Posted by: pastortomvabeach | June 26, 2018

Thought for the Week July 1, 2018

This week we will celebrate the birthday of the United States some 242 years ago. The document we remember as our “birth certificate” of sorts is the Declaration of Independence. If you recall, the second paragraph of that document began with these words, “We hold these truths to be self evident; that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

It has been debated and we will not solve the question here, whether our nation was founded as a Christian nation. There are arguments on both sides that I don’t have room to take up. What I do see in this initial declaration is that those who crafted the wording appeared to hold certain beliefs. The first was that there definitely is a God (“created equal; their Creator”) They believed that Someone bigger than us put us here in the first place.

Secondly, they believed that this Creator placed within every person certain rights that came to that person simply because he or she was His creation. These rights were not given by men, nor could they be taken away by men. It was this basis that caused intelligent, patriotic, and dedicated men and women to press for freedom from colonial oversight that was limiting those rights.

I happen to believe that it was this belief in God and His providence that enabled this small band of revolutionaries to defeat the greatest military power of its day and establish our great nation. I also believe that God has protected and guided this nation through a sometimes difficult, sometimes shameful growing process to be the best example of governance under God that ever existed on earth.

Certainly, we have much to look back on and regret. Some of our dealings with native Americans were certainly ill-considered, injudicious, and even cruel. The fact that slavery ever existed in this nation is disgraceful. But with God’s grace we grew to understand what it means to all be His creation, to all be equally valuable, to all deserve an equal chance to experience life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

July Fourth is a great day for our nation. A great day to celebrate the birth of an experiment in building a nation on godly principles. A day to celebrate the good things we have grown to be. It is also a time to pray. I’m sure that most everyone sees the many issues that are dividing our nation today. We have reached a point where discourse over disagreement is losing its civility and hatred is aimed at those with whom we disagree politically. That’s not what our founders wanted, nor is it what God wants.

I believe that the only solution to the political, financial, moral, and relational problems that are threatening our nation today is a real revival of such proportions that, if Jesus tarries another 100 years, it will be looked back on as another Great Awakening similar to those of the 19th century. The only way that will happen is if Christians can lay aside the differences we have and begin, as one to seek the Lord and pray.

At our staff meeting on Tuesday, we prayed for the nation and I felt the Lord’s prompting to pray for just such a revival. Could we, as a church, honestly tell the Lord that we don’t want to be part of the problem by fueling differences with hostility or rhetoric, but we want to be part of the solution by praying, seeking His face, and turning from our wicked ways (II Chronicles 7:14)? Would you add this to your prayer list: pray for revival, pray seriously for revival, pray earnestly for revival? We’ll pray together on Sunday.

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