Summary: God gives us three simple instructions in order to reconcile ourselves and our nation to Him.
Micah 6: 3-8
Intro. A father was talking with his rather rebellious son one day & said, "Every person who lives in the United States is a privileged person." The boy answered, "I disagree." And the father replied, "That’s the privilege."
. We have the privilege to disagree. We have the privilege to speak our mind. We have freedom of religion, of speech, of the press, and the right of petition. We have the freedom to hope & dream & pursue our dreams. We are free in so many ways!
. We have these rights because of what our forefathers have done. You & I didn’t earn the privileges that we enjoy as citizens of this land. But I am thankful for those who did earn them & passed them on to me, & that is what I celebrate on the 4th of July.
. As I think about these men and women who came before us and made it possible for us to enjoy the freedoms that we have, one thing stuck with me this week as I prepared this sermon.
. These people were simple people. While they did extraordinary things , there was nothing extraordinary about them.
. They were simple people just like you and I but driven by a love for God, Family and Country.
. These men and women were much like the gentleman who was featured on the video we showed just a minute ago. They were simple men.
. Let me tell you about one of them.
. Patrick Henry was a famous statesman and orator of colonial Virginia. In 1764 he was elected to the House of Burgesses where he became a champion of the frontier people, supporting their rights against the arrogant exercise of power by the aristocracy.
In 1774 he was a delegate to the First Continental Congress. In 1775, before the Virginia Provincial Convention, which was deeply divided between those who supported England and those who desired freedom, he uttered his most famous words, "Give me liberty or give me death!"
During the Revolutionary War he became commander-in-chief of Virginia’s military forces, a member of the Second Continental Congress, helped draw up the first constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and was largely responsible for drawing up the amendments to our Constitution known as the Bill of Rights.
He became Virginia’s first governor, and was re-elected four times. Then he retired from public life, but despite his strong objections the people went ahead and re-elected him Governor for the 5th time. But he meant what he said, so he refused to take the office.
He was offered a seat in the U.S. Senate, and posts as ambassador to Spain and to France. President George Washington asked him to join his cabinet and become Secretary of State, and later wanted to appoint him the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. But he refused all such honors and recognitions.
Listen to these words from him: "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians - not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
His Last Will & Testament was filed in the Brookneal County courthouse in Virginia. You read his will and you’ll see that he bequeathed everything to his children, just as most people do. But the last paragraph in his will is especially interesting.
He wrote, "I have now given everything I own to my children. There is one more thing I wish I could give them and that is Christ. Because if they have everything I gave them and don’t have Christ, they have nothing."
. Patrick Henry was a simple man who loved first and foremost, Jesus, but this simple man loved and served his country and he loved his family.
. Back in the seventies there was a band called Lynard Skynard. They were a rock band and they recorded a song called Simple Man. Some of you may remember the song.
. The song is about a mothers advice to her son and she tells him to just be a simple man. She says that he will have all he needs within his soul and that he shouldn’t chase after wealth and fame and riches. This is a little ironic because this song helped him to do just that but she advised him to always remember God in all things that He did.
. Our scripture today is about being a simple man. About remembering God and doing what is right and showing love and mercy to people.
. That’s what God wanted from his people who had wandered away from Him.
. He tells them that what He requires from His people is very simple. God wants us to be simple men and women.