Checkout our new digital library

If We Can Keep Them

For the next several weeks, we will have guest authors for our Words for Wednesday. Today our guest author is Todd Sorrell. Enjoy!

If We Can Keep Them

Tomorrow is Independence Day when we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776. But our current form of government came many years later when the Constitution was ratified by the States. Along that journey was a day in 1787 when a similar group of men who had been meeting again in Philadelphia signed the Constitution and sent it to the States for ratification. It was Sept. 17 and Benjamin Franklin uttered one of my favorite quotes from the founding era. As he was leaving the proceedings that day he was asked by Elizabeth Willing Powel, "Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?". He replied, "A republic, if you can keep it!". These days I don't feel like we are doing a particularly good job of keeping it.

Franklin clearly pointed out that the citizens of this republic would have to choose what to do with the gift they had been given. Similarly, we as citizens of Heaven have to choose what we will do with the gifts Christ secured for us at Calvary. If we have claimed Christ as our Savior and Lord then certainly there are some gifts, such as eternal life that we cannot lose. But there are others that, while we tarry here, we must choose to keep. Let's look at a couple of these.

One of the biggest gifts we have now is freedom from sin. Romans 6 makes is clear that before claiming Christ we were "slaves to sin". But now we are no longer slaves to sin but slaves to righteousness. Many of you have heard me say that we are no longer sinners, but saints who choose to sin. 1 Cor. 10:13 promises that God will not allow us to be tempted beyond our ability and that He will provide a way out of any temptation, but we must choose it. That is an amazing promise and gift, if we can keep it.

How about Joy? We are certainly encouraged to be joyful through direct instruction and by example over and over again. In 2 Cor. 8:2 we are told of Macedonian churches having both abundant joy and extreme poverty at the same time. James tells us to count the testing of our faith as joy. Joy is also part of the fruit of the spirit. So as Christians we have this as a gift, but do we keep it? Or do we too often take the worlds view toward our circumstances and thereby give up the joy that is ours in Christ Jesus.

What about love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? Do we choose to make use of these and to mature them through our actions and attitudes? I know that I constantly struggle to keep a Godly perspective about my circumstances and too often neglect what is mine through Christ. These gifts and others are ours in this life, this abundant life, if we can keep them.

These are your Words for Wednesday.

I pray you have a safe and fun holiday. iLove you all!

No Comments