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Re-Committing to the Ideals of Freedom

Patriotism Freedom Racism

Source: "What Abraham Lincoln thought about Fourth of July, Declaration of Independence" By Rich Lowry, Published July 03, 2013, FoxNews.com

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-07-05

Scripture: Revelation 2:4 ; Galatians 5:1

Author: Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

Abe Lincoln had an unparalleled love for the Declaration of Independence, yet he mourned what had become of the celebration of Independence Day. "In a letter in 1855 despairing of ending slavery," reports Rich Lowry of Fox News, "Lincoln wrote to the Kentuckian George Robertson that 'the fourth of July has not quite dwindled away; it is still a great day--for burning fire-crackers!!!'"

He longed for our country to celebrate and recommit to the ideals of the founding fathers--that all men are created equal. Lowry reports:

In his great anti-slavery speech in Peoria in 1854, he said, “I love the sentiments of those old time men.” …

Lincoln wanted to catch the falling flag of our patriotic patrimony. Lincoln urged that we “re-adopt” the Declaration, as he put it at Peoria. The road to salvation ran through 1776, he argued in one passage: “Our republican robe is soiled, and trailed in the dust. Let us re-purify it. Let us turn and wash it white, in the spirit, if not the blood, of the Revolution.”

In the pursuit for freedom, Lincoln feared that our country had lost its first love, neglecting at best, and defying at worst, the principles of liberty for all.

APPLICATION

If the pursuit of political freedom is to be celebrated and commemorated, how much more should be the pursuit of spiritual freedom! Yet as a church, and as individual members of that church, we continually run the risk of losing our first love. Our robe of righteousness is all too easily "soiled and trailed in the dust." We must "re-purify" it. We must "wash it white, in the spirit, if not in the blood," of Lamb God who takes away the sins of the world.

In Christ we are all created equal and free, and our great calling is bringing that message of equality and freedom in Christ to every generation. 

"But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent …" (Revelation 2:4-5, NASB).

"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8:36). "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" (Galatians 5:1).

Waving The Flag of Faith

Influence Witness Patriotism

Source: U.S. Dept. of Commerce United States Census

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-07-02

Scripture: Matthew 28:19 ; Mark 16:15

Author: Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

In 2012, the dollar value of U.S. imports of American flags was $3.8 million. The vast majority of this amount ($3.6 million) was for U.S. flags made in China.

Conversely, that same year, the dollar value of U.S. flags exported was only $614,115. Mexico was the leading customer, purchasing $188,824 worth.

APPLICATION

One has to wonder how long America can continue to prosper when it no longer exports even the most basic symbols of Americana. The same could be asked of the Church. Does the Church continue to influence the world more than the world influences the Church?

From the very beginning Jesus made it clear that the mission and commission of the Church was to export the Gospel to the ends of the earth. "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit …" (Matthew 28:19; c.f. Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47). "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8).

This Fourth of July, as we see those imported American Flags flapping in the breeze, let's wave our flags of faith, recommitting ourselves to exporting the genuine Gospel message into our neighborhoods, our towns and cities, and "to the ends of the earth."

These Boots Were Made For Preaching

Preaching Rememberance Inspiration

Contributed By: Corey Sawyers | Date Posted: 2019-02-16

Scripture: Romans 10:15 ; Matthew 26:22

Author: Corey Sawyers
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ILLUSTRATION

"I see you always wear boots when you preach." That was the statement made to me by a member at the South Stokes Church of Christ in King, NC. I was holding a meeting for them that week, and on the last night of the meeting, he and his wife had taken my bride and me to supper.

"Yes sir," I replied, "that is pretty much all I wear." He asked me what size I wore and I told him. He went on to explain that he had a brand new pair of Justin Ropers he wanted me to try. After services that evening I tried them on for size, and they fit. When I asked what he wanted for them, he said, "They are yours." As it turns out, he and his wife had bought them for their son's birthday the previous year. Their son, who was about my age, was killed in an automobile accident and they never got to give him those boots.

"Knowing you will be wearing them when you preach the Gospel would mean the world to me," he said.

APPLICATION

In Exodus 13:3-10, the Almighty gave the Feast of the Passover to His people to remind them of what He had done, and to remind them to be faithful because of His blessing. In Genesis 28:18ff, Jacob anointed a stone to remind him of his vows to God. In Joshua 22, the tribes on the East side of the Jordan built a memorial for their sons to remind themselves of their responsibilities as God's children. In I Samuel 7, Samuel set up a stone as a reminder of what the Lord had done. 

Of course, we also have such a memorial. In Matthew 26:22ff, Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper as a reminder of His sacrifice: a reminder that should stir us to be faithful. Perhaps there are other things you have accumulated that help reminds you of the importance of being faithful to God. Be it a Bible from a deceased family member, a picture of your baptism, or some other item that reminds you of your walk with the Lord. Cherish those subtle reminders and allow them to help you to remember. 

Every time I put on those Justin Ropers I am reminded again of the precious gift that was given to me by two grieving parents. Every time I put them on, I am also reminded of the expectations of a father that I would be faithful to the Lord and His ministry while I wear them. It is one more reminder from the Father, who expects me to be faithful to Him and the ministry He has given me!

"How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!" (Romans 10:15).

The Half-Life Of Facts

Truth Cultural Trends Gospel

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-11-27

Scripture: Isaiah 40:8 ; Matthew 5:18

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Where Have All The Bibles Gone?

Cultural Trends Faith Hardness of Heart

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-03-22

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Say It With Beef

Men's Concerns Cultural Trends Valentine's Day

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-03-17

Scripture: John 15:12

Author: Illustration Exchange
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iPhone Solves All Of Your Problems

Servanthood Spiritual Gifts Cultural Trends

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-08-07

Scripture: Matthew 20:28

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Christianity Is Inconvenient

Discipleship Laziness Cultural Trends

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-05-13

Scripture: Matthew 16:24 ; Galatians 6:1

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Crime Does Pay

Motivation God's Love Cultural Trends

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-04-23

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:14

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Human Life, Made To Order

Human Worth Mortality Cultural Trends

Contributed By: John Rollyson | Date Posted: 2016-03-24

Scripture: Genesis 1:27 ; Luke 12:7

Author: John Stonestreet
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