Summary: The mystery of marriage is a center point of God’s revelation of His desire for relationship with Man. No wonder the family is under such spiritual attack. In the series Family Matters, Pastor Terry will look at the significance of family and marriage f

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The Declaration of Family Independence

Series – Family Matters

Independence Day Sunday 2007

Text: Joshua 24:13-18 (congregation to recite 16b - 18)

Has there ever been a time in your life when you wished you could simply start over in your marriage? A place where past hurts can be healed, hasty words could be retracted; a place where attitudes could be made right and misunderstandings could all be forgotten.

There are many counseling rooms and Pastor’s offices; and as a last resort, Family Law Courtrooms where people go on such a search, but, in reality, on a physical and emotional prospective, that place doesn’t exist.

Wouldn’t it be good, in our journey as families, to have a place like Shechem? – The place of the shoulder.

• The place where God made covenant with Abraham.

• The place where Joshua had rehearsed the Law with the Children of Israel when they first stepped foot into the Land of Promise.

• The place where they returned to recommit to serving God, on Who’s shoulders they could safely lean.

o It’s good to lean on the promises of God!

The bible tells us that on this particular day Joshua called all of Israel, it’s civil and spiritual leaders, it’s influential and it’s commoners to Shechem and there he drew a proverbial line in the sand.

As a nation, we celebrate the 4th of July as a day that as one people, we drew a line in the sand against, what Jefferson called “a tyrant unfit to rule a free people”. Hundreds of thousands have stood at that line and stand there today to defend the freedom our forefathers so diligently established.

There is another line, drawn in the sand of the Garden, that God drew on our behalf that brought about a war of revolutionary proportions; a war that bears great implication to the very core of family values. For there God said:

Genesis 3:15

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel."

And just as those 56 men who signed America’s declaration pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor; God pledges his all to the redemption of man and therefore the family when, through the Apostle John He declared:

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

But to walk in that freedom is our choice. At Shechem Joshua gave Israel a choice, not to mindlessly forget their past, but to put the past aside and press in to God.

Joshua 24:15

And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

They followed with a declaration of service to the God who had seen them through.

In the Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson documented what he called “self evident truths” and accusations against the king in order that the whole world could understand America’s justification for rising against a tyrannical ruler.

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