Responding to harsh criticism from his brother, Frederick, a pastor of a New York City church, about his involvement in the Revolutionary War, Reverend John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg reportedly said:
“I am a clergyman it is true, but I am a member of society as well as the poorest layman, and my liberty is as dear to me as to any man. Shall I then sit still? Heaven forbid it! I am called by my country in its defense—the cause is just and noble—and so far I am from thinking that I act wrong, I am it is my duty so to do—-and duty I owe to God and my Country.“
Yes, indeed there is a time and season for every matter under heaven. In this case, the time had come for the Colonists, whose forefathers had come to the New World in search of liberty and religious freedom, to fight for their religious and civil liberties. Presiding over his two church congregations in Woodstock, Virginia, on January 21, 1776, Reverend Muhlenberg stood in the pulpit and told his fellow Americans that the time had come to fight.
1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up 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 together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (ESV)
In his opus, Ecclesiastes, King Solomon reflects on the meaning and purpose of life. Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, had everything any man could ever want except knowing God as the source of true love, joy, and peace. Solomon knew the God who reigned as King and served as Judge. He knew God as the giver of gifts and provider of blessings, yet he did not know the Lord God as companion, friend, and guide. Solomon had everything, including a sincere case of the discontentment blues.
Discontentment is a funny thing. It can cause us great concern, like it did Solomon or it can ignite the fires of a revolution, like it did with Reverend Muhlenberg. In both cases, it caused men to reflect on their present circumstance and yearn for change.
Are you ready to make a change?
It’s a question I ask a lot serving and ministering to the unsheltered homeless people in Dallas. They value their freedom and independence, yet are dependent on a lot of other people to sustain and support them. We hope that through love and with the help of Jesus they will undergo transformational life change.
Freedom isn’t free. Liberty requires preservation. Independence demands both willful participation and diligent vigilance. These things are easier lost than gained.
A new year has begun. 2022 is officially here. How will this year be different for you than the last?
The Devotional Guy™
Please comment and like this post if it encouraged or challenged you. Be sure to follow this blog to be notified of new posts.