Soaring Like Eagles

Eagle

Isaiah Lesson 8 Isaiah 40    Pastor Barry Bruce/ The Gathering 

Comfort for God’s People Isaiah 40:1-5, Jeremiah 29:10-13

It has been a rough 39 Chapters of prophecy throughout the book of Isaiah, but now the book moves towards a new theme—comfort for God’s people.  Isaiah is a book in three sections. Chapters 1-35 are prophetic, with the theme of condemnation     (judgment).  Chapters 36-39 are historic, and the theme is confiscation (Having ones property seized by way of a penalty.) Chapters 40-66 are messianic (about the Messiah), and the theme is consolation (the bringing of comfort).

We concluded our last lesson with Isaiah announcing the coming Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem, and the exile of the nation. “The announcement that the Babylonians would someday capture Jerusalem and take the people into exile was a bitter blow, but God had spoken and judgment was on the way. Yet, although God’s mighty hand of discipline was coming upon Jerusalem, He already had the plans laid out for their redemption and forgiveness.  In the same way, take heart Christian, although you may be going through tough times in your life (and God may indeed allow you to go through them) He already knows your future and has laid out His plans for “good.”  

28. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. What, then, shall we say in response to these things? 31. If God is for us, who can be against us? 37. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39. neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.   Romans 8:28, 31, 37-39

The Prophet Jeremiah would later come and speak to the Jews regarding the duration of their exile in Babylon.  Seventy years was the decree and then God would bring them back to their land, and as history would prove— He did just that.  This time is likely marked from 586 (when Solomon’s temple was destroyed) to 516 (when Zerubbabel’s temple was completed). 

 Isaiah prophesied that Comfort was coming to God’s people…comfort always comes to those who seek God through the hard times.  Although we may be in the midst of trouble our faith in God’s promised hope will pull us through.  As they waited for their exile to come to an end , we wait for a time when Christ will rule and reign. 

The “double portion” of  payment for Israel’s Sin  that Isaiah speaks of is referring to the 1.) exile that they brought upon themselves through their disobedience to God and  2.) the payment in blood that Christ would make on behalf of all of mankind’s sin.  Without Christ eternal judgment for sin would result.  God’s grace to redeem mankind through Christ is a reflection of His ultimate grace and mercy.

Isaiah 40:3-5 is a reference to John the Baptist who would proclaim the coming of Christ. Matthew 3:1-3, John 122-23 He is our ultimate hope and redeemer:

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God– John 1:12

No One Is Like Our God Isaiah 40:6-27 (selected Passages)

Like all humans who go through trials, Israel groaned and complained.  In these passages God speaks to remind them both of who He is and who they are:

Isaiah 40:6-8   People wither and fade/  God endures forever

Isaiah 40:9-24   People are as nothing and so are their gods/ God is enthroned above the circle of the earth. Yes, “circle” (lit. “Sphere”) Before Columbus set out to prove the world was not flat God already proclaimed it.

Isaiah 40:25-27  Why does man complain?/ None is God’s equal: Look to Him!

Soar Like an Eagle! Isaiah 40:28-31

In conclusion, the prophet speaks rhetorically to his people.  “Do you not know?  Have you not heard?”  How about you?  How can we complain, how can we fear, how can we doubt when God has made it so clear that He will take care of those who trust in Him?  He urges His people once again to “hope in the Lord” and then we will “soar”, “run” and “walk”:  Notice the order, because it seems strange. First we mount up with wings like eagles. Then we run. Finally we walk. Does it seem out of order? Not at all. First, we recognize that we soar up into heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6). Then we set ourselves on the course to run the race (Hebrews 12:1). Then we are in the good place to walk the walk (Colossians 2:6).

An Important Note on Soaring   Zechariah 4:6

You need to know something about how eagles fly before you can truly understand what the basic gist of this analogy is all about.  An eagle is able to soar without the tiring effort of flapping their wings. Eagles patiently wait for what are called wind thermals to come up on them. A wind thermal is a big gust of wind that will rise up from the atmosphere. As a result of being able to learn how to fly like this, eagles are considered master fliers. They can fly to heights that no other bird can. In a storm an eagle will fly far above the clouds.

Just like the eagle has to learn how to fly on the wind thermals – we, as born-again, Spirit-filled Christians, need to learn how to fly on the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  We must hope, wait, pray, and move with His promptings.  To flap our wings is to wear ourselves out.  We can fly above the storms of life if we wait upon the Lord.

Remember…you’re an eagle so don’t flock with Turkeys…they live to die. We live to fly! (Soar)

“Good”(Prayer Changes Things)

Isaiah LessPrayon 7   Isaiah 36-39    Pastor Barry Bruce/ The Gathering 

 King Hezekiah (Short History) 

The name Hezekiah means “YHWH (God) strengthens” or “The strength of YHWH (God)”. King Hezekiah was one of the few righteous kings to reign in the southern kingdom of Judah. You can read about him in 2 Kings 18-20, Isaiah 36-39, and 2 Chronicles 29-32. Isaiah, Hosea, and Micah all prophesied during his reign. Hezekiah tore down the high places (pagan temples and idols), destroyed the bronze serpent of Moses that the people had worshiped (2 Kings 18:3-5) all in the first year of his reign! He also cleansed the Temple, and called the divided Jews back together by restoring the observance of Passover.

King Hezekiah was the son of the wicked King Ahaz. (2 Kings 16) But his mother, Abi or Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah trained him in righteousness.  When king Hezekiah died his son Manasseh became king and he did great evil in the sight of the Lord. He rebuilt all the idols his father removed and even sacrificed his own children to pagan gods.  He eventually repented, but after he died his son Amon became king and also did great evil.  Within two years Amon was assassinated and Hezekiah’s grandson, Josiah, became a good and righteous king like his grandfather was.

The Confidence of King Hezekiah  Isaiah 36:4-7, 11-15, 37:1

We pick up the story of King Hezekiah in the “fourteenth year” of his reign.  When the king of Assyria sent him a terrifying message via his messengers in front of the wall to his city (Assyrian armies had attacked all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them). The king’s prideful message taunted Hezekiah and questioned who he was depending on against Assyria’s might.  King Sennacerib thought Hezekiah was trusting in an alliance with Egypt or in the god’s of idols that he had removed thirteen years earlier, but Hezekiah’s hope was in the Lord.  Hezekiah’s men asked the messenger to deliver the message in Aramaic so that those Jews gathered on the wall could not understand the threat but the field commander shouted out the message in Hebrew in order to alarm the inhabitants of the city.  He began by telling them that they would be forced to eat their own excrement and drink their own urine.  Like the Devil, the Assyrian’s used fear to persuade surrender. Hezekiah was fearful, but in his fear he sought the Lord.  What do you do with your fear?

FEAR Proverbs 111:10, James 4:7, Ephesians 6:11, 2 Timothy 1:7

 “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself!”  Franklin D. Roosevelt

By saying this at his first inaugural address in 1933, FDR was telling the American people that their fear was making things worse. He went on to say, “nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”   By running to the banks and taking their money out Americans were causing more damage to the economy.  When we act impulsively on fear it always makes things worse.  When we fear (respect) God and follow His laws we resist the Devil and stand in defiance to him.  When we love God we put on His armor and He gives us His power and self-control. Then, and only then, will the Devil flee along with his armies of hell!  Hezekiah was scared enough to rip his garments in anguish at the announcement from the king of Assyria, but he knew where to go with his concerns and he believed that his God would deliver him and his people.

Prayer and Insolence Isaiah 37:5-7, 10-11, 14-20 , 21b, Matthew 7:6-8,

 Isaiah 37:26-29, 36-38

When we stand up against the Devil we should never expect him to just turn tail and run!  Likely there will be a face off, and so it was with Hezekiah.  Isaiah gave Hezekiah a “good” promise from the Lord (37:5-7) but the nasty king of Assyria sent more messengers to Hezekiah with new threats that ridiculed him and his God (37:10-11). Hezekiah prays again…this time on his face!  The Devil always mixes truth with a lie…and so do his people.  It was true that no gods had prevailed against Assyria’s attacks; however, in prayer, rather than panic, Hezekiah realizes that their gods were only wood and stone.  YHWH is the only one true and living God!  (37:15-20)

God also made it clear that the reason He was going to execute judgment on the prideful and arrogant king was because Hezekiah prayed (37:21b).  Prayer changes things.  So why wait so long before we engage in it?  No prayer—no power!  Jesus said to ask, to seek and to knock. The knocking part is the persistence and the self-control of praying. 

 Just as God told Hezekiah why He would be answering his prayer, He tells Hezekiah why the king of Assyria is about ready to be drawn like a magnet to his home country and slaughtered. “Because you rage against me and because your insolence (rude and disrespectful behavior) has reached my ears”.  A fool says in his heart there is no God. Psalm 14:1 The King of Assyria was a fool and he died like one: worshipping a false god in a cursed temple and slaughtered by his own sons for the greed of succeeding him as king.

“Good” Isaiah 38:1-2,7-8, 21, 39:6-8  James 5:16, Romans 8:28

God was moving on with His plan to destroy Assyria and to drive His rebellious children into Babylonian captivity. Despite Hezekiah’s “good” reign as king the people he reigned over were unfaithful and needed to be disciplined.  God would take Hezekiah home and judgment would commence, but Hezekiah prayed for healing so God granted him15 years of peace and prosperity demonstrated by his own shadow falling ten steps behind him. Thus, there was a blessing to a people that deserved a curse. See why we should vote for God fearing leaders? (So what’s happening in America?)

God’s plan of judgment would come in 15 years and He revealed that plan to Hezekiah.  “Good” was the kings response.  “Good” because Hezekiah understood that no one is “good” but God alone (Mark 10:18) and what He has declared will be as it is regardless of man’s attempts… accept through prayer and faithfulness.  And for these “all things do work together for “good”. Romans 8:28

The Word Of God Forever

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Isaiah Lesson 6: “The Word Of God Forever” Isaiah 15-35 Pastor Barry Bruce

Judgments  Isaiah 15-25-34 (Selected passages)

The chapters of Isaiah, 15-34, are a series of judgment prophecies given by Isaiah to nations that proudly rebelled against the laws of God and God’s people, the Israelites. God allowed these nations to rise and fall in order to discipline His wayward people; however, the fulfillment of each of these prophecies clearly demonstrates that God was in control even when things appeared completely out of control.  Proverbs 19:21

Throughout these prophecies, God clearly illustrates 1.) the purpose of His plan (to discipline His rebellious people who had chosen to trust in man rather than God), 2.) the reasons the nations fell (their own wickedness and rebellion to God), 3.) the promise of a coming Savior (messiah) who would save (redeem) God’s people, 4.) the eventual rebirth the nation (Israel/ Zion) of God’s chosen people into a forever prosperous and righteous kingdom that rules over all.  Below is a short overview of some of the highlights of these chapters:

 A Prophecy against Moab: Chapter 15-16

Moabites came from the incestuous union of Lot with his oldest daughter (Genesis 19:37). Moab was nation born in sin; however, Ruth was a Moabite and a godly woman who is even mentioned in the genealogy  of Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:5).  Although destruction in “three years” was decreed for Moab ,“the oppressor” ( Isaiah 16: 4, 14),  the promised Messiah, “from the house of David” (Jesus) would one day come in Love  and “speed the cause of righteousness” (Isaiah 15:4-5)  In three years Moab was captured by the Assyrians and destroyed.  The Moabite language, like the nation, is extinct. Today it is modern day central-western Jordan.

A Prophecy against Damascus: Chapter 17

God used Tiglath-pileser of Syria to destroy Damascus in 732 B.C. (2 Kings 16:9) He made it a “heap” — just like Isaiah predicted. The city did eventually come back, however, and is now even considered one of the oldest cities in the world. Isaiah said it would “no longer be a city”.  Perhaps Damascus will finally be obliterated in the last days and this prophecy will be completely fulfilled.

A Prophecy against Cush and Egypt: Chapter 18,19,20

In this prophecy God speaks against Israel’s alliance (then) with Egypt and how Assyria would enslave Cushites and Egyptians and lead them away naked in disgrace (illustrated by Isaiah’s three years of walking around and prophesying naked: Isaiah 20:2-5). This      occurred as prophesied, but Isaiah also said that God will eventually strike Egypt with a plague which would turn the nation to the Lord. Egyptians and Assyrians will one day worship together with Israel.  Egypt, Assyria and Israel will be a blessing upon the earth: Isaiah 19:22-25.  This will likely occur in the Millennial Kingdom when Christ reigns on the earth.

A Prophecy against Babylon, Edom, Arabia: Chapter 21

We studied Babylon extensively in Lesson 5.  Arabia:  We can only assume that these    caravans were wiped out in the Assyrian invasions.

A Prophecy about Jerusalem and of Tyre & Sidon: Chapter 22-23

The Prophecy of Tyre and Sidon according to Isaiah and Ezekiel (Chapters 26-27) have come to pass in the most uncanny ways. “No house” — Tyre was so effectually wasted, that there is not a house or harbor left in it.  “Seventy years” — During the time of the Jewish captivity in Babylon. Tyre was taken by Nebuchadnezzar, and was restored by the favor of the Persian monarchs (for sex trade) after the return of the Jews.

A Prophecy about the devastation of the Earth and the rise of Zion: Chapter 24-27

Although these prophecies have yet to come, we can be assured of their accuracy because of the others that have come to pass.  The earth will be largely destroyed (Revelation 8:7 says one third of the earth is destroyed.) yet Israel is not and  it becomes the throne Christ who reigns from Zion (Jerusalem ) for 1000 years.

A Prophecy to Judah the “Obstinate nation” and to the nations that dare to come against her : Chapter 28-34

The prophecy (in present) is to pound Judah’s leaders for making an alliance with Assyria, (Isaiah 30:1,9-13) but the prophecies move into the blessing on those who will be faithful (Isaiah 30:18-21) and onto Zion, the ruling capital of Christ that will never be moved (Isaiah 33:20) and into a curse on any nation that would make war Israel.  God’s plans will not be thwarted!

God’s Word Forever  Isaiah 35,  1 Peter 1:23-25  

Isaiah 35 concludes our study today with the prophecy of promise for the faithful to God. “They will enter Zion with singing!”  We must trust in the fact that it is God who is in control of the nations and even of the courses that they take.  He will always move His people into the direction that ends in blessing…no matter how long the lessons take or how much it hurts.  He is jealous for you! (Exodus 20:4-5, 34:14).

With this in mind, God has made it possible for anyone to come to Him and to be born-again incorruptible in Christ.  God has willed it so—that we would be born anew in Christ.  To go against God’s will is to be judged and to experience His wrath.  His word is forever and this is the Word that He has brought to us through history and in Christ.  Now…in light of all we have learned today, do we really want to rebel against His will?

The Devil In Babylon

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Isaiah Lesson 5: “The Devil In Babylon” Isaiah 13-14

A Prophecy Against Babylon Isaiah 13:1,3,9,11-12, 17-20

In Chapter 13 to 14:27 Isaiah is given a prophecy against Babylon .   At the time of Isaiah’s prediction, Babylon was one of the largest and most important cities in the world, but God told him that great city would be completely destroyed.             Hundreds of years later history played out exactly as Isaiah foretold in Babylon, and clearly, the reason for this destruction was to “destroy the sinners within it” (13:9) and to “punish the world for its evil”(13:11):

During Isaiah’s lifetime, the Assyrian Empire ruled most of the Middle East. The Assyrians controlled many foreign cities, including Babylon, but after Isaiah made his prediction, Babylon rebelled against the Assyrians several times. The Assyrian king captured the city in 689 B.C., and sought to destroy it, but Isaiah’s prophecy would not be fulfilled at that time because Isaiah predicted that the Medes would attack Babylon

The Medes:  When Isaiah wrote his prediction, the Medes were weak. Most of the Medes were ruled by other nations. It would have been impossible for them to capture or destroy the strong city of Babylon. After the death of the Assyrian King who sought to destroy Babylon his own son built it up once again and it became an important city in the Assyrian Empire like it had been before. In 626 B.C., Babylon rebelled against Assyria again. This time the Babylonians were successful. A local leader became the king. He was able to establish Babylonia  as a separate kingdom and Babylon grew in strength. The Medes also grew in strength at this time. By 612 B.C. the king of Media and the king of Babylon formed an alliance which destroyed the Assyrians.

Babylon Prospers…Is Isaiah Wrong? In 605 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar became king of Babylon, and his Empire became the leading empire in the world. When Nebuchadnezzar died in 562 B.C., Babylon was called one of the most magnificent cities in the world. Was Isaiah’s prophecy wrong?  Of course not!  God is true and every man a liar. (Romans 3:3-4) 

A few years later, in 559 B.C., Cyrus the Great became king over Persia, a region under the rule of Media. Cyrus overthrew his own grandfather and became the king of Media, therefore becoming both king of Media and Persia and In 539 B.C., Cyrus’ army came to fight against Babylon. Miraculously, Cyrus captured the city without a battle and Darius the Mede was put in charge (Daniel 5:31).

The Medes captured Babylon, just as Isaiah predicted (Isaiah 13:17).  They captured the city without plundering it for its silver or gold; however, the other details of the prophecy would come to pass later. In about 482 B.C. Babylon rebelled against their Persian and Median rulers again and Xerxes the king sent his army to ruthlessly capture the city. From that day forward the city declined and largely laid in ruins. 150 years later, Alexander the Great (Greece) defeated the Persians and planned to rebuild Babylon but he died before he could accomplish his plan.   About 250 years later the Roman writer Strabo wrote, “Babylon is so deserted that one would not hesitate to say…‘The Great City is a desert ”(Geography, 16.1.5, Loeb Classical Library). Before long Babylon was completely empty. In 1978, the president of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, began to rebuild some of the ancient buildings of  Babylon hoping to restore the city to its greatness, but he was executed… Today, Babylon is still an empty city, inhabited only by “owls and jackals”, “never to be inhabited, or settled in from generation to generation” (Isaiah 13:20).  

The Devil in Babylon Isaiah 14:12-15, Ezekiel 28:12-14, 17

As we learned in our last lesson and even in this prophecy, “the present, the future coming and the future far off are most often revealed together” by a prophet.  It is also true that prophecy often reveals or addresses both the physical and spiritual dimensions in the same passage.  Here, Isaiah shifts from a prophecy to his people about Babylon’s destruction to suddenly addressing the Devil (Isaiah 14:12: lit . Hebrew hêlêl (light bearer) translated “Lucifer” in the KJV/ “Morning Star” in NIV) who himself has instigated the whole affair. In a similar instance Ezekiel also addresses the Devil in his prophecy to the king of Tyre.  These passages obviously go beyond addressing mere humans.  Since it is actually God who is speaking through the prophets, we can assume that the “spiritual forces of evil in the  heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12/ Job 1:6) were also listening and therefore God addressed them too. Jesus attested to the fact that Satan was cast down to the earth like Isaiah stated here in Luke 10:17.  Through these prophecies we develop our conceptual understanding of the origins of Satan who was created as an angel (Isaiah 14:12) of the highest order (cherub), became arrogant in his beauty and status and tried to elevate himself above God (Isaiah 14:13-14; Ezekiel 28:15), who’s pride and rebellion led to his and 1/3 of the angels of heaven being cast down to earth (Revelation 12:4) to became the ruler of this world (through man’s fall; Genesis 3). Even though he was cast out of heaven, he still seeks to elevate his throne above God. He counterfeits all that God does, seeking the worship of the world. Satan is the ultimate source behind every false religion and act of evil. Satan’s destiny is sealed—an eternity in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10).

 Choices We make Isaiah 14:26-27, 1 Peter 5:8-10

Isaiah concludes his prophecy with the signature of God in a rhetorical question for any skeptic or the Devil for that matter: “Who can turn it back?”  What God says will come to pass. Choices we make are for good or evil, God or the Devil. Our choices become our acts of worship to the One or the other and consequences have been established…”Who can turn it back?”  The Devil was certainly in Babylon but it was the choice of her people that brought judgment.  What is your choice today?

Freedom Isn’t Free!

Freedom Isn’t Free By Barry Bruce  Memorial Day 2016

I saw an actor act today    MemorialDay

He played a soldier true

But he was paid an actor’s wage

And was applauded too.

His performance won an Oscar

And critical acclaim

But he was not a soldier

For a soldier knows no fame.

 

I heard a politician speak today

Her words were carefully spun

She caught the ears of an eager crowd

And fooled most everyone

Her web a soldier’s story

Her aim her own degree

But she was not that soldier

Who died for you and me.

 

I saw some students rage today

About their rights and wrongs

They chanted out their selfishness

And sang some catchy songs

They marched through streets like soldiers

But ignored the patriot’s way

For they were not like soldiers

For soldiers do not play.

 

And finally I saw a cross

While in prayer on bended knee

And there I prayed for all who lost

A soldier’s life for me.

Lord, please help me remember

All of their patriot dreams

These soldiers who did battle

For the unknown likes of me.

For me and for my children,

And all posterity

May I live to honor all they gave

For freedom isn’t free!

 

Like a Piñata at a Funeral

Can you imagine how out of place it would be to bring a piñata to a funeral? To bring an object of fun and frivolity to a place of loss and sorrow?  This is exactly what Americans do every Memorial Day.  What was originally set aside as a national day of remembrance for those who died in service of the United States of America has become what I liken to a piñata at a funeral.  The Indianapolis 500 (car race) drowned out the reflection of any memorial to our fallen heroes for race fans— just as it has for decades. Millions of Memorial Day sales also took the place of much reflective thought and the “long weekend” got others so preoccupied at getting away that they never even thought about what was given up so that they could afford such freedoms.  Then there was the beach, the barbeques, the parties and the beer.  Some of these events featured a short little bit of patriotism and some even offered a prayer or a moment of silence, but largely the day went by for most  Americans without a thought of those who died for our American liberties.  On the day that all  Americans should absolutely stop everything and contemplate life, death and living a legacy of service to ones fellow man—life just keeps spinning aimlessly by, with people selfishly unaware of its immense value and fragility.

 The loved ones of these fallen soldiers remember.  They have remembered every day since their great loss.  How hard it must be to have a funeral service each year for your loved one, only to see others race by with blinders.  Take heart loved ones, for even Christ who went to the cross for our salvation has been largely overshadowed by an Easter bunny with eggs and chocolate treats.  Only the faithful patriot will truly remember the sacrifice of these fallen heroes with a tear on such a day. Let the tears fall America and teach your children to cry and be grateful as well.   

 Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead. It was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, national     commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their  country”.  On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.

“They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety.”  Benjamin Franklin

Our American colors are Red, white and blue.  Some people are Yellow with cowardice, others are green with envy.  What color are you?  I would like to say I’m red, white and blue.  Yes, I am proud to be an American and of what our colors historically and     symbolically represent:

 Red: Blood Shed  John 15:13, 1 Peter 2:16-17

The 13 stripes in our American flag symbolize the first thirteen colonies but they are red and white for a reason.  Red stands for the blood that was shed to secure our  liberty and freedoms.  Franklin spoke the truth, we must continue to fight for our freedoms if we intend to keep them.  As Jesus said, “There is no greater love than to lay down ones life for a friend.”  This is exactly what our soldiers have done for us as we live in the safety that they provide. This selfless bravery was demonstrated chiefly by Christ who is the Savior of our souls.  He died so that we could be free from Satan’s rule in our lives.  He died so that we could be free from sin and death, but the apostle, Peter, reminds us that  even this freedom can be used for a cover-up for evil.  We are admonished to love the Church (brotherhood), fear God and honor the king.  The king that Peter spoke of was the government of that time.  We are not to be divided against our government but are to “make it proud” of our conduct as we live out our Christian principals.

I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives.  I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him..”   Abraham Lincoln

White:  Purity and Devotion to God  John 15:4-8

Our country was founded in Christ, and the white stripes are a symbol of our Founding      Father’s desire to remain pure and devoted to Him.  Jesus reminds us that “apart from Him we can do nothing” accept be destroyed.

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.   Abraham Lincoln

Many a leader and many a countryman has strayed from the pure devotion to God.  It has hurt our families and our country.  It has also damaged our reputation with the world.  We need God in America again!

Blue: New Constellation/ A future with promise  Philippians 2:12-18   

America will only be the beautiful as long as it is the home of those brave enough to hold to it’s true colors.  To honor God and fight for right.  The blue in our flag stands for a future filled increasingly with stars. (colonies, peoples: converts of democracy) In the same way, as we hold to the truths of God and live for Him others will be added to God’s kingdom.  That is of course the perfect nation, under God.  Indescribable in it’s beauty, but until then we live in America!   Thank Him who gives you life and never take for granted those who have paid for our freedoms.

“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”

Elmer Davis

 

 Jesus set the example as the true hero of our souls —may we follow as soldiers of the cross.