Celebrate the Blessings!
As we celebrate July 4th, we have much to be thankful for in America. We enjoy freedom of thought, speech, worship, and of opportunity.
People flock to America seeking the liberty to follow their dreams. They overcome deprivation and hardship in order to begin a new life. Many of those who came to America with nothing have become great success stories.
In church Sunday, a petite little lady with an accent voiced her gratefulness that this 4th of July marks 40 years since she became a citizen of the US. She radiated with gratefulness for her life as an American. She is celebrating.
I’m grateful to be an American, grateful to be a part of the land of liberty and opportunity.
And yet, as I rejoice and celebrate I’m aware that our freedoms are under attack in a way they haven’t been before. Looking for reasons, fingers of blame could be—and are—pointed in the political, cultural and moral realms to explain the slippery slope we are on.
But today, it’s time to focus on our blessings. Time to celebrate being part of a blessed nation.
It’s also time to realize that at the heart of the problem is the heart of the nation. Throughout the Old Testament, it is clear that when God’s children followed God and kept His commandments, they were blessed. If we want our country to remain a bastian of freedom and opportunity, we need to remain a nation that proclaims and lives the motto “In God we trust.”
We can see from history that when God’s people turned their backs on Him, they were not blessed. When they denied God, not only were they not blessed, but they suffered terrible consequences, from plagues, draughts, wars, capture, and more.
America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles and has been blessed. We’ve become accustomed to a blessed life, but we can’t count on the blessings continuing if we persist in turning our backs on God.
It’s time to celebrate the founding of our great nation, but it’s also time to take a stand for righteousness and honor the God that made us great.
The job of turning a nation is too big for politicians, evangelists, or of magicians. We need a miracle, but if we want peace and unity, we need one of a supernatural nature, one that only God can do.
We need to heed Paul’s counsel to Timothy, “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior” (1 Tim. 2:1-3).
We’re encouraged to pray for all men, not just those we agree with, and especially for those who are in authority. Why? So we can enjoy a quiet and peaceable life, in godliness and reverence. I’ll refrain from saying more because I believe all are in agreement that today our nation lacks quiet and all that makes peace.
Paul exhorts us to pray for a reason. As we pray, God moves on our behalf. In fact, In 2 Chronicles, God promised that He will act on our behalf when we pray.
“When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chr. 7:13-14).
We are truly blessed. Celebrate our blessings. Celebrate our nation. Celebrate with the realization of the source of those blessings and pray for all men, for our leaders, that we will humble ourselves and return to the Lord, and that our blessings may continue.
Happy 4th of July!