Say it with aphorisms. Free men will fight for their liberty, but slaves will not. So if a slave fights, he is already free. Liberty is not porn and pot. Liberty is much praised and rarely treasured. True liberty is greatly praised, and not at all understood. When Mammon is the master, the people are…Aphorisms on Liberty
Joh 11:35 KJV Jesus wept.
Jesus stood before Lazarus’s tomb and wept. Knowing he was going to regenerate Lazarus’s body, Jesus wept. Knowing he was going to resurrect Lazarus, Jesus wept. Our Creator, our Savior, the giver of life, who was going to return Lazarus to life, wept.
Why? Why would Jesus grieve at a time like this? Why wasn’t he rejoicing?
Jesus wept because we have a merciful high priest who understands us and our infirmities. One who has been tempted as we are, bore our sin, and tasted death on our behalf.
Lazarus died, as we all do, because of sin. Not sins, but sin. Some may die as a result of particular sins, we all die because of sin. Call it sin, call it sin nature, call it flesh, whatever you call it, it is that evil that infects us with hatred of and rebellion toward God. And sin, in turn, brings death. Death is the temporal outworking of the wrath of God on our bodies. If outside of Christ, then death is also the eternal outworking of the wrath of God on our souls. The first death brings a temporary separation of persons from one another and is grievously painful and sad. The second death brings an eternal separation of a person from the love and blessings of God and is unimaginably painful and sad.
Jesus wept, even though he knew what he was going to do, because he understood the fearful cost of sin to us. We are sinners, our hearts, souls, and minds are infected with sin. All our works are tainted by sin. God is holy and just. His justice demands that the soul that sins must die. His holiness demands that we be perfect as he is perfect. Jesus looked at the anguish that the death of Lazarus caused his sisters. The anguish of other family members and friends. Jesus looked at all the misery caused by the sin of man and he wept. Because the holiness and righteousness of God cannot be set aside. They must be fulfilled.
The need for forgiveness of sin was evident to all: without sin, neither Lazarus, nor anyone else would die. The need for someone to call Lazarus, and every other human being, out of death, was evident to all. And it would very soon be seen that Jesus was the only one who could. He is the resurrection. He is the life. But many there that day could not see it.
So Jesus wept.
Son I remember when I kissed you when you cried and held you tightly to me. You were just a baby boy, a shining gift from God. Everytime that you were hurt, I tried to love you whole.
Now you’re lying in this bed and there’s nothing but the waiting. Doctors say that it’s the end and it’s time to say goodbye. I want hold you in my arms and wake you from this night. But though my prayers were heard, Jesus says it’s time.
I won’t pretend to understand why you suffered as both boy and man. You felt so deeply others pain and were their kindest friend. Why oh why is it you that’s gone, when I should be the one?
So Son, I’m lying here next to you to say goodbye and that I love you. Jesus says he loves you too and he wants to bring you home.
So Son, my gift, my life I kiss you one last time.
It’s my last kiss, til the next one, when we meet in heaven. It’s my last kiss till we walk on those streets of gold. Father God, please keep him for me, I’ll be there when its appointed.
It’s my last kiss til the next one, when the morning comes.
David speaks in wonder in the Psalms about why God would ever take notice of man. Although Christmas has past, I am still marveling that the Lord would not only notice us, but that He would forsake the glory of heaven and become one of us, in order to save us. That the way of salvation was for Him to become a human baby, to subject Himself to human growth, human infirmity, and the foibles of other humans, while knowing always that the crucifixion lay ahead, is a wonder of wonders. Contemplating it brings marvelous tears.
He thought of us. He looked upon us. He loved us. He came to us. He died for us. He saved us.
What is Man, that You think of him? Or the son of man that You care for him?
Joy unspeakable and full of glory!
How sweetly rings the bell of freedom, a nation has been born
Let tyrant fear and men rejoice, the Lord unsheathes His sword
To strike a blow at wickedness that rules from gilded throne
And shine His light across the land to take it for His own
How bitter is oppression’s price, which stained the nation’s clothes
With filth and shame of slavery etched on the backs of those
Who were not counted in the nation as men honorable and free
Blood shall be shed to wash that stain and bring all toward liberty
How boldly does the nation go to fight the enemies
Of freedom in those lands from whence it came to be
Twice returning to now foreign lands to fertilize the ground
With the blood of patriots in hope that freedom should abound
How costly is abundant wealth, when faith cannot be found
In hearts of men they say “God is dead!” and evil soon surrounds
The conscience of the land and sheds the blood of innocents
Mocking the valor of past men and all the blood that they had spent
Yet softly rings the bell of freedom in the hand of Providence
Calling this nation to return in humbleness and penitence
And be a beacon to the world of God’s abiding favor
In which He gave His only Son to be the nations Savior
Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace: he spoke and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you servants of the Most High God, come forth, and come here. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came forth out of the midst of the fire. The satraps, the deputies, and the governors, and the king’s counselors, being gathered together, saw these men, that the fire had no power on their bodies, nor was the hair of their head singed, neither were their pants changed, nor had the smell of fire passed on them. Daniel 3:27
2 Chronicles 9:8
Blessed be the LORD your God, who delighted in you, to set you on his throne, to be king for the LORD your God: because your God loved Israel, to establish them forever, therefore made he you king over them, to do justice and righteousness.
The Queen of Sheba declared several things about Solomon as king:
1. God delighted in Solomon
2. God set Solomon on God’s throne
3. Solomon was to be king for God
4. God made Solomon king because God loved Israel
5. God made Solomon king in order to establish Israel
6. As king, Solomon was to do justice and righteousness
These statements should order our prayer and actions toward civil government. We should pray that God raise up men that delight in Him and set them in positions of authority. Men who fear God and who realize that they are accountable to Him. Thus they strive for justice and righteousness in executing their office. We also intercede for the nation, asking God to have mercy on us and establish us in freedom and integrity. The gospel is the seed, prayer is the water, men’s hearts are the soil, freedom is the fruit, and the Lord is the husbandman!
For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I caused you to be raised up, that I might show in you my power, and that my name might be published abroad in all the earth.” Romans 9:17
The common definition of hypocrisy in America and particularly in the American church is that hypocrisy is the failure to live what you believe. But the biblical definition is different.Read More »