Summary: "Freedom is never free." It sounds like a paradox when you say it, but it is true. "Freedom is never free." In the same way, forgiveness is never free. (PowerPoints Available - #295)
MELVIN NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
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TEXT: Luke 7:36-50
As you know, Friday was Veteran's Day. Throughout this nation & around the world, wherever our nation's flag flies, some people, at least, paused to remember the price that has been paid for the freedoms we enjoy.
ILL. On Nov. 19, 1863, Pres. Abraham Lincoln stood on the battlefield at Gettysburg to dedicate a portion of that land as a national cemetery.
The featured speaker of that event was Edward Everett, acclaimed as the greatest classical orator of his time. A former United States senator, Governor of Massachusetts, & President of Harvard University, he spoke for more than two hours to an audience of over 25,000 people. His was a masterful address, broad in its scope & dramatic in its presentation.
Next was a musical interlude by the Baltimore Glee Club. And then, finally, Pres. Lincoln was formally introduced, & the people settled back down in their chairs & on the grass to listen to him. Lincoln spoke simply & clearly, & startled the people by the briefness of his remarks.
Now folks, I realize that most of you are already familiar with what he said, but would you listen again to a portion of it? After his opening sentences, he said:
"We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting & proper that we should do this.
"But in a larger sense we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living & dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract.
"The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here; but it can never forget what they did here.
"It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion
"that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, & that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
Gettysburg does not stand alone in our memory. Time would fail if I sought to mention such places as Valley Forge, Flanders Field, Omaha Beach, Iwo Jima, Pork Chop Hill, & Desert Storm.
But folks, we must realize that if freedom is to be carried on from generation to generation if our children & our grandchildren are to enjoy freedom then we must be willing to pay the price, because "freedom is never free."
"Freedom is never free." It sounds like a paradox when you say it, but it is true. "Freedom is never free."
In the same way, forgiveness is never free. That, too, sounds untrue at first. But before forgiveness takes place there is always a price to be paid.
A. With that in mind, I call your attention to Luke 7:36-39. This incident, & the parable Jesus shares are of particular importance to us. Please listen as I read.
"Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so He went to the Pharisee's house & reclined at the table.
"When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, & as she stood behind Him at His feet weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears.
"Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them & poured perfume on them.
"When the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, 'If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him & what kind of woman she is that she is a sinner.'
Jesus had been invited to the home of a Pharisee by the name of Simon. That is quite something because the Pharisees saw Jesus as a threat to their power, their teachings, & to their very legalistic system.
They saw Jesus as their enemy. Not all of them did, of course, but most of them resented Him & His teachings.
But this Pharisee invited Jesus to his home. We're not sure exactly why, but he did invite Him. And Jesus accepted the invitation.