Recently, while watching the television series “Pawn Stars” in the episode, “The British Are Coming“, Alexander Hamilton was inaccurately quoted as saying, “War is the price of liberty.”
Alexander Hamilton actually stated that “The debt of the United States … was the price of liberty“ and he also insisted that “the creation of debt should always be accompanied with the means of its extinguishment“.
Romans 13:8 (NLT) tells us to– “Owe nothing to anyone–except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law.”
God created man in His image and with the freedom to choose –
whether to love God with a whole heart and serve only Him – or
to trust in one’s self and serve man’s flesh and the devil.
There’s no other choice.
If the story ended here, with man sowing to the flesh and reaping the bitter fruit of his selfish iniquity then God would be a merciless taskmaster and overlord but He’s not…God is a loving Father who created man to belong to His family and bear His name. He sent His Word (His Son, Jesus the Name that is above all others) to break the curse of sin and death and pay the full price of our freedom to choose to return to Him in love. He wants our whole heart and He sent His Eternal Word (The Living Son of God) in the likeness of man to lay down His life for the sake of ours. This is the ultimate price; this is the more excellent way.
Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31
Who is your neighbor? The ones that God places in your way as you walk with Him heading homeward. Jesus said, “You are my friends if you do as I say.”
So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. James 4:17
But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do,
what God is looking for in men and women.
It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor,
be compassionate and loyal in your love,
And don’t take yourself too seriously—
take God seriously.
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
Loving others shows we belong to Him! Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.
But always seek to excel in the greater gifts. And now I will point out to you a way of life which transcends all others.
Ecclesiastes 9:18, “Wisdom is better than weapons of war.”
Father, enable me to see people as You see them. I thank You for Your perfect example of looking past the outward appearance of those You encountered, so that You could truly minister to their hearts. Abba Daddy, I want to be like You! Develop this characteristic in me, that I might see people as You do in Christ. Amen
Micah 3:8, “But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.”
When We Practice Real Love
My dear children, let’s not just talk about love;
let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves. 1 John 3:18-20
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.”
2 Corinthians 10:3-6
For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love. -Galatians 5:6
It is not our caring or even our loving, as important as they are, that will produce results in the difficult circumstances.
It is ONLY GOD who can do that. And God reaches down to intervene in RESPONSE to our praying.
Every person who believes that Jesus is, in fact, the Messiah, is God-begotten. If we love the One who conceives the child, we’ll surely love the child who was conceived. The reality test on whether or not we love God’s children is this: Do we love God? Do we keep his commands? The proof that we love God comes when we keep his commandments and they are not at all troublesome.
The Power That Brings the World to Its Knees
Every God-begotten person conquers the world’s ways. The conquering power that brings the world to its knees is our faith. The person who wins out over the world’s ways is simply the one who believes Jesus is the Son of God.
Jesus—the Divine Christ! He experienced a life-giving birth and a death-killing death. Not only birth from the womb, but baptismal birth of his ministry and sacrificial death. And all the while the Spirit is confirming the truth, the reality of God’s presence at Jesus’ baptism and crucifixion, bringing those occasions alive for us. A triple testimony: the Spirit, the Baptism, the Crucifixion. And the three in perfect agreement.
If we take human testimony at face value, how much more should we be reassured when God gives testimony as he does here, testifying concerning his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God inwardly confirms God’s testimony. Whoever refuses to believe in effect calls God a liar, refusing to believe God’s own testimony regarding his Son.
This is the testimony in essence: God gave us eternal life; the life is in his Son. So, whoever has the Son, has life; whoever rejects the Son, rejects life.
The Reality, Not the Illusion
My purpose in writing is simply this: that you who believe in God’s Son will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life, the reality and not the illusion. And how bold and free we then become in his presence, freely asking according to his will, sure that he’s listening. And if we’re confident that he’s listening, we know that what we’ve asked for is as good as ours.
For instance, if we see a Christian believer sinning (clearly I’m not talking about those who make a practice of sin in a way that is “fatal,” leading to eternal death), we ask for God’s help and he gladly gives it, gives life to the sinner whose sin is not fatal. There is such a thing as a fatal sin, and I’m not urging you to pray about that. Everything we do wrong is sin, but not all sin is fatal.
1 John 5:1-17
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16