DEVOTIONAL GUIDE: How committed are we?
How does our commitment to the cause of freedom measure up to that of America's founding fathers?
I am convinced that you and I live in the greatest land in the world. The simple fact that the people of our country can dig a hole for themselves speaks volumes for our freedom. There are not many countries in the world where you and I would even have a voice to speak out, much less speak openly about some of the ideologies that are being fought for today.
Paul the apostle wrote to young Timothy, “That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day” (2 Timothy 1:12).
Paul then says, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Paul’s commitment to a new way of life in Christ demanded his all, ultimately his very life.
On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed in the city of Philadelphia. This document marked the beginning of our great nation that, under God, was destined for world leadership. The closing words of this important document solemnly declare: "With a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."
How committed were these men to this pledge? Consider one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Robert Morris. Morris was one of only six men who signed both the Declaration and the Constitution. At the time he pledged "his life, his fortune, and his sacred honor" in the Declaration, he was one of America's wealthiest individuals. He was appointed the financier of the American Revolution – an unenviable position, for it was his task to secure financial backing for the Revolution.
No bank would offer money to undertake such a task, regardless of the founding fathers’ passion or plan. So how did they finance the Revolution during the first three years? Much of the finances came from Morris' own fortune.
Morris personally gave over $2 million to the cause of the Revolution, and it was not money he had to spare; it was most of what he had. He gave so much money out of his own pocket that in his latter years, he did not have enough money left to meet his own obligations.
As a result, Robert Morris spent time in debtors' prison. Morris was never repaid; still, he had given his word – he had pledged "his life, his fortune, and his sacred honor"; and he kept his word.
This is the kind of commitment, the kind of integrity, the kind of self-sacrifice these men exhibited for the freedom that you and I enjoy today. How committed are we today?
Pastor Tim Wilson serves at Park Rapids Assembly of God.