Many of you are veterans and today, we have several men and women serving who attend Life Gate, or their parents attend. They and those of you who have served are men and women who love God and love America. You are Heroes in our Midst. There were many "Heroes Of The Bible" who served in the armed forces – Joshua, Caleb, Gideon, Deborah, David, David's might men, etc. What made them heroes was the understanding of the privilege of freedom.
Yesterday was the 4th of July, i.e. Independence Day 2009 meaning our amazing nation is now 233 years old. It was a day, which reminded us how fortunate we are. Only in America will a million people attempt to attend the funeral that didn't happen of a man who wore pajamas to court. "Only in America…" America is the most powerful, most amazing, most unique, yet, most people encompassing nation every existing on this planet.
One thing that makes America awesome is the people who have served and now serve in our armed forces. We can go all the way back to 1776 then forward to today and see that America would not be America without them. Many of you are veterans and today, we have several men and women serving who attend Life Gate, or their parents attend. They and those of you who have served are men and women who love God and love America. You are Heroes in our Midst. There were many "Heroes Of The Bible" who served in the armed forces – Joshua, Caleb, Gideon, Deborah, David, David's might men, etc. What made them heroes was the understanding of the privilege of freedom.
I read a story about a father talking with his rather obstinate son one day. The son, influenced by negative media and negative Americans, spoke negatively about America. His father, who served, not allowing that to go unaddressed, said, "Every person who lives in the United States is a privileged person." The boy answered, "I disagree." The father replied, "That's the PRIVILEGE." We have the PRIVILEGE to disagree. We have the PRIVILEGE to speak our mind. We have PRIVILEGE of religion, PRIVILEGE of speech, PRIVILEGE of the press, and the PRIVILEGE of petition. We have the PRIVILEGE to not only hope and dream, but to pursue our hopes and dreams.
To me, America, the mighty U.S.A., is the #1 place to live on this planet. I am PRIVILEGED and BLESSED to be an American and live in America. I believe some people do not experience the best life they can, or all God has for them because they do not appreciate the privilege to be an American or live in America. They speak negatively about America. I read something interesting referencing the 2004 Presidential election.
"The reason Howard Dean (with Al Gore) lost is that they ran a negative campaign. But the problem wasn't that they were negative about other candidates. It was that they were negative about America." I've never seen a person or a nation come out well being negative about America. There's a penalty when cursing what God has blessed.
Genesis 12:2-3 "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I WILL BLESS THOSE WHO BLESS YOU, AND WHOEVER CURSES YOU I WILL CURSE; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."
I know the Lord spoke this to a man named Abram (at the time). I know that initially it referenced the natural nation of Israel. I know that it came to fruition with the church, but it nearly seems the Lord was talking about America. Certainly, America was founded upon THE SEED of Abraham, Jesus Christ (Gal 3:16) and our money still says, "IN GOD WE TRUST" (in upper case I might add). It's simply not a good idea to be negative about America. God has obviously blessed America.
America is blessed and obviously carries the same type blessing of Abraham. It's blessed from its natural resources to the genius and ingenuity of its incredible people. America's name is great. Every nation is aware of America and it stands second to none. Its name is great and greatly feared and respected. America is a blessing. No other nation has given its blood, its genius, and its finances to help others defend from tyranny to famine as has America. America's allies are blessed because they bless America. Those who curse America… well, it's never gone well for them. In one way or another, all peoples on earth are blessed through America.
Even in America's weak points, it's powerful and better than the rest. For example, we hear our health insurance programs are bad, but nations who have attempted to come up with something better cannot provide the quality or expediency of health care we receive every day right now in America. Most times, you get what you pay for.
We hear about our education system being bad. Yet, every single person in America, male, female, black, white, Oriental, Espanic, Jew, Gentile, you name it, all have equal rights to as much quality education as they desire. There remains no country with the genius of America.
We hear our race relations and prejudices are weaknesses. Yet, we amazed the world with the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States of America. Even with what critics call "race relation problems," people of every race, language, and ethnic origin line up to get into America, so it couldn't be too bad.
We all complain about taxes and our tax structure, but one trip overseas makes one happy to pay taxes to enjoy the security and luxuries we take for granted every day in America. I told someone after getting back from a foreign mission trip, "I'll gladly pay taxes to get to live in America." So, even in what we think are and told are weak spots of America, those so-called weak spots are far superior and powerful when compared to any other nation.
French writer Alexis de Tocqueville, said, "I sought for the greatness of the United States in her commodious harbors, her ample rivers, her fertile fields, and boundless forests--and it was not there. I sought for it in her rich mines, her vast world commerce, her public school system, and in her institutions of higher learning--and it was not there. I looked for it in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution--and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great!" America is great because America is good. America is good to anyone who will allow her to be good to them.
America is great because of her many pulpits. Many nations have vast natural resources like America. Many have great commerce, education, and even a democratic congress. The one thing that separates America from the rest is her many pulpits. From the tiniest communities to the largest metropolis, we find pulpits preaching Jesus. No other nation is that good. That's the secret of America's genius and power. Every week, again, from the tiniest communities to the largest metropolis, Americans pledge allegiance to Jesus Christ asking him to help them and lead them. That pledge of allegiance eventually translates into the pledge of allegiance to the United States of America. In that, we all find America's secret of her genius and power. We find that America is great because America is good.
It's the time of the year to recognize the privilege of being an American and live in America. Thank God for her. Don't talk negatively about her. We have this privilege because of Heroes In Our Midst and Heroes today, yesterday, and tomorrow. Your coming today is an obvious pledge of allegiance to Jesus. I thought we would end today with, instead of an altar call, the Pledge of Allegiance to America. If you will, would you stand with me and pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America?