The Last Charge of Liberty

           On July 3, 1863, close to thirteen thousand soldiers rose from their tree-shielded position and bravely marched three-quarters of a mile over open fields, under the constant barrage of thick cannonade and furious enemy fire. Half never returned from the assault. A very few made it to the objective, the center of the enemy position on the opposing ridge, the High-Water Mark of the Confederacy. This engagement is known as Pickett’s Charge. It ranks with the bravest maneuvers, however ill-conceived, in history. Walking these fields, as I have done, is an unnerving experiment.

A Father's Gift

At the age of five or six, I stood next to a pine tree in our back yard and watched my father burn some Rock and Roll records. He said that he had come under conviction that these were dishonoring to the Lord and that he did not want them in our home. Soon thereafter, our television went to the street, broken up, as I recall, so as not to be used by someone else.

The Joy of Jesus

Though he was the Man of sorrows, we should never think that sorrow dominated our Lord’s emotional life. It is true that his appointed office was to drink the cup of God’s wrath against sin. He bore our griefs, carried our sorrows, and took our weaknesses upon himself. Every healing, raising, and feeding cost him part of his soul’s compassion. He never offered to his Father what cost him nothing.  Between the wine at Cana and the blood at Calvary, he spared himself no tears or groans for the plight of sinners.

My Peace I Give to You

In the Upper Room Discourse, our Lord said to his disciples, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you” (John 14:27). “My peace” is astounding. His life was filled with labor, sorrow, and opposition. The cross ever loomed before him. The evil one tried to destroy him as soon as he was born. This set the whole tenor of his life. His public ministry had barely commenced when Satan directly assailed him with subtle temptations designed to overthrow him.

No Excuses

After man’s Fall, his first words to God were excuses. Adam blamed Eve; Eve blamed the serpent. On it went; still it goes. Name a behavioral decision or sin, and someone with a degree will slap a label on it. Gluttony and drunkenness? No, food disorder and alcoholism. Cutting back to live within personal or national means? No, that would be austerity measures, and we must keep the money machines going and consumer confidence high. The more guilt man feels the more excuses he makes. Excuses are guilt’s cracked shield before the Holy God.

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