River Church NOLA
July 4th Dependence or Independence
  • I Am Free
  • God So Loved
  • Build My Life
  • Victory In Jesus
  • Happy 4th of July. It has always been a fun holiday for me. Quite often we would spend some of it at the lake skying and then watch fireworks. Other times we would grill at home and watch fireworks.
    We live in a great nation … the greatest in the history of the planet. We celebrate as a nation our independence from England. When this nation was formed, it was founded, formed and established on Christian principles.
    Psalm 33:12 NIV
    12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance.
    We celebrate America’s “Independence Day” on the 4th of July every year. We think of July 4, 1776 as the day that represents the Declaration of Independence and the BIRTH of the United Stated of America as an independent nation. Our founding Fathers wanted to be INDEPENDENT from the rule of England.
    Let’s look at a little history…

    On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress approved the final wording of the Declaration of Independence.

    The history of America’s Independence Day started out because of “taxation without representation,” amongst many other things.

    That was the battle cry of the colonies. They were being forced to pay taxes to the King without having any say in the matter. As frustration grew, British troops were sent in to stop any movement toward a rebellion.
    Try as they might, all attempts to resolve their differences without war proved fruitless. So

    On June 11, 1776 the 2nd Continental Congress met and formed a committee to draft a document to sever ties with England

    The committee included Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and others. After Congress made 86 changes to Thomas Jefferson’s original draft,

    The Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

    Here are some quotes from the Dec of Independence.

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their CREATOR with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    Here is the last paragraph

    “We, therefore, the Representatives on the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the SUPREME JUDGE OF THE WORLD

    Then the last sentence says,

    “…with a firm reliance on the protection of DIVINE PROVIDENCE, we mutually pledge to each other our LIVES, our FORTUNES and our sacred HONOR.”

    These men paid a high price for their declaration
    Of the 56 men:
    5 were captured by the British and tortured before they died.
    12 had their homes ransacked and burned.
    2 lost their sons in the Revolutionary Army.
    Another 2 sons were captured.
    9 of the 56 fought and died.
    One wealthy trader, saw his ships sunk by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts and died in poverty.
    ]Thomas Nelson had his home taken over and used as a headquarters for the enemy. He ordered George Washington to open fire on his home. The home was destroyed and Nelson died bankrupt.
    John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields were destroyed. For over a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home only to find his wife had died and his children vanished
    Patrick Henry concluded his speech to the Virginia Provincial Convention.

    "Three million people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a JUST GOD who presides over the Destiny of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battle for us. The Battle, sir, is not to the strong alone, it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat, but in submission and slavery. Our chains are forged. Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! Gentleman may cry peace, peace, but there is no peace. The war has actually beg! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death."

    Too often we forget that not only did these brave men and women declare independence from England, but they declared their dependence on God.

    The founding Fathers declared their Dependence on God

    While that INDEPENDENCE is good for our nation, it’s bad for us individually. Our CULTURE tells us every day that we need to be INDEPENDENT from God and His ways as well…..that we need to run our lives OUR way…….but God wants all of us to be DEPENDENT on HIM
    But we love independence:
    Driver License… then 18 so you could do things that you couldn’t do younger than 18…
    Move Out from home… You were independent… or so you thought.
    Kids start driving
    Sams Scan and go
    Independence Crisis
    When you move out and can’t run the laundry… or...
    Try to cook without a recipe...
    You think independence is so good, but then it’s not… you kind of miss home. Allen when his friends wanted him to move in with them…

    Independence was great for our nation, but bad for us

    Within the group or nation, there is no independence without dependence on each other.
    We want to be on our own, but that’s not God’s plan. He wants us to be dependent on him. That’s why the message is Living in Dependence.
    Colossians 1:13–14 NLT
    13 For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, 14 who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.

    Jesus did not die for your independence, he died for your freedom.

    He did not go to the cross so you could do whatever you want to do. He died for your freedom.
    Galatians 5:1 NIV
    1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
    Our culture promotes independence from God or anyone else. “Do you own thing… Be your Own person…
    Song - Me Myself and I…
    A lot of us are fixers and we want to be self reliant. It’s a myth.

    3 Myths of our culture

    I can’t help myself

    That’s just me. It’s the way I am …You have to deal with it. It doesn’t matter if you think it’s wrong or not, it’s me being me.
    Culture says if you think it’s ok, it’s ok. Just do it.

    I must protect myself

    People are bad so we put up walls and keep people out. We think that we are protecting ourselves from pain.
    When we do this, the enemy wins.
    This will destroy you relationships and walls don’t allow for them. Protecting yourself is destructive to you.

    I can take care of myself

    That’s why many people want to own their own business. You don’t want people telling you what to do. kids that join the military because they don’t want to listen and obey their parents...
    Today we want to shift from living independent and the myths of it … to living in dependence…

    How do we shift from independence to living in dependence

    We want to learn something from Paul. In this passage, Paul describes himself before he became a Christian. He was a good guy… or trying to be. He was a religious leader…
    Philippians 3:5–6 NLT
    5 I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. 6 I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.
    Paul actually had converts to Christianity killed or in-prisoned.
    Here is Paul after he became dependent on God.
    Philippians 3:7–9 NLT
    7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.
    Paul describes his transformation from independence to dependence on God. He was one person and then he became a new person… different.
    Freedom is not what this culture says it is. True freedom is not the ability to do whatever you want to do…

    Jesus came to give us true freedom

    True freedom comes from living in dependence on the right things

    so how can we live in dependence on Jesus?

    3 Ways we can live in dependence on God

    We need to learn to living in dependence every day, not just when there is trouble or crisis.
    Acts 4:31 NLT
    31 After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness.

    1. Live in dependence on prayer

    Prayer is a conversation with God… don’t over spiritualize it… talk to God like you talk to your best friends. Prayer can occur in a QT, in traffic, before a meeting and all day. Jesus is with us all day, so we might as well talk to him.
    1 Thessalonians 5:17 NLT
    17 Never stop praying.
    3 things that prayer includes
    Praise -
    Benefits -
    his presence… it changes everything.
    A power that we need - how many times are we in a situation where we feel powerless. Prayer connects us to power.
    Acts 4:32 NLT
    32 All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had.

    2. Live in dependence on people

    People are part of God’s plan for your life. Prayer is the foundation of dependence on God, but people provide the plan for God to fulfill our purpose. We cannnot isolate. We need people to fulfill God’s plan for us.
    No matter what you have been through, we have to live in dependence on other people. Fulfilling God’s plan for your life involves people.
    If you don’t have the right people in your life, you can find them here. These folks had everything in common with each other. You need to be around people with the same values, goals and relationship with Jesus.
    ILL - hand on a table… won’t function
    Relationships cause people to be there for you.
    Acts 4:33 NIV
    33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all

    3. Live in dependence on the promises of God

    Our dad is bigger than their dad. We win with Him. The promises of God bring hope in every situation you will ever face. GW will encourage you in your struggle.
    Greater is he that is us than he that is in the world.
    Romans 8:28 NLT
    28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
    Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
    11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
    Psalm 144:14 NLT
    14 and may our oxen be loaded down with produce. May there be no enemy breaking through our walls, no going into captivity, no cries of alarm in our town squares.
    Whatever your situation is, you can live in dependence of God through prayer, people and his promises.
    Prayer time
    Pray for people to depend on god.
    Pray for salvation … to begin a relationship with Jesus… even if you have fallen away…
      • Psalm 33:12NLT

      • Colossians 1:13–14NLT

      • Galatians 5:1NLT

      • Philippians 3:5–6NLT

      • Philippians 3:7–9NLT

      • Acts 4:31NLT

      • 1 Thessalonians 5:17NLT

      • Acts 4:32NLT

      • Acts 4:33NLT

      • Romans 8:28NLT

      • Jeremiah 29:11NLT

      • Psalm 144:14NLT

  • God Bless America

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