4th of July Messages by Rev. Mike Jones [Revised July 4, 2021]
Independence Day is a time to remember the Cost and the Value of the freedoms we have as Americans. We are very thankful for those who were willing to serve and sacrifice in order for us to have these Freedoms. As we watch our nation increasingly fight race, ideas, and moral value wars it is vital that we have a “ROCK” to shelter in and a “FIRM FOUNDATION” to build upon.
First, God must be the God of our Nation: Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance (Psa 33:12). America gives people the right to believe what they want to believe but we need to always remember: He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (John 3:18). Believing you are right does not keep you from ending up wrong.
Second, We must be a Nation GOD wants to make Great: Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people (Prov 14:34).
Third, This Greatness must be dependent on God and not on:
1) Pride in what we DO- For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted (Luke 14:11). Taking Pride in perversion may make you think you are cool but one day it will make you hot!
2) Reasoning about who we ARE: Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). There is a God and YOU are not Him.
Finally, We must realize that Being a Great Nation for God is not an idealistic dream to contemplate but a VITAL NECESSITY FOR THE SURVIVAL OF OUR NATION. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. (Isa 60:12)
What America needs today- At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them (Jer 18:7-8).
How to Make America Great Again:
1) Pray for our Country as well as your companions: I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
2) Practice your Christianity at Home, Work, and Play: Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it (Acts 4:13-14). Smile a lot, Do something unexpected good for people, complain less and compliment more.
3) Participate in Government whenever Possible- Joseph, Daniel, Most of the OT Prophets.
[Original Notes given to me by Rev Ronnie Jones]
On this “Independence” weekend, we are reminded of the freedoms that we have as Americans. I’m very thankful for them and am aware that they came at the cost of many lives. We are no longer under bondage to a foreign nation.
There are many, however, who are under bondage which is just as oppressive as the bondage of a cruel king. Today I would like to look at some of those bondages in the light of the Scripture, and point out some ways to be set free.
When a person becomes a Christian, his duty toward God has not finished, it has just begun; we are not saved just to keep from going to hell, we are saved to be Light and Salt for Christ in a dark and dying world. Many people are hindered from effective Christian service because they are held captive by some things. Lets look at some of the things that keep us in bonds.
II. Finances (or the lack of them)
III. Forgiveness (or the lack of it)
There are two kinds of fear in the human experience, the normal and the abnormal. (Example of the normal- a surgeon fearing to harm his patient, almost stepping on a snake, etc.) We want to look at the fears which prevent us from fully enjoying life and serving the Lord.
a. Fear of danger and harm. Anything from thunderstorms
to traveling by air, water, etc. The Lord tells us repeatedly, “Fear not,” “Be strong and of a good courage.” God is not going to allow anything to harm you outside of His ability to use that for good.
b. Fear of the past (some secret sin). Very few people have lived without committing some sin that was both hurtful and embarrassing. Then you saw what a terrible thing it was, confessed the sin to God, and have tried ever since to live the very best you could. That “secret”, however, haunts you. What do you do?
1. “If necessary,” tell someone. (ONLY necessary ones.)
2. Where possible, make restitution.
3. If you have repented and confessed it, forget it!
c. Fear of the future.
1. “What if…?” Prepare for what you can, trust for the rest.
2. The fear of growing old, and the fear of dying.
HEB 2:14-15 Forasmuch then 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.
You ARE going to die. Your friends are going to die. It is the only way to heaven. Accept it and prepare for it.
If fear is not dealt with, it will undermine your health, paralyse your will, cloud your mind, and make you a spiritual failure (2TI 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.)
II. Finances (or the lack of them)
Finances can bind you to one of two masters;
1. If you borrow, you are bound to the lender (PRO 22:7 The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.) 1CO 7:23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.
2. You can be servant to the money, or getting more of it (MAT 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.)
Money is not bad in itself, the inordinate desire for it is. Many Christians have lost their testimony because of a lust for “just a little bit more.” I can think right now of a preacher, a deacon, and a leader of a singing group who lost their testimony because they let finances ruin them.
In this age of instant gratification, it is very easy to get so involved that you don’t have the time or the will to do anything for God.
Don’t doubt God in finances. When you don’t have, ask yourself these questions:
Do I need it?
Have I misspent what God gave me?
Is God trying to test my faith?
Have I violated Scriptural principles in finances (have I given that I should have, have I been resourceful, etc.?)
Is God trying to move me through this?
Is God trying to tell me this is harmful for me?
Learn to build up sales resistance- PRO 20:14 It is naught, it is naught, saith the buyer: but when he is gone his way, then he boasteth.
III. Forgiveness (or the lack of it)
Very few things in life can be more binding than a bitter spirit. The reason is that when you become bitter toward someone, you become his slave; ex. a man borrows money and refuses to pay it back…
Forgiveness is actually emotionally releasing an offender, and being emotionally released.
Persistent bitterness is a sign of something wrong in your life (ROM 2:1-3 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?).
A person who remains bitter is trying to take God’s place (ROM 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.).
Some people will die being bound with a bitter spirit. They don’t have to, but they insist on their way and their rights regardless of the consequences. You don’t have to be one of these people, the Son has come to set you free.
2TI 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.
In closing, be like David, when he said in PSA 116:16 O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds.
Gal 5:13‑14 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Gal 5:13-14 (Amp) For you, brethren, were [indeed] called to freedom; only [do not let your] freedom be an incentive to your flesh and an opportunity or excuse [for selfishness], but through love you should serve one another. For the whole Law [concerning human relationships] is complied with in the one precept, You shall love your neighbor as your self.
I> The GUIDELINE for our Liberty is “Love Your Neighbor as Yourself”: If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well James 2:8. Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD Lev 19:18. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these Mark 12:31. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself Rom 13:9.
2> Therefore the LIMITS of our Liberty are set by how we relate to others: (Can’t yell “Fire” in a crowded Theater is the way it works in Public Law)
A) Concern for Weaker Christians: But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak 1 Cor 8:9.
B) Concern for Testimony and Truthfulness: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God 1 Pet 2:16
Officially America has no God. Everyone has the right to worship (or abstain from worshipping) who and what they please. Yet, one of the most basic laws of human nature is that everyone will worship something. With that in mind, let me point you in the right direction.
1. CHOSE THE RIGHT GOD– Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance (Psalm 33:12). A Nation is made up of people. People don’t serve a God by accident; a decision must be made. People worship many Gods:
a> Greed- But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows (1 Tim 6:9-10). Sell their souls to sin and drugs, Rob God’s Tithes, Trade family for dollar.
b> Popularity- The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe (Prov 29:25).
c> Pleasure- He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich (Prov 21:17).
d> Self- “Me” Generation
2. FOLLOW GOD’S GUIDELINES- Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people (Prov 14:34).
a> Cursing, Immorality, have become a way of life.
b> Resist Racism- Condemn Conduct, not color. Condemn Sins; not different Customs
c> Learn the right way and follow that path; if it kills you!
3. REALIZE THAT GOD BLESSES ACCORDING TO PRESENT ACTIONS– At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them (Jer 18:7-10).
Remember that the darker the night, the brighter our light will shine. Do not doubt and despair; Trust God and Walk in His way.
When God runs a survey of YOUR heart, who will He find is the God of this nation??
These are some games we used in a Fourth of July Celebration several years ago. We had fun but I made sure only volunteers were used for each game. Thank God for a country where we can enjoy celebrating our Freedom.
FREEDOM FAMILY FLING GAMES
Song, Prayer, Pledges to American Flag, Christian Flag, Bible
1) Watermelon Seed Spiting (Accept Good, Reject Bad)
[Need Watermelons, Judges, Brooms, Trash Cans]
2) Sack Race (Lay Aside the Sins that hinder our Progress)
3) 3-Legged Race (Learn to WALK together as Christians)
[Need String, People to tie, Judges]
4) Tug of War (Spirit and Flesh in Conflict)
[GOOD rope, Middle line or water stream from hose]
5) Bucket Brigade (Learn to WORK together as Christians) [Buckets, cups, Pails]
6) Balloon Toss– back up a step each time you catch (Separation makes life more difficult) [Balloons filled with water]
7) Water Balloon Fight– volunteers only (Fight the good fight of Faith and do not let the world around you make you “all wet”)
As an American Christian I have the right to:
Believe my faith– Make no law respecting establishment of religion
Practice my faith– Make No Law Prohibiting the free exercise thereof
Proclaim my faith– Or abridging Freedom of speech
Publish my faith– Or abridging Freedom of the press
Participate in my faith– Right of the people to peaceably assemble
May I always exercise my right to believe and practice Right.
At a time when a major political party sponsors its presidential debate with people who proclaim, “I do not believe in God nor fear hell” it is time to quit playing church and start practicing Christianity.