“What Could Cost Us Our Freedom?” March 29


What Could Cost Us Our Freedom? - Edmund Burke said, “Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites … men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters."Edmund Burke said, “Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites … men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”


Today’s Readings:
Deuteronomy 19 & Deuteronomy 20
Psalm 38.1-8
Proverbs 12.23-25
Luke 4.31-44


What Could Cost Us Our Freedom?


Deuteronomy 19 & Deuteronomy 20:

The Size of Our God


In chapter 20.1-4 the Israelites were told:

“When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the LORD your God is with you, who brought you up from the land of Egypt … Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them; for the LORD your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.”

Like the Israelites, no matter what the battle or the enemy, we are not to look at the size of the enemy, but at the size of our God!


What Could Cost Us Our Freedom?


But we must remember that this passage follows closely behind the passages we read yesterday where God was giving instructions for choosing leaders and the behavior of those leaders. When the people or their leaders acted presumptuously, repeatedly disobeyed His commands, or followed other gods and put their trust in them, God frequently let them be defeated in battle. Sometimes even allowing them to be taken into captivity, as he did with Babylon.

America has enjoyed years of relative protection from God. We have been blessed with freedoms, resources, and favor on an enormous scale. But we should not think God cannot or will not allow defeat for our nation if we continue to move further and further from Him and His standards.

Edmund Burke said, “Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites … men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters."

The great British statesman Edmund Burke said, “Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites…in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”

So what could cost us our freedom? Continue reading

“The Adultery Test & the Sovereignty of God” March 4


The Adultery Test & the Sovereignty of God - Is there any such thing in the Bible as an "adultery test"? And, if so, what would an Old Testament law about jealousy and possible adultery have to do with us? Read more about the adultery test in today's reading.

Is there any such thing in the Bible as an “adultery test”? And, if so, what would an Old Testament law about jealousy and possible adultery have to do with us? Read more about the adultery test in today’s reading.


Today’s Readings:
Numbers 5 & 6
Psalm 30.8-12
Proverbs 11.1-3
Mark 8.22-38


The Adultery Test & the Sovereignty of God


Numbers 5 & 6:

The Adultery or Jealousy Test


Numbers 5 contains a passage that is difficult to understand and, at first glance, seems highly slanted against women, but it’s important to study it in light of God’s sovereignty and in light of other Scripture.

Verses 11-31 describe a ceremony to be performed when a man suspected, but couldn’t prove, his wife had committed adultery. The husband was to bring his wife before the priest along with an offering. The priest would have her stand before the Lord, a important point in all of this. He would ask her under oath whether or not she had been with another man. She was to drink “bitter water” to which had been added dust from the floor of the tabernacle and scrapings from the oath to which she had sworn.

If she was guilty the water would make her extremely sick, but if not, it would have no effect. She would be declared clean, set free, and able to bear children.


Remember the Sovereignty of God


First, we must remember the purpose of these laws was to maintain purity in the camp. God had determined to dwell with the Israelites and He could not dwell with hidden sin.

Remember, also, that the Sovereign God of the universe oversaw the outcome. He was in control and He knew the guilt or innocence. The same law that condemned a guilty woman also vindicated an innocent one so she didn’t have to live under suspicion.

Matthew Henry in his commentary on the Bible said that even under the law, the Continue reading

A Picture of Freedom – a Book Review by Marissa Reidland

Dear America: A Picture of Freedom by Patricia C. McKissack


Freedom is a strong word. Most kids don’t understand what it means. Freedom means being able to worship God. Most slaves were not allowed to worship in the 1700s. When you think your life is hard, think about slavery. If you moved too slowly, they hit you. If you moved too fast, they hit you.

I like the main character, Clotee, because she loved God and she trusted God to take care of her. Clotee was a slave and an abolitionist. She got a lot of slaves to freedom and although she was never able to get herself to freedom, she served God faithfully.

I love the “Dear America” books because all the main characters love God even when they had troubles in their lives. When we think our lives are bad, we need to remember that people in the past died from storms, winter, slavery, war, and disease because life was so hard. I have learned so much from these books about history and other people’s lives.


Marissa book review

Marissa is 10 years old and is a homeschooler who loves to read, especially “Dear America” books.

Dear America: A Picture of Freedom

From Amazon:
It’s 1859 and Clotee, a twelve-year-old slave, has the most wonderful, terrible secret. She knows that if she shares it with the wrong person, she will face unimaginable consequences. What is her secret? While doing her job of fanning her master’s son during his daily lessons, Clotee has taught herself to read and write. However, she soon learns that the tutor, Ely Harms, has a secret of his own.

In a time when literacy is one of the most valuable skills to have, Clotee is determined to use her secret to save herself, and her family.



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September 30 “To the formerly dead, foolish and deceived”

Teenage girl, clueless, foolish

Sin has not only affected us spiritually and physically, it has also affected us mentally. In short, we don’t think straight apart from having our minds renewed by the Word of the Living God. “Professing to be wise, they became fools …” (Rom. 1.22), fools who mistake bondage for freedom, death for life, and foolishness for wisdom. It’s called the noetic effect of sin.

Today’s Readings:
Isaiah 51 & 52
Psalm 112.5-10
Proverbs 26.16
Ephesians 2.1-22


Isaiah 51 & 52:

What would they think …?

Chapter 51.12-13:

12 “I, even I, am He who comforts you.
Who are you that you should be afraid
Of a man who will die,
And of the son of a man who will be made like grass?
13 And you forget the LORD your Maker,
Who stretched out the heavens
And laid the foundations of the earth;

Matthew 10 says:

28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

puzzled, thinkingHow much time we waste “fearing man”! Not just fearing what they might do to us physically, but what they think of us, what they might say about us, or how they might sin against us.

“If they find out I’m a Christian, they’ll think I’m a ‘goody-two-shoes’.”
“If I don’t have sex with my boyfriend, he might leave me.”
“If I give in to my wife, what will I tell the guys?”
“If I submit to my husband, he’ll walk all over me.”
“What would they think if they knew about my past?”
“If I don’t lie for my husband, he might lose his job.”

Proverbs 29.25 says, “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.”

Do we really want to trust in that which cannot save us? It’s really no different from those Old Testament people who trusted in idols they had carved from a tree trunk or formed with their own hands—gods who are not gods.

Our concerns need to be: Continue reading

August 27 “Freedom & stumbling blocks”

freedom, bondageFREEDOM … as Americans, especially, we love it and in Christ we have a great deal of Christian liberty. But we are also called to love and prefer others. So how much freedom are you willing to give up out of love for your spouse or your brother or sister in Christ?

Today’s Readings:
Ecclesiastes 3
Psalm 102.1-17
Proverbs 24.3-4
1 Corinthians 8.1-13

Ecclesiastes 3:

To everything there is a season

This chapter begins:

1 To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven.
2 A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
3 A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
4 A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;


(Some of you once thought the Byrds wrote that! And the rest of you are going, “Who are the Byrds?”)

Continue reading

February 5 “A framework for living”


new house construction frame with room

God’s instructions are not intended to limit our freedom. In fact, living by God’s standards actually frees us to live and worship as He intended and in ways that will ultimately bring us the only true peace, joy, and blessedness.

Today’s Readings:
Exodus 21 & 22
Psalm 18:46-50
Proverbs 6:26-29
Matthew 23:1-22

Exodus 21 & 22

A framework for living

Chapter 21:1 says, “Now these are the ordinances which you are to set before them.” The people were given this combination of case-law and commands by which life was to be regulated. These were to be used as a framework for living and for resolving conflicts.

Even though there are cultural conditions addressed here, as you study it you’ll see how much of our law is based on the principles it contains. Our founders understood that for a society to be truly free it had to be regulated by certain moral standards. Continue reading