Today is our celebration Sunday before Independence Day on July 4th, this coming Tuesday. With all her shortcomings, our nation is still the model democracy to every nation on earth. This country is still the best example of and earnest desire within people everywhere who long to be free.
George Bernard Shaw said, “Liberty is the breath of life to nations.”
That’s why we have an immigration overload in our land. People all over the world want to be free like we are free this morning to worship and live in obedience to our own conscience. Today, I thank God, along with you, my church family, for America.
General Omar Bradley said of our nation, “America today is running on the momentum of a godly ancestry, and when that momentum runs down, God help America… We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.”
I think we can all feel the loss as our momentum from a godly ancestry runs down. Violence, greed, lack of decency and disintegration of the family all indicate that our society is headed in the wrong direction.
On this Sunday before Independence Day, God’s calls us to worship as a family of believers who have hope rather than despair. Our hope is not in the personality of the one who sits in the leather chair of the oval office. It is not grounded in the halls where men gather to determine budgets, cultural reforms or the laws of the land. Our hope is found in God who gives us direction and a plan for the future:
“If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, they I will heart from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
We can pray for our nation today. We can determine to let God take control of our lives. We can do our part to influence and inspire our families and friends to turn toward God. Our hope lies in what God can do for our country.
Today, in my absence, Mr. Terry Weatherford will be preaching and leading our congregation in worship. We are excited about how the Lord is using Terry in his ministry with Gideon’s International. As you probably know, The Gideon’s organization places millions of Bibles throughout American and around the world. There is no stronger way to influence the direction of this country and others than pointing multitudes of people toward God’s word. Terry has taken a special interest in Grace because he and his wife Tina were former members and leaders here. Terry was with us during Vacation Bible School and personally prayed with a young man to receive Jesus as his savior. Terry joins with our Wednesday Night Bible Study group from time to time to share in fellowship and prayer for what God is doing. Be in prayer for Terry today as he opens the word of God and preaches what God has placed on his heart.
OF COURSE, HAVE A GREAT 4TH OF JULY HOLIDAY. Robbie and I will be in the mountains with our entire family cooking hamburgers, watching fireworks and cooling off while floating down the Hiwassee River. Thank you for giving Robbie and me the privilege of serving our great God as your pastor and for the joy of having a few days away to RECHARGE!