Roots of Faith in the United States

II Chronicles 7:14a “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves…”

Roots of Faith in the United States

Did you know that 52 of the signers of the Declaration of Independence
were orthodox, deeply committed Christians? The other three all believed in
the Bible as the divine truth, the God of scripture, and in His personal intervention.

It is the same Congress that formed the American Bible Society. Immediately
after creating the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress
voted to purchase and import 20,000 copies of scripture for the people of this nation.

Patrick Henry, who is called the firebrand of the American Revolution, is
still remembered for his words, “Give me liberty or give me death.” But in
current textbooks the context of these words is deleted. Here is what he
actually said: “An appeal to arms and the God of hosts is all that is left
us. But we shall not fight our battle alone. There is a just God that
presides over the destinies of nations. The battle Sir, is not to the strong
alone. Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of
chains and slavery? Forbid it almighty God. I know not what course others
may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death.”

These sentences have been erased from our textbooks. Was Patrick Henry a
Christian? You be the judge. The following year, 1776, he wrote this: “It
cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great Nation was
founded not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the
Gospel of Jesus Christ. For that reason alone, people of other faiths have
been afforded freedom of worship here.”

Consider these words that Thomas Jefferson wrote on the front of his
well-worn Bible: “I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the
doctrines of Jesus. I have little doubt that our whole country will soon be
rallied to the unity of our Creator ” He was also the chairman of the
American Bible Society, which he considered his highest and most
important role.

On July 4, 1821, President Adams said, “The highest glory of the American
Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of
civil government with the principles of Christianity.”

Calvin Coolidge, our 30th President of the United States reaffirmed this
truth when he wrote, “The foundations of our society and our government rest
so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support
them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in
our country.”

In 1782, the United States Congress voted this resolution: “The Congress of
the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all schools.”

William Holmes McGuffey is the author of the McGuffey Reader, which was used
for over 100 years in our public schools with over 125 million copies sold
until it was stopped in 1963. President Lincoln called him the “Schoolmaster
of the Nation.” Listen to these words of Mr. McGuffey: “The Christian
religion is the religion of our country. From it are derived our notions on
the character of God, on the great moral Governor of the universe. On its
doctrines are founded the peculiarities of our free institutions. From no
source has the author drawn more conspicuously than from the sacred
Scriptures. For all these extracts from the Bible I make no apology.”

Of the first 108 universities founded in America, 106 were distinctly
Christian, including the first, Harvard University, chartered in 1636. In
the original Harvard Student Handbook, rule number 1 was that students
seeking entrance must know Latin and Greek so that they could study the
scriptures: “Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed
to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and
Jesus Christ, which is eternal life, John 17:3; and therefore to lay Jesus
Christ as the only foundation for our children to follow the moral
principles of the Ten Commandments.”

James Madison, the primary author of the Constitution of the United States,
said this: “We have staked the whole future of our new nation not upon the
power of government; far from it. We have staked the future of all our
political constitutions upon the capacity of each of ourselves to govern
ourselves according to the moral principles of the Ten Commandments.”

Today, we are asking God to bless America. But, how can He bless a Nation that has
departed so far from Him? Prior to September 11, He was not welcome in
America and is still unwelcome in all of our public schools.

Most of what you read in this article has been erased from our textbooks.
Revisionists have rewritten history to remove the truth about our country’s
Christian roots. We must not let it be removed from our minds.

“I tremble for my country when I recall that God is just, and that His
justice will not sleep forever.”
— Thomas Jefferson

II Chronicles 7:14 “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.

The Faith of America’s Founders…..

2 Chron. 7:14a “If my people…”

Founding Faith!

In this difficult time for our country it does us well to remember and build on the faith of our  founding fathers! Note how they were not afraid to reference Jesus as their source of strength!!
How about us? When is the last time we gave credit to Jesus for something in our lives and the unsaved world heard us?

The Faith of America’s Founders

George Washington, father of our country, first president of the United States said;

“Bless O Lord the whole race of mankind, and let the world be filled with knowledge of Thee and Thy Son, Jesus Christ.” “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.” “Of all the habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. . . . Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” (From his farewell speech, 1796).

Patrick Henry, American Revolutionary leader:
“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by  religionists, but by Christians: not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States:

“God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever.”

Benjamin Franklin, At the Constitutional Convention of 1787:

“I have lived long, Sir, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that ‘except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.’ I firmly believe this, and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel. . . . My views . . . are the result of a life of inquiry and reflection, and very different from the anti-Christian system imputed to me by those who know nothing of my opinions. To the corruption’s of Christianity, I am, indeed, opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian in the only sense in which He wished anyone to be; sincerely attached to His doctrines in preference to all others.”

Prayer that opened the first Continental Congress in September, 1774:

“My soul shall be joyful in the Lord; it shall rejoice in his salvation.
. . . Awake and rise to my defense” Contend for me, my God and Lord” (Psalm 35:9, 23)

John Adams, on that prayer;

“Who can realize the emotions with which they turned imploringly to heaven for divine interposition and aid? It was enough . . . to melt a heart of stone. It seemed as if heaven had ordained that Psalm
to be read that day.”

George Washington:

“Direct my thoughts, words and work. Wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the Lamb, and purge my heart by Thy Holy Spirit. . . Daily frames me more and more into the likeness of Thy Son Jesus Christ.”

Alexander Hamilton, signer of the Constitution:

“I have a tender reliance on the mercy of the Almighty, through the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am a sinner. I look to Him for mercy.”

So, how important is it that I vote on who takes office and on what promise or principle do I base my vote on? Material or moral promises? You decide. That is one of the blessings we have in America. We can decide…..

2 Chron. 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

The CHRISTian and Handling Suffering….

James 1:2-4 “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

James 4:13-15 “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”

The CHRISTian and Handling Suffering

The title of today’s challenge sounds a bit strange. We live in a world where many teach that health, wealth, prosperity and the total absence of suffering brings fulfillment. And of course our fleshly nature totally agrees with that thought. There are even teachers professing to be ‘born again’ that teach the same. They teach that to experience otherwise reflects a weak faith or sin. While it can be a result of sin the scriptures never proclaim that if we suffer for the gospels sake it is a lack of faith. Actually it is just the opposite.

When we are drawn to Jesus as our Savior and we dig into His word to find meaning for our lives and we hear that, “”Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” Wow, that stops us dead in our tracks. Many, who never study and never grow from the milk of God’s word to being able to handle the meat of God’s word never even address this question.

Can it really be true? If I am to live for my Savior who died for me can I expect some level of persecution? The answer from scripture is a loud yes. If the world disliked and even hated Jesus and we profess what He professed then the world will not like us either. That’s a tough one to swallow. Like you my flesh prefers that people would like me. And what if I am experiencing zero persecution. Does that mean my spiritual priorities are not correct? Yes, that could be the case. Ouch! We can only know that by asking God to answer that question and then we must do something contrary to our fleshly wills. We must truly be open to the answer. Remember the answers to prayer are yes, no and wait. Yes, is not the only option God has. When I hear no or wait it does not mean that God did not answer my prayer.

There are promises in the word of God that don’t seem much like promises to many believers. Persecution is one of them. Scripture proclaims that all whose purpose of heart is to live godly lives in this present world shall (certainly) suffer persecution, as did their Lord. Maybe we contemplate such verses and think they should say something like, “And all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall be appreciated for their goodness and rewarded with approval, good health and fortune while in this world.”

The Holy Spirit through Paul said to the Philippians, “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.” We probably would be more comfortable if that were to read, “For unto you it is given…not only to believe on him, but also to be blessed with health, wealth and prosperity.” But it doesn’t say that. Reading and allowing the Word of God to change our lives are two entirely different things. Are you a reader only? Ouch, another convicting question.

So why would I want to be open to persecution??? As noted in James we are in this life but for a short time. Our lives are but a vapor that comes and disappears quickly. Our time to serve our Lord is short. This time on earth is but a grain of sand on the beach in comparison to eternity. And if you are a believer you will spend eternity with God. There is also a judgment seat or awards ceremony for believers. The judgment seat is not to judge our sins that Jesus took care of but to award us for services rendered while on this earth. I would rather hear, ‘well done’, than to hear how I missed the prize or to hear a silence because of lack of commitment on my part while on this earth.

We are to serve out of obedience. Disobedience is viewed by God as a tragic sin. Check it out over and over in scripture in both the OT and the NT. God never accepts disobedience. Our sins are washed away by Jesus blood so my salvation is secure. While works cannot save us they are very important after being ‘born again’. Serving Jesus while on this earth is now or should now be my focus! And when done correctly it will bring some level of persecution.

Remember persecution comes in many different ways including verbal, lost friendships, physical punishment, lost job opportunities, etc. In America at least for now the verbal, peer pressure and life style issues are the greatest persecution we see. So maybe all is not lost with that slap in the face that you just received, literal or figurative. Pray and think before you allow your fleshly frustration to take over. It may be that you are doing exactly what you should be for His glory!!!!!

Romans 12:1, 2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

God knows ALL….

Mat 11:28, 29 “Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and
I will give you rest.

Who knows All

When you are tired and discouraged from fruitless efforts…                                                      God knows how hard you have tried.

When you’ve cried so long and your heart is in anguish…                                                                God has counted your tears.

If you feel that your life is on hold and time has passed you by…                                             God is waiting with you.

When you’re lonely and your friends are too busy even for a phone call…                              God is by your side.

When you think you’ve tried everything and don’t know where to turn…
God has a solution.

When nothing makes sense and you are confused or frustrated…                                              God has the answer.

If suddenly your outlook is brighter and you find traces of hope…                                              God has sustained you.

When things are going well and you have much to be thankful for…                                      God has blessed you.

When something joyful happens and you are filled with awe…                                                    God has smiled upon you.

When you have a purpose to fulfill and a dream to follow…                                                         God has opened your eyes and called you by name.

When you realize life is for eternity and only Jesus can save you…                                          God awaits your calling upon His Son to save you.

Remember that wherever you are or whatever you are facing…GOD KNOWS ALL!

Mat 11:28, 29 “Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and
I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me for I am
gently and lowly of heart, and you will find rest unto your soul.”

You can run but you cannot Hide…..

You can run but you cannot Hide…..

Jonah was given a ministry to perform but his desires and pride got in the way. He thought he knew more than our God and that the people he was being asked to minister to were too sinful to be saved. He saw them as the scum of the earth rather than lost sheep as our Lord saw them. He tried to run from the Lord but quickly learned that it is impossible to do so.

You can run but you cannot hide from the Lord! Just ask Jonah.

Jonah 1:1-4 “The word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying, Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me. BUT JONAH rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. The Lord hurled a great wind on the sea and there was a great storm on the sea so that the ship was about to break up.

Jonah 1:17 “And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights.

Jonah learned it’s never too late to repent. But like me and many of you I am sure, Jonah waited until his trials forced him to repent and do it God’s way. When was the last time you said; ‘not my will Lord, but your will be done’?

Jonah 2:1 “Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the stomach of the fish.”

We now see him turning to God. Remember, it is never too late to do so. It’s never too late to surrender your life to serving God.

Jonah 2:9a “But I will sacrifice to You with the voice of thanksgiving…”

Jonah 3:3a “So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh according to the word of the Lord.”

Isn’t it great how long suffering and patient our God is? As with Jonah, God waits on us to commit to Him and His service.

Have a great day in the service of the King and please do not wait to be nudged or you may be swallowed or………..

Be NOT Conformed to this World…..

2 Cor. 5:21 “For he has made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Be Not Conformed to This World

Our culture is riddled with a poisonous spirit of entitlement. We always think we deserve more. We’re disappointed with our family, neighbors, church, the waitress, the sales clerk, the government and the department of motor vehicles. Ultimately we’re disappointed with God. He hasn’t given us everything we want and think we deserve.

What madness! If only we could see our situation clearly–even for a moment. We deserved expulsion; He gives us a diploma. We deserved the electric chair; He gives us eternal life with Him if we will accept it by grace through faith. Anything less than overwhelming gratitude should be unthinkable. He owes us nothing. We owe Him everything. When you realize you deserve nothing better than hell, it puts a “bad day” in perspective, doesn’t it?

Christians in the Sudan and many other countries around the world–who’ve suffered unspeakably for their faith–are deeply grateful for God’s daily blessings. But us? We whine and pout with the “I deserve more” and “Why me” mentalities.

Thankfulness should draw a clear line between us and a Christless world. If the same spirit of entitlement and ingratitude that characterizes our culture characterizes us, what do we have to offer? We have become the salt that has lost its seasoning power and may be good for nothing. Ouch! God is sovereign in the affairs of mankind which must be our attitude toward all issues. The results of sin are the only ones that God did not design and even those results God can use to teach and train us if we allow Him to.

To know if you have it you need but check out your attitude of gratitude. Are you thankful for even the things that appear to be catastrophic in your life? If they are not a result of sin then I brought them on by myself. God can never tempt or author sin. Don’t get captured by the attitude of the world or the opinion page of the local newspaper. Scripture teaches that we are to count ALL things or situations in our lives as joy and that God is sovereign in the affairs of mankind.

If I grasp that I deserve hell, I’ll be filled with gratitude not only for God’s huge blessings–including my redemption and home in heaven–but also for His smaller blessings: sun, rain, a beating heart, eyes that see, legs that walk, a mind that thinks and the unspeakable joy of the trials that bring spiritual growth. And my whole focus would change. Because Christ allowed Himself to be crushed under the weight of my sin, I’ll enjoy forever a clear mind and perfect body. Never believe anything about yourself or God that makes His grace to you seem anything less than astonishing. Because that’s exactly what it is.

Portions from; Randy Alcorn, “The Grace and Truth Paradox,” Multnomah Publishers 2003, pp. 33-35

The rest of the story….

Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith Jehovah.”

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Romans 12:1-2 ” I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Time gets Better with Age….

I Cor 13:11 “When I was a child I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.”

TIME GETS BETTER WITH AGE

I’ve learned that I like my teacher because she cries when we sing
“Silent Night”. Age 5

I’ve learned that our dog doesn’t want to eat my broccoli either. Age 7

I’ve learned that when I wave to people in the country, they stop what
they are doing and wave back. Age 9

I’ve learned that just when I get my room the way I like it, Mom makes
me clean it up again. Age 12

I’ve learned that if you want to cheer yourself up, you should try
cheering someone else up. Age 14

I’ve learned that although it’s hard to admit it, I’m secretly glad my
parents are strict with me. Age 15

I’ve learned that silent company is often more healing than words of
advice. Age 24

I’ve learned that brushing my child’s hair is one of life’s great
pleasures. Age 26

I’ve learned that wherever I go, the world’s worst drivers have followed
me there. (Or gotten there before me)Age 29

I’ve learned that if someone says something unkind about me, I must live
so that no one will believe it. Age 30

I’ve learned that there are people who love you dearly but just don’t
know how to show it. Age 42

I’ve learned that you can make some one’s day by simply sending them a
little note. Age 44

I’ve learned that the greater a person’s sense of guilt, the greater his
or her need to cast blame on others. Age 46

I’ve learned that children and grandparents are natural allies. Age 47

I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today,
life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. Age 48

I’ve learned that singing “Amazing Grace” can lift my spirits for hours. Age 49

I’ve learned that motel mattresses are better on the side away from the
phone. Age 50

I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a man by the way he handles
these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas
tree lights. Age 51

I’ve learned that keeping a vegetable garden is worth a medicine cabinet
full of pills. Age 52

I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a
life. Age 58

I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you
miss them terribly after they die. Age 60

I’ve learned that if you want to do something positive for your
children, work to improve your marriage. Age 61

I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.
(but not often) Age 62

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catchers mitt on
both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.
Age 64

I’ve learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you.
But if you focus on doing God’s will, loving your family, meeting the needs of others, doing your work with joy, meeting new people, and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.
Age 65

I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with kindness, I usually
make the right decision. Age 66

I’ve learned that everyone can use a prayer. Age 72

I’ve learned that it pays to believe in miracles. And to tell the truth,
I’ve seen several. Age 75

I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.
Age 82

I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone.
People love that human touch-holding hands, a warm hug, or just a
friendly pat on the back. Age 90

I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. Age 92

James 1:5,6a “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives
to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him,
but let him ask in faith without any doubting…”