This month, we celebrate the signing of our Declaration of Independence which, after bitter fighting, led to the establishment of our country in the next decade.
Most of us took U.S. history in school; we know the basic details of the fight for independence. And I think we are all grateful for the freedoms God has given us in this nation. But there are some very real blessings and challenges for our country that are also worth recognizing as we celebrate God’s grace.
Wonderful Natural Resources (Gen. 1)
God created the universe and the earth is the location for his image to live. The resources of our country are amazing and a true blessing, and they are given by the Creator. The “amber waves of grain” should cause us to look to the Creator and say, “Thank you!” As I write this, I am overlooking the ocean in Delaware, seeing the glory of God in true splendor.
A value of freedom (for religion)
Historically, the U.S. is known as one of the few countries that allows for freedom of religion. This founding value was unusual. Praise the Lord for a land where we are free to worship Jesus following his Word!
Protection of the people (Rom. 13)
God established government to protect the innocent in a fallen world. My wife Cathy and I recently went to Normandy and got just a glimpse of the price that was paid to free the world from the evils of Nazism. It was impactful, and it reminded me that—although we may not always do it perfectly—we provide protection in this nation. And I am incredibly thankful for the protection from the men and women in service and the local officers of the law.
Our nation has been blessed by God. But just like the nation of Israel in the Old Testament, we have not taken advantage of the blessings. Bearing that in mind, I offer a few warnings:
Health & Wealth
With great blessing comes great responsibility, yet our culture is one where health and wealth seem to be the highest values. May we live the values of the supremacy of Jesus which is certainly countercultural.
Justice for all
Our country declared its freedom in 1776, but that freedom was not universal. We said there was” freedom for all,” but not slaves. At College Park, we have spent time trying to make our church a place where there is justice for all and all are equal before the Lord. We are seeking to live out biblical unity in diversity in a country that has not and does not consistently hold that value. As we strive to freedom for all as the Church, we can also pray the same for our country.
A Post-Christian Culture
As a Church, we should be ready for changes in our nation as the culture moves further away from Christianity. We have a great opportunity to demonstrate the kingdom of God as we live for him in a country increasingly opposed to him.
I thank God for the U.S.A. I encourage you to join me in thanking God and praying that as believers, we would be salt and light in our world, that through us, the glory of God will cover the earth as the water covers the sea (Hab. 2).