To conclude this series on underpinnings to our freedom, let me relate a personal incident.
When I moved out of South Carolina to go to Seminary, I did not have to change my driver’s license. I was a student still residing in South Carolina. However, when I took my first church in Georgia, I had to make the change. Then two years later, I had to take a South Carolina written test. One question stood out to me.
You are driving on a newly paved road that has no lines painted on it. Which should you do?
a. Drive anywhere you want to.
b. Drive with one wheel on the pavement and one on the shoulder.
c. Drive straight down the middle.
d. Drive as if the lines were still painted there.
I knew “A” was not the answer. The test had been made by older people and the older folks I’d known didn’t let you do anything you wanted to.
“B” was not the case either since the shoulder has objects that could puncture tires.
“C” wasn’t an option since it would result in head-on collisions.
That left “D” as the logical answer. If everyone drove as if the lines were there, everyone would be safe.
We live in a society that once had the Christian principles written large everywhere we looked. However, the lines of God’s law are now erased. “How, then should we live?”
We cannot live anyway we want to. We cannot live recklessly. We can and must live as if the lines were still there. Thus, we will suffer no harm by living according to God’s word and law. Psalm One puts before us two ways to live and the results for each.
Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.
I end with a prayer from the words of an old Puritan divine—
[O] Eternal Source,
Author of all created being and happiness,
[We] adore [You] for making [us] capable of religion,
That [all] may be taught to say:
‘Where is God [our] Maker, who gives songs in the night?’
But degeneracy has spread over our human race,
Turning glory into shame,
Rendering us forgetful of [You].
We know it is [Your] power alone
That can recall wandering children,
Can impress on them a sense of Divine things,
And can render that sense lasting and effectual;
From [You] proceed all good purposes and desires,
And the defusing of piety and happiness.
[You have] knowledge of [our] soul’s secret principles,
And [are] aware of [our] desire to spread the Gospel.
Make [us almsgivers] to give [Your]
Bounties to the indigent,
Comfort to the mentally ill,
Restoration to the sin-diseased,
Hope to the despairing,
Joy to the sorrowing,
Love to the prodigals.
Blow away the ashes of unbelief by [Your] Spirit’s breath
And give [us] light, fire, and warmth of love.
[We] need spiritual comforts
That are gentle, peaceful, mild, refreshing,
That will melt [us] into conscious lowliness before [You],
That will make [us] feel and rest in [You] as [our] All.
Fill the garden of [our souls] with the wind of love,
That the scents of the Christian life may be wafted to others;
Then come and gather the fruits to [Your] glory.
So shall [we] fulfill the great end of [our] being-
To glorify [You] and be a blessing to men…
I add these words to the old Puritan’s—
And, may God Almighty—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—bless us. May He preserve our freedom for all time unto future generations. And, may God save our beloved nation from an atheistic life lived in prosperity while forgetting God, our Maker and Sustainer. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Next time: an extended Series on the “Revelation of Jesus Christ,” the last book of our New Testament.
© 2019 C. Richard Barbare All Rights Reserved