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231 years ago, on July 4th, 1776, 56 men signed their names on the bottom of a document declaring the independence of the thirteen American colonies from the tyranny of the king of Great Britain. Doing so was an act of treason, punishable by death.
Each of them knew the consequences. It is one thing to gather at the pub and complain about the failures of government to serve the people. Such rhetoric gets lost amidst the clang of the mugs, and the rest of the scuttlebutt heard between ales, and is done so with virtual anonymity.
Having read the Declaration of Independence, however, the signers were no longer satisfied with the anonymous gossip about the Crown, and, beginning with the well-known, easily seen and identified signature of John Hancock, each put his name plainly on the document for all to see.
The last sentence truly best describes the intention and commitment of the signers of the Declaration, "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor." They were willing to dedicate everything for the cause of liberty - everything.
How much more should we, having been promised liberty through the grace of God, dedicate all our mind, body, soul, and strength to the cause of Christ. Jesus "said to them all, `If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?'" (Luke 9:23-25).
Too many professing Christians are ashamed of their faith: too ashamed, or too afraid, to publicly affirm what they believe. If men of social standing could be willing to lose all that they had to create a country, should we not be the more willing to risk family, career, friends, opportunities, houses and lands, and declare the name of the Lord to this generation?
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Rom. 12:1-2). Hallelujah!
The Feast of Ingathering (Tabernacles) is just around the corner. We will be celebrating the Feast September 27-30. Just before the Lord showed His love to us by dying for us on the cross, He wept over Jerusalem, saying, "How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not."
Jesus' desire to gather His children from the four corners of the Earth unto Himself shall be fulfilled in these latter days! For 2,000 years we have been sowing the seed of the word of God in the field of the world. This Feast serves as a reminder of the great harvest before us: the gathering the ripe harvest of the true worshippers of Almighty God: fruit-bearing disciples of our Lord.
We know that that harvest is great, and we are praying the Lord of the Harvest, that He would send forth laborers into His harvest. We ask you to add your voices to ours in this prayer, and also that you be willing to work in His field. Join us for the Feast, as we remember the commandments of the Lord, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God.