"For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer. If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly." I Timothy 4:4-7
This Sunday I will be sharing the seven principles that formed the foundation for our freedom as Americans. In a later post I will be commenting on those "big seven". But this morning I am wanting to focus on the idea of principles. In my thinking, the words "foundation" and "principle" are pretty much synonymous. Principles are bedrock truths upon which you can build - a life, a family, a church, a nation, a business, or an eternity. Principles will translate into eternity because they ARE timeless and unchanging.
The greatness of America is directly attributable to the greatness of its principles. But those principles are only helpful when they are implemented. When they are disregarded they lose their impact.
If you love freedom you would do well to understand and appreciate the importance of principles because freedom is built on truth (Jesus said, "You will know the truth and the truth will set you free") and principles define those truths.
Several years ago when Rick Warren wrote his best-selling book (30 million copies) "The Purpose Driven Life" he illustrated the power of purpose in your life and no one can dispute how important it is to have a compelling purpose. But purpose will lose its power in short order if it is not paired with proper principles. Your purpose declares why you live but your principles will determine how you pursue that purpose. A purpose without principles becomes pragmatic.
Purpose is the "what" for your life while principles are the "why". Purpose is the force of your life while principles are the course for your life. Purpose is the reason for living and principles are the rules for life.
When someone asked Jesus about the purpose for life, He answered by linking a principle with the purpose when He said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your mind and all your strength. And the second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself."
According to Jesus, the purpose for life is pleasing God and the principle by which to fulfill it is love. So, if you are going to live a life that is pleasing to God you must make sure your principles match that purpose.
Here is the bottom line: When your principles match your purpose the result can be holiness but when your principles don't support your purpose you have hypocrisy.
Do you know the purpose for your life?
Can you articulate the principles you live by?
How well do they match up?
When they match two powerful things result: true faith and true freedom!