Author Archives: Pastor Tommy

About Pastor Tommy

Pastor Tommy is the senior pastor of Cross Community Church (PCA) in Deerfield Beach, FL. Rev. Tommy Boland is his official title. Pastor Tommy often seems too formal. Most everyone calls him "Coach".

Audacious Asking

“Ask and it will be given to you.” (Matthew 7:7)

The dictionary definition of the word audacious can be both positive and negative. On the negative side, it can mean reckless and inappropriate; on the positive side, it means a willingness to take bold risks, and I believe that is exactly what Jesus had in mind when He commanded us to come into His presence and “ask.”

What have you been asking Jesus for lately?

The Bible is full of examples of God’s people practicing audacious asking for a variety of different reasons. Here are just a few examples:

“Show me your glory” (Moses in Exodus 33:18).

“Enlarge my borders” (Jabez in 1 Chronicles 4:10).

“Rabbi, I want to see” (The blind man in Mark 10:51).

“My daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her” (Jairus in Mark 5:23).

People often tell me that they find audacious asking difficult to do. They offer many reasons for their reluctance: Some have been convinced that God is not that interested in showing up in a big way in their lives. Others are fearful that God’s answer will be “No” and their faith will be crushed. Still others are not sure their audacious asking would actually be the will of God for their lives. If this describes you in any way — or perhaps there are other reasons circulating in your mind right now — take a moment to marinate in these words from Jesus.

“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a serpent? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:11-13)

Jesus was teaching His disciples about prayer, and here He made a profound statement that has encouraged me many times over the years to ask audaciously: “How much more.” Jesus reminds us that earthly fathers, though flawed and sinful, still try to do what is best for their children. How much more will our perfect Father in heaven treat all of His children well and how much more does He desire that we come into His presence with big, bold, and audacious prayers? Jesus paints a powerful picture of a God who not only allows “audacious asking,” He expects it, He invites it, and He is ready, willing, and able to answer, no matter how audacious our request seems to be.

Remember, if what we are asking audaciously is not His will, He will not give it to us. The bottom line is that audacious asking is not so much about His answer, but rather it is about our attitude. Our audacious asking demonstrates both our great need and the greatness of our God, because all things are possible with Him.

What do you need to ask of your God today? Ask and it will be given to you . . . either what you asked for or something immeasurably more than all you could have asked or imagined (Ephesians 3:20).

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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Help Is Always On The Way!

Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper.” (John 14:15)

With only a few hours left to complete His earthly ministry before going to the cross, Jesus made an amazing promise to His disciples, both then and now: “Help is on the way.” But wait; Jesus was about to leave His disciples and return to His Father in heaven, so how in the world could this promise be true?

The Help that Jesus promised is none other than the third person of the Holy Trinity. Jesus assured all His followers that when He returned to His throne in heaven we would not be left alone, because He would send His Holy Spirit to dwell within us (John 16:7). He repeated this promise immediately before His Ascension: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you” (Acts 1:8).

We must never forget that this power that has been promised to us is a Person who will comfort and counsel us, guide and govern us, love us and lead us, protect us and provide for us; rebuke and restore us. For all those who place their trust in Christ alone for salvation, Help is always on the way. In some English translations, the Greek word parakletos is rendered as “Counselor,” rather than “Helper.” Both words should be a source of great encouragement to you and me. Our Helper-Counselor is the very presence of God, in the person of the Holy Spirit, who has promised to go before us, go behind us, go beside us, and most importantly, go within us. We are able to appropriate this all-powerful Helper by faith to cause us to live a life that is pleasing to God and beneficial to all those with whom we come in contact.

Here is an important biblical point to remember about our Helper: Beginning at Pentecost (Acts 2), the Holy Spirit has been poured out on all believers in the exact same amount. It is unbiblical to believe that some believers are endowed with a greater measure of the Holy Spirit after having reached some supposed higher level of spirituality. This simply is not true, and such thinking sets up a dividing wall within the body of Christ. There are no “super-spiritual saints” in the body of Christ; the ground is level at the foot of the cross. “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body” (1 Corinthians 12:13), and we are all equally endowed with the same gift of the Holy Spirit.

To be sure, the Holy Spirit has been active from before the beginning of time; Genesis 1:2 tells us that the Spirit hovered over the waters that covered the earth prior to creation. Throughout the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit was on the move in the lives of many. But after Pentecost, the full measure of the Holy Spirit has been poured out on every Christian believer . . . and that includes you.

Have you been living in the power of your promised Helper? Remember, the best way to get to know someone is to spend time with him. Spend time with your Helper by staying in the Word and on your knees. Whatever help you are in need of today, you will receive it from the Helper who is with you and had promised to never leave nor forsake you.

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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Something To Think About

He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. (Mark 8:23-25)

Mark’s account of the healing of the blind man brings a question to mind for many of us: Why did Jesus heal the man in a two-step process? The Gospel accounts often show Jesus healing with just a word (Luke 18:35), healing instantly (Mark 1:42), even healing from a distance (John 4:50). So why did Jesus engage in a protracted healing of this man? Could it be that Jesus was teaching us a deeper lesson on physical and spiritual healing, showing us that restoration can (and often does) take time in our lives? We cannot answer with certainty because Scripture does not tell us, but we do know that our Lord’s method of healing this blind man was both intentional and purposeful, for the Word of God does not return to Him empty (Isaiah 55:11). Surely that gives us something to think about, wouldn’t you agree?

We can be sure that the first part of the healing Jesus administered did not fall short of the intended goal of a total restoration of the man’s sight. So again I ask, why the two-step process in healing this blind man when all Jesus needed to do was simply speak sight back into this man? I believe that this account provides another wonderful example of the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth being put on display in Scripture. This is nothing more and nothing less than an historical account of the life and ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. When we read biblical narratives like this, we should be strengthened in our confident belief that we are reading faithfully true eyewitness testimony of what happened. For those skeptics who write the Bible off as a collection of myths, these stories provide a powerful response to such objections.

In closing, let me give you one more thing to think about. When Jesus asked the man what he saw after his first stage of healing, the man responded that he saw people who “look like trees walking around.” I believe that the Spirit of God wants us to understand that until we are completely healed of our spiritual blindness — a healing which will not be completed on this side of the grave — none of us can see with anything close to perfect clarity. I often remind our congregation that there is only One who speaks from Sinai; the rest of us are flawed and sinful. We all have some parts of our theology wrong, and we will only fully understand the truth when we cross the Jordan and stand in His presence. Until then, we must remember that we are all afflicted with spiritual myopia; our understanding is distorted, and we see the Scriptures, ourselves, and those around us “like trees walking around.”

When we keep this biblical understanding in view, we are more likely to be kind, compassionate, and loving to those who may not see things like we see them. Now that is something to think about!

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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The Master Mind-Opener

Then Jesus opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. (Luke 22:45)

What a glorious promise we have in our passage today! After Jesus rose from the dead, He presented Himself to His disciples and the Master Mind-Opener gave them wisdom and insight so that they could truly understand how all of the Scriptures (which only consisted of the Hebrew Scriptures at that time) were all about Him.

What the disciples had previously believed to be rules and regulations, they now understood as a relationship with their Redeemer. What they had previously observed as the Jewish sacrificial system, they now saw fulfilled in Jesus, the Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world. They had previously thought that the Temple in Jerusalem was the center of Jewish life, but now they understood that they were living in the presence of the True Temple of God.

The only way for you and I to understand all of this Gospel truth is for the Master Mind-Opener to open our minds to receive it. When Jesus opens our minds, we are able to come to the Law without any fear and trepidation, for we understand that Jesus fulfilled all of the Law for us. When we read through the prophets and all of the judgments spoken through them to God’s people, we rightly see how our Lord took all of God’s judgment upon Himself in our place as He hung on that cross and died for our sins. When we read through the myriad of promises from God throughout all of the Scriptures, we now see that our Master Mind-Opener is the “Yes” and “Amen” to each and every one of them (2 Corinthians 1:20).

Before the Master opens our minds, we pause with a bit of uncertainty, unsure whether we are free to cry and confess and even confront our God as the psalmists did. But when Jesus opens the mind, our pause is turned into proclamation, because our God has invited us to share everything we are going through with Him in the most raw and real way. In the end, when our minds are fully open to the truths of the Gospel, we see Scripture — all of Scripture — as a single story of God’s unfolding plan of redemption that finds its fulfillment in our loving Lord, Jesus Christ.   

Have you had this kind of encounter with the Master Mind-Opener? Does Jesus show up for you on every page of Scripture? Can you feel His presence, regardless of the portion of Scripture you are reading and meditating on? Remember, the Word became flesh and came into this world, not just to save you from your sins, but to bring you into an intimate, personal relationship with Him. Jesus loves you. Jesus cares for you. Jesus wants you to know you can come to Him for anything, day or night, knowing that He is ready, willing, and able to meet you in your deepest place of need. Now that is an open mind that nothing in this world can close!

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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Should We Forget? Or Remember?

Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord. (Lamentations 3:40)

On Monday we basked in the blessing of knowing that our God is in the business of forgetting our sins . . . all of our sins. Today I want to take a brief look at what we are supposed to do with our past sins. Should we forget them? Or should we remember?

Should We Forget Past Sins?

Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)

For Paul, looking back at his past would undoubtedly have been very painful. As Saul of Tarsus, he persecuted the early Christian church, arresting those who were followers of Jesus Christ, putting them into prison, and even killing Christians. He had held the coats of those who were murdering Stephen and looked on with approval. Then Jesus Christ confronted Saul on the Damascus Road, asking him, “Why do you persecute me?” (Acts 9:4). Jesus raised Saul from death to life, and Paul knew what he had done to the Christians.

It would have been easy for Paul to be paralyzed by his painful past. If Paul had been unable or unwilling to forget what was behind him, he would never have been able to press on toward the goal that lay ahead: the new calling that God had placed in his life as the preacher and pastor of the church.

Should We Remember Past Sins?

Remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. (Ephesians 2:12).

Here Paul tells us to never forget when we were separated from our Savior. This is not intended to paralyze us, but rather to propel us into our promised future. When we remember what we were before Jesus showed up, we are to be both humbled and encouraged because of the grace God has freely and lavishly poured into our lives. I’m reminded here of the lovely old prayer: “Lord, I ain’t what I ought to be; I ain’t what I want to be; and I ain’t what I’m gonna be. But, oh, thank God! I ain’t what I used to be.” We remember our past sins and rejoice in the amazing grace of God.

I’ve said it here before; the best way I know to frame out the truth about forgetting and remembering is to treat our past as a school. We are to learn from our past — which requires us to remember — but we are never to live in our past — and that requires us to forget. By remembering the past, we take the lesson and the move on, leaning into our promised future, leaving behind the sin that has been nailed to the cross of Christ. Because God remembers for our good and forgets for our good, we too must remember for our good and forget for out good, in order that we can live lives that manifest the love of God to others.

So how are you doing at both forgetting and remembering? The apostle Paul tells us that getting good at both will ultimately be for our good and for God’s glory.

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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Remember His Forgetting!

Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more. (Hebrews 10:17)

One of the most important aspects of growing in the Christian faith is remembering His forgetting. Now, we should not think about this as if God is forgetful in the Way that you and I forget where we left our car keys or sunglasses. God’s forgetting is nothing like that at all. God “forgets” our sins because He chooses to regard us as if those sins had never been committed. When God says, “I will remember your sins no more,” He is telling us that His forgetting is a deliberate, intentional act of permanently putting our sinful acts away from His sight, because they have all been covered by the blood of His precious Son.

Hebrews 10:17 is by no means at isolated verse of Scripture. Consider:

I will not remember your sins. (Isaiah 43:25)

I will remember their sin no more. (Jeremiah 31:34)

I will remember their sins no more. (Hebrews 8:12)

Over and over again, God reminds us that all our sins — past, present, and future — have been paid for through the cross work of Christ. When we “remember His forgetting,” we are to be gripped by the following Gospel truths:

  • God will not rehearse our sins
  • God will not relive our sins
  • God will not revive our sins
  • God will not recreate our sins

The good news of the Gospel is that we have been fully and freely forgiven, and God will never speak of our sins again. Remember, Paul tells us that “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Don’t miss that word “now.” Because we are in Christ, by grace through faith, right now and forevermore, there is no condemnation because Jesus took all our condemnation away and nailed it to the cross (Colossians 2:14). Jesus was judged in our place. He took our scourging. He took our crown of thorns. He took our nails. He took our cross. He took our death. And on that third day, God vindicated His beloved Son by raising Him from the dead. When Jesus cried out from the cross, “It is finished,” He meant exactly what He said! Our sin debt to God the Father has been paid in full by God the Son. Christian, never forget His faithfulness to forgetfulness.

Once we have fully absorbed the truth that our God chooses to forget our sins, we should spend some time considering a very important question: Should we, as disciples of our Savior, forget our sins (Philippians 3:13-14) . . . or remember them (Ephesians 2:11-12)? I’d like to share some insights on these ideas on Wednesday. Until then, as you continue walking by faith and not by sight, remember His forgetting!  

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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He Has Sealed the Deal

You also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14)

It’s likely you’ve heard the phrase, “The only things certain in life are death and taxes.” Inasmuch as history seems to suggest that Benjamin Franklin is not the originator of this saying, I submit these words in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Le Roy in 1789. Many consider this to be the last great quote that came from the highly quotable Franklin:

Our new Constitution is now established, everything seems to promise it will be durable; but, in this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes.

No matter who coined the phrase, the fatalistic “death and taxes” adage acknowledges the inevitability of death in this life, which is the only way to avoid the burden of paying taxes. For the Christian, however, there is much more that we can be certain about in this life, and we need look no further than today’s passage of Scripture to find certainty. Paul was telling the Christians at Ephesus that the Holy Spirit is God’s “seal of approval,” and that we, by grace through faith, are members of His family of faith.

Believing in Christ means we belong to Christ. The Holy Spirit, whom Jesus promised to all believers, is like a down payment — a deposit if you will — guaranteeing the inheritance that God has given us. Nothing in either life or death can take that away from us.

I like to say it this way God has sealed the deal by way of His gift of the Holy Spirit. We have the firstfruits of a promised future beyond this life that no circumstance can disrupt or dislodge us from. And we must understand that God’s assurance contains no obscure, fine-print warning that He will suddenly spring on us when we come to the end of this life. We can rest assured that God will bring the good work He began in us to completion.

“The Lord will fulfill [his purpose] for me,” David wrote; “your love, O Lord, endures forever” (Psalm 138:8). No weapon formed against us, including our own sinful rebellion, can ever or will ever cause our God to “revoke the warranty” on His promises to us. Peter used language very much like Paul’s to underscore this truth:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5)

Christian, your eternal future is shielded and kept by God’s power. As you think about your life, right now, right where this finds you, is it not a great encouragement to know that God has set you apart for all eternity? Jesus has sealed the amazing, gracious deal of our divine destiny by the shedding of His precious blood on your behalf. May our hearts be gripped by God’s amazing grace, and may the lives we live thus be always and only to the praise of His glory!

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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Personal, Not Private

God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and . . . He went around doing good . . . (Acts 10:38)

To be a disciple of Christ is to know Him, to love Him, to serve Him, and to submit and surrender to Him personally. But let me quickly add that all of this — all of our relationship with Jesus Christ — is to be lived out publicly, not privately. We are never to say, “It’s Jesus and me, not Jesus and we!”

I often remind our congregation that inasmuch as we are saved individually, we are saved to community. Not only that, the community that we have been saved to is a community that has been called to carry out a cosmic mission to go into all the world and make disciples of every nation. Yes, our salvation and being a disciple of Christ is indeed personal — Jesus has numbered every hair on our heads and knows our prayers even before we utter them (Matthew 10:30, 6:8) — but our gracious, saving God does not intend for our faith to be a private affair.

Do you remember when Jesus appeared on the beach after His resurrection and reinstated Peter for ministry? Notice the language Jesus used:

“Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” [Peter] said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” (John 21:15)

Jesus asked Peter the same question a total of three times: “Do you love me?” After Peter responded in the affirmative each time, effectively erasing his three craven denials of Jesus the night before His crucifixion, Jesus them commanded Peter to make his love for Him known. The love that Peter had for Jesus, a love which had started out personally by the Sea of Galilee some three years earlier, was never to be lived out privately. “Feed my lambs,” Jesus told him. “Feed my sheep.”

The same command has been given to every disciple of Christ. As the Reformers would say, “We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone.” When Jesus was asked what is the greatest commandment, He made it clear that loving God is at the top of the list. But He did not stop there; He went on to share the second commandment: Love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:28-31). Beloved, we simply cannot live out what Jesus commands by keeping our faith private!

So, in looking at how you are living out your faith today, would it best be described as, “Jesus and me” or “Jesus and we”? The unbelieving world insists that our religion should be a “private matter,” and it wants Christians to keep their faith hidden away within the walls of the church building. But this is not what Jesus had in mind when He said, “Follow me.” Jesus had an intensely personal and private connection with His Father in heaven, which we see in the many instances of His time spent alone in prayer. But He lived that loving connection out publicly for the glory of God and the good of the people.

Jesus went around doing good. May this be the confession of our lives.  

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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When Work Is Worship

God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.” {Genesis 1:28}

If you found out today that a long-lost relative had passed away and left you ten million dollars, would you go to work tomorrow? Most people, including most Christians, would answer that question with an emphatic, “No way!” Why? Because a great many people see work as no more than a means to an end, and that “end” is the end of each week when they can say “Thank God it’s Friday!” As the 1980’s song goes, “Everybody’s working for the weekend” . . . including most Christians.

This was not always the case. The early Christians saw their work as an act of worship to God. No matter what the work was, they knew if they were doing it to the best of their God-given ability for the glory of God and the good of others, their work was worship. They understood that work work was a gift from God to Adam and Eve in the beginning. “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15) before Adam’s terrible act of treachery in Eden. Work was not a result of man’s fall into sin in the Garden of Eden; work is in no way part of the curse. Work was the primary way that mankind, as image-bearers of God, were to reflect His image in this world.

Nancy Pearcey explained it this way in her book Total Truth:

In Genesis, God gives what we might call the first job description: “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it.” The first phrase, “Be fruitful and multiply” means to develop the social world: build families, churches, schools, cities, governments, laws. The second phrase, “Subdue the earth,” means to harness the natural world: plant crops, build bridges, design computers, compose music. This passage is sometimes called the Cultural Mandate because it tells us that our original purpose was to create cultures, build civilizations – nothing less.

Our God is a working God who created everything and continues His work by sustaining everything (Hebrews 1:3). As His image-bearers, we are called to live out the Cultural Mandate in every possible sphere of life. Every kind of job matters to God when we are doing it to expand the cause of His kingdom. Cleaning a house, cultivating a garden, practicing law, digging a ditch, driving an Uber, building a home, baking bread, waiting on tables, stocking store shelves, and on and on — all work is worship when it is performed for the glory of God.

The problem today is that the church has lost sight of this biblical truth and has instead bought in to the notion of the so-called “sacred/secular split.” Those who labor under this misconception believe that all the jobs I mentioned in the previous paragraph belong in the category of “secular,” while only those jobs inside the church or parachurch organizations are “sacred” and truly doing the work of God. This is simply not true!

Your work matters to God — no matter what that work is — when you perform it to the best of your ability for His glory. If we understand the Cultural Mandate rightly, we will see that the fundamental hallmark of authentic Christianity is to perform any and every job for the glory of God and the expansion of His kingdom. That is when our work is worship.

Jesus came into this world and spent much of His life as a carpenter; Paul was a tentmaker. Only when we understand our work — all work — as worship will we begin to influence and impact our culture for the glory of God and the expansion of His Kingdom as we bear His image to everyone who sees our witness in our work.

So let me ask you . . . How do you see your work? Work is a wonderful way to worship!

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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Pledging Allegiance

This Sunday is the Fourth of July, a time for food, fellowship, and fireworks. But it is a time for so much more for the Christian. July Fourth is a day for us to reflect on and remember that the United States is a nation that was founded, rooted, and established on Christian principles. Regardless of what you hear politicians, the liberal media, or history revisionists saying today, our great nation was founded on Christian principles and the freedom to worship the God who is: the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Don’t take my word for it; read the words of our founding fathers. 

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. The Declaration of Independence.

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. George Washington

It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians, not on religion but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Patrick Henry

To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys. In proportion as the genuine effects of Christianity are diminished in any nation, . . . in the same proportion will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom, and approximate the miseries of complete despotism. Jedidiah Morse

Our founding fathers not only pledged allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, they pledged allegiance to their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. In this they echoed the inspired and infallible words of the apostle Paul:

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loves me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

The founders’ ultimate allegiance was to the Almighty. They were devoted to Him. They were dedicated to Him.  They were committed to Him. Their entire existence was rooted in their right relationship with their Redeemer. And that, beloved, is to be the confession of the lives of all those Christians who pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and every other Christian around the world, regardless of what nation they pledge allegiance to. 

On the day that we in the United States of America commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, which proclaimed our independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain on July 4, 1776, let us reaffirm our own declaration of dependence upon our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and His sovereign rule in our lives. Jesus is to be our first priority in both life and death.  He is to be our safety in the storm. He is to be our peace in times of trouble. He is to be our portion in times of need. He is to be our All in all.     

There is no greater declaration for the Christian to make and honor than the one made to the King of kings and the Lord of lords. When we declare ourselves to be His, we acknowledge that we are no longer our own. We have been bought at a price no man can measure. The very Son of God was nailed to a dirty tree, crucified between two criminals, and took on the wrath and judgment of God the Father to pay the penalty for every one of our sins — past, present, and still to come. We are His and no other’s, and He will tolerate no rival for our affections. 

So as you enjoy your Fourth of July celebration with family and friends on Sunday, I hope you’ll take time out to give thanks to the One who purchased your independence from sin, Satan, and death. Jesus Christ has brought you out of darkness into His marvelous light to remain with Him forever and ever, world without end.     

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race.  NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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