or cannot believe that God ordains. See it here in His holy word and be encouraged!


Essential Resources

Dispatches From the Front will encourage you. It has the needed engagement and cultural wake-up call that I am aware of but cannot grasp on my own. It is also good to see other believers trusting in hard places. The videos remind me of the lostness in this world. They display the power of the gospel! Get them for yourself and then loan them out to anyone who will watch them! 

Here is a trailer to flame the fire and the link to the website:

~Jason