Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These are the principles our nation is founded upon. Our forefathers risked everything to make them our everyday experience. With Jesus as their example, they laid their lives down for the generations of Americans to come. They made Scripture come to life in a government.
John Quincy Adams said,
In the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior. The Declaration of Independence laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity.
This birthday of a nation is linked to the birthday of a Savior. It is Jesus the Cornerstone of our faith who laid the foundation for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
LIFE. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon defines this word life as “real and genuine, vita quae sola vita nominanda (Cicero, de sen. 21, 77), ‘a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed, the portion even in this world of those who put their trust in Christ, but after the resurrection to be consummated by new accessions (among them a more perfect body), and to last forever’”
John 14:6 tells us, “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the LIFE. No one comes to the Father except by me.’”(NIV)
John 10:10 states, “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come that you may have LIFE, and that LIFE more abundant.”
Finally, II Peter 1:3 reminds us that, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto LIFE and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:”
It can be surmised from these Scriptures that true and abundant life is found in relationship with Jesus and in knowing Him.
Deut. 30:19 charges, “Today I have given you the choice between LIFE and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose LIFE, so that you and your descendants might John 8:31-32 says that it is this truth that will set you free.
Jesus is the only giver of life, and His life brings us into fullness of freedom. In order to experience freedom we must acknowledge that we are in bondage.
According to Romans 6:18 we have been freed from sin.
HELPS word studies translates this freedom this way. Cognate: 1659 eleutheróō – properly, set free, release from bondage; (figuratively) to remove the restrictions of sin (darkness) because delivered by God into true spiritual liberty (growth). See 1658 (eleutheros).
Friends, when we are free from sin nothing and no one can enslave us.
God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever.
- Thomas Jefferson, Jefferson Memorial
Freedom from sin is God’s greatest gift to us because it gains us the right to be in His presence without guilt and shame.
We are told to guard this freedom. Gal 5:1, It is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us FREE. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS: According to our Independence Declaration, we do not have a right to happiness, but the right to pursue happiness.
The word blessed in the Old Testament literally means, “happy is the one who walks the straight path” .
“The rights essential to happiness. . . . We claim them from a higher source — from the King of kings and Lord of all the earth.”
- John Dickinson
The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts.
- John Jay
We are happiest when we pursue the straight path of God’s Words.
A Hebrew scholar recently translated Psalm 1:1 as, Happy [a] are those [b] who are boldly able to enter into God’s presence, who choose not to model their lives after those who are not walking on the right path! [c] They do not form close friendships with those who habitually sin, nor do they purposely spend their free time in the homes of those who make fun of God’s laws.
How fortunate are we to live in a country whose foundation was built upon the right to follow this path of happiness. By allowing us religious freedom, every man, woman and child has the ability to choose to model their lives after those who walk on right paths; paths of righteousness that lead to true happiness both in this life and the next.
Three gifts found around the table.
70. Natural sweetness.
71. Trash to treasure
72. Empty seats of the empty nest means wings are strong enough to fly away and come back home again.
Gifts found in water, words and white.
73. The water that didn’t come into our basement.
74. You are resplendent with light… Poetry in the Bible
75. Misty mornings veiled in white.
Three gifts found in those older than you…
75. Morning walk holding hands.
76. My dog is old.
77. Volunteers still willing to help.
Three gifts found in fabric.
76. Lacy beauty from creative friend.
77. Embroidered napkins wiping dirty mouths.
78. Jesus, the red thread in my tapestry of life.
Three things framed….
79. American laundry framed in forgotten treasure
80. God’s Word, my frame of reference..
81. My words, the frame of my future.
Three gifts found in food
83. Breyer’s ice cream treat from John
84. I know this is nasty, but have you ever tried those Keebler Coconut Dream Cookies? Mmm….good…
Three things found in one gift small, one gift big, and one gift just right…
85. Glory in the morning
86. Friend coming through big time…again!
87. Worship encounter just right on time!
…sharing a playdate with Laura:
and at a new place for writers Unforced Rhythms of Grace.
and with beautiful Jennifer Dukes Lee…
And with my dearest Emily…