Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Dedication of Robert Barnwell

The History Channel records this about Robert Barnwell:
    At age 16, Barnwell enlisted as a private in the Patriot militia. Wounded 17 times in the Battle of Matthews’ Plantation on St. John’s Island in June 1779, his supplies were taken and he was left for dead on the battlefield. Fortunately, a slave found him and took him to his aunt’s nearby plantation, where he recuperated. He rejoined the militia as a lieutenant the following spring, only to be taken prisoner by the British during the siege of Charleston in May 1780. Barnwell spent the next 13 months imprisoned on the ship Pack Horse. Still undeterred, he joined the militia after his release, reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel by the end of the War of Independence.

Oh, that we could find that kind of dedication more widespread today in both political and spiritual matters.   It seems that nearly everyday unveils the kin of someone wounded or killed in war who is launching an all out attack on our attempts to defeat an enemy who shows no quarter, and exacts a terrible price from those he rules.   While in our churches, more and more we hear of people renouncing their belief in God because of some ill which has befallen them or one of those close to them.

Please do not be discouraged by the sudden discovery of those whose lives are ruled by selfish motives.    Many have never been challenged before, and have been carried along by the swift current of popular opinion without forming personal convictions.

We see this often in the lives of those who seem to “turn their backs on God.”  Christ taught clearly that in order to be His disciple one must be willing to subjugate all personal desires, dreams, and relationships to His purpose for the disciple’s life.   That one starting out and finding the way too hard, or too long is not worthy to be called His disciple.  Those who “return” to the way of the world seem never to have had their nature changed.  It is like the proverb: “The dog returns again to his vomit, and the pig again to wallow in the mud.”  That is because their natures have remained unchanged. 

The dog might be trained, curried, and manicured; but it is still a dog.  The pig might be washed, perfumed, and bound with a beautiful ribbon; but it is still a pig.  Eventually they will do again what their true nature requires.

Those who are born again into the Kingdom of God receive a new nature.  It is against their nature to reject God.  They might have momentary lapses and digressions, with even severe doubt; but their very nature mitigates against bringing a reproach upon the name of God.

From "A Word For Living"   ©            2005                 Mike Rasberry

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