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Bible Study Posted July 11, 2000
This week's scripture:
II Corinthians 3:17
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
One week ago was Independence Day. July 4, 1776 was when our Declaration of Independence was signed. For you folks outside the United States, that was when our country separated from England. Our founders thought that we could not have freedom while under the king of England. The Declaration of Independence was the piece of paper that started it all. But because of our courts, you might not be able to read the Declaration of Independence in public school very long.
Why not? Well, our courts have pushed God out of anything that has to do with public life. Our Supreme Court just made it illegal to have public prayer before a ball game, or at graduation ceremonies. Many schools can't teach that God created earth. In most school systems you can't pray before class. You can't study the Bible as literature.
But why can't we read the Declaration of Independence?
Because the men that wrote the Declaration of Independence knew that you couldn't have true freedom without God. They even talked about God in the 1st, 2nd, and last paragraphs of the Declaration. That's right! In the first paragraph they talked about "God". In the second paragraph they talked about their "Creator" (Darwin?). In the last paragraph they mentioned the "Supreme Judge of the world." Our founders knew that we couldn't have freedom without the "Spirit of the Lord." As our courts today lose sight of this, we will lose our freedoms. We've already lost a lot of them.
So there isn't any hope? Wrong! We can still hope and pray that our government will turn back to God. And if they don't, Christians will be the only people with freedom. You know why? Because governments can't give you true freedom. Only God can. When Paul wrote this week's verse, there wasn't a United States. There wasn't even an England yet! Did his country have freedom? NO! Christians in his day were killed because of their belief in Jesus Christ. Paul wasn't talking about freedom from government. He was talking about the freedom from the old law that God had handed down. He was talking about the freedom we have to have a personal relationship with Jesus. Governments can't stop that. Government can stop you from praying out loud, singing hymns, witnessing, and a lot of other things. Government can't stop you from asking Jesus into your heart. Government can't stop you from going to heaven!
So, do you have freedom? You can! Just ask Jesus into your heart.
This week's prayer:
I want to have freedom. I admit that I have sinned. I know that you died on the cross to save me from my sins. Please clean up my heart, and help me to keep it clean.
Story posted July 11, 2000
One HUGE Firecracker!
This story includes Kent Clark, Joey, and Mrs. EEK!
Kent Clark is working on a big story for The Kids4God Chronicle. Someone has been setting off firecrackers in mail boxes. He has a few leads, but he isn't sure who is doing it. In fact, he thinks there are several kids doing it. We join the scene as he is asking questions in the neighborhood.
"Hello Mrs. EEK! How are you today?" asks Kent.
"Fine, young man. Get off of the grass, please."
"Yes, ma'am. I'm sorry. I am writing a story for The Kids4God Chronicle about all of the firecrackers that have been set off in mail boxes. Do you know anything about it?"
Mrs. EEK answers him, "No, but some young person popped one in my mail box at about 9:00 last night. It about scared me to death. I asked that boy, Joey, about it. I don't think he did it, but he was hiding something from me."
"Thank you, Mrs.EEK! I'll go talk to him."
"Goodbye, young man. And stay on the sidewalk and away from my grass."
Kent Clark went to see Joey. He found Joey sitting on his back porch. Joey was working on something.
"Hello Mr. Clark. How's the newspaper business?" asked Joey.
"Fine. I'm here to ask you about the latest...uh, what are you working on, Joey?"
"It's a huge firecracker, Mr. Clark."
"It looks big." replied Kent Clark.
"It's huge!" said Joey. "You see, the biggest firecracker they sell around here is a M-50. I'm putting 10 of them together to make a M-500!"
"Wow, that is huge!" exclaimed Kent Clark. "So, Joey, you are the kid who has been putting the firecrackers in mail boxes."
"No sir! Billy Pounds has been. Last night he put a firecracker in an apple, and then blew it up in our box. It made a big mess. My parents made me clean it up, and so I'm going to get him back! I'm going to wait until they get their mail tomorrow, and then set off this M-500 in their mail box! The mail is going to be torn to pieces and maybe the box will be torn up!" Joey said, laughing.
"You can't do that, Joey. It's illegal!" stated Kent Clark.
"Firecrackers are legal here." Joey said, but with a funny look on his face.
Kent Clark replied, "Firecrackers are legal, but you are making an illegal and dangerous one. Plus it's illegal to destroy mail, mailboxes, and personal property."
"But we have freedom in this country, Mr. Clark."
"Yes, but we still have laws, to protect people. And the Bible says that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. I don't think the Spirit of the Lord is in you trying to get Billy Pounds back."
"I guess, so. But how will I get Billy back for busting the apple and making me clean it up?" asked Joey.
"Let me handle that, Joey. If I investigate and find out that you are telling the truth, I'll print my story. Then Billy will have to worry about his parents and the police getting him!"
"You're right Mr. Clark! That will get him good! Let me tell you all I know..."
Joey was able to give Kent Clark a lot of details for his story. Kent Clark was able to get more facts from other kids, and the story made the front page of the Kids4God Chronicle. And by the way, Billy had to go to the police station. He didn't get in too much trouble there, but he wasn't able to sit down. His parents got to him first!
Although we have freedom in this country, we still have to follow laws. That's the same with God. To have real freedom, we have to have the Spirit of the Lord!
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