7/2/23 A Note from Pastor Ben

Friends and Family,

As we get ready to celebrate the birth of our nation, it’s fascinating to consider how unlikely it was that we actually became a nation.

On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed and the United States became a nation. In retrospect, that was the easy part. The aftermath of such a declaration meant war against one of the most powerful nations in the world. Against all odds, America won and her independence was secured, at least for a while. Then, without even being able to catch her breath, America had to struggle with her internal diversity and articulate how this idea of liberty actually played out in real life. This struggle resulted in the creation of two brilliant and unprecedented documents called the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Yet, one major obstacle remained—who could lead such a nation with authority and respect while maintaining the founding principles of liberty and self-rule? All eyes were placed on one man: George Washington.

Imagine if you were Washington, would you even want to be president?

Historian Wilfred McClay puts it like this: Truth be told…Washington did not want the job…Nearing the age of sixty, after enduring two grinding decades of war and politics in which he always found himself thrust into a central role in determining the direction of his country, he wanted nothing so much as to be free of those burdens—and to retire from public life and return to Virginia, where he could enjoy the private joys of a gentleman farmer at his beautiful estate at Mount Vernon.

Washington could have decided to take it easy and coast into the final chapter of his life; no one would have blamed him. But he took the job and the rest, as they say, is history.

As Christians, Washington’s selfless sacrifice has much to teach us. Among many, one challenge stands out: embrace the pain of service and sacrifice. No other man could have led like Washington, and we’re all blessed because he took the job.

God has blessed you so that you may be a blessing. However, if you don’t continually embrace the grind of service and sacrifice, you’ll fail to flourish in all that God has made you to be. Jesus came to serve and sacrifice, dying on the cross for our sins. In so doing, he gives us the greatest blessing and serves as the greatest model.

We have a higher mission than comfort and ease, namely the glory of God. That’s the reason that our very own Nick and Stacy Carmichael and family are packing the bags to move to South Asia to live among Muslims. They are being sent because there are 10 million people in that area who have never heard the name of Jesus. We all must continue to advance the mission of Christ at all costs. On July 9, FBC is having a commissioning service for them in both the 8:15 and 10:45 services. I encourage you to make every effort to be here.

Let us all daily die to self, take up our cross, and bless those around us as we serve and sacrifice for the glory of Christ.

-Pastor Ben

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