Psalm 33:4-12 New King James Version (NKJV)
4 For the word of the Lord is right, And all His work is done in truth.
5 He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.
7 He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deep in storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.
9 For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.
10 The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect.
11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever, The plans of His heart to all generations.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.
20 Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart shall rejoice in Him, Because we have trusted in His holy name.
22 Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, Just as we hope in You.
I love America! From sea to sea, border to border.
--I love its towns. Country. People. And values.
--We've welcomed many of goodwill from all nations.
--God bless America! We sing it. Let's pray for it.
--God blesses America .. as America belesses God.
Don't you love Psalm 33:12, "Blessed is the nation, whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance"? "..Whose God is the Lord."
--That's it! What we need. Praise, patriotism, and much prayer, with righteousness. Ends in prayer.
--"The eye of the Lord is on those who love Him, and hope in His mercy..Let Your mercy, O Lord, be on us, just as we hope in You" (v 18-22). Not "as."
We've visited the United Nations Building, which has Isaiah 2:4 carved on it, "They shall beat their swords into plowshares .. Nation shall not life up swords against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore." But we still have war! Where is the peace?
--Are we leaving the Lord out? The "Prince of Peace."
--The God our Mediator Who brings peace to hearts.
--Let's let the Lord Jesus, our Messiah, come in.
Dr. T.B. McDormand, former head of our Seminary, and College in Pennsylvania, a friend and speaker in two of our churches, in West Virginia and Michigan.
--He told of crossing Canada on a train a few days.
--He got acquainted with a Christian train porter.
--Walking through the cars together, the porter kept picking up trash and tidying up along a few cars.
--After a number of these he asked, "Are all these, your cars, to keep?" "O no!" replied the porter.
--"These are not my cars to keep, but this is my train. I want it to look the best, in all Canada!"
What an example, this porter, for all we Americans!
--For all who call themselves Christian people.
--May not be our job, but it is our nation, for God.
--And we all need to clean in up, and make it best!
This way, God blesses America! And God blesses us!
Visitors to Washington tour the Lincoln Memorial, for behind his statue are carved Lincoln's words - spoken after the Civil War.
--He sought to heal a divided, and wounded, nation.
--His words, "..With malice toward none, and charity for all, let us strive to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds."
--Great healing words to heal both North and South.
Our nation today has wounds that need healing.
--We have divisions that need uniting, and problems..so many problems.. needing wise and godly solutions.
--I am one who believes they can best be solved by the aid and guidance of Almighty God.
--Specifically by prayer and repentance and revival.
--"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord..."
--For if we neglect the Lord, "He makes the plans of the people of no effect" (Psalm 33:8-10).
History shows God raises up and puts down nations, of powerful empires - most often from within! By sin.
--So what can we do, for our country? For our God?
I. WE CAN LOVE AMERICA .. LOVE IT BACK TO GOD.
--I'm talking about genuine, godly love; doing right.
--Of honesty. Integrity. Morality. And worship.
--Be reminded that our nation was founded on God.
--By brave people who came believing in God .. Bible, and in the Lord Jesus Christ and His righteousness.
--They risked life and all most dear to give us a nation "under God," a Constitution, states, churches.
--Why? They loved God. And they loved America!
Daniel Webster, a native New Englander, statesman and champion of the Union and Constitution, said, "If we neglect the Bible - and God - who can tell how sudden a catastrophe may come upon us." How true, indeed.
We have had 9/11/01, and lesser things, as God may be seeking to get our attention to what He wants us to do.
--It is time that every citizen show whose side he or she is on! To love America, back to God!
--To "Choose this day who you will serve," as Joshua asked all Israel .. and God asks us (Joshua 24:15).
Remember, "Righteousness exalts a nation, sin is a reproach to any people" (Proverbs 14:34).
--History bears witness to this great truth.
In our home has hung these words of Lincoln, "I like to see a man proud of the place he lives, and live so his place will be proud of him."
--My fellow Americans, this can get God's blessings.
Be thankful for all that's good here and God honoring.
--God is honored in our Pledge of Allegiance.
--Look at our money, to see, "In God We Trust."
--We have a national day of Thanksgiving to God.
--A patriotic hymn ends with, "great God our King."
--Our elected officials take oath of office on a copy of God's Word, and end, "So help me, God."
My friend, let's not let anyone take any of this away.
--Today too many have a motto, "Just be tolerant; try to get along with everybody - 'anything goes.'"
--But tolerance can go too far; right loses to wrong!
--If "anything goes," soon all that's good is gone.
--It is one way some nations forget God .. and fall.
II. WE CAN PRAY FOR AMERICA .. PRAY IT BACK TO GOD.
--All it takes for a great nation to fall is for good people to do nothing. Do something! Let's pray!
--It is time to pray, and pray fervently to God.
--Time to review. Repent. Revive. Renew to action.
--Prayer created America. Has kept it.
--Washington's prayers at Valley Forge saved America.
Also after days of arguing in Philadelphia's Continental Congress - and getting nowhere - Ben Franklin arose to say, "I move we pray and invoke the blessings of heaven, for, "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it" (Psalm 127:1)
--George Washington seconded it. Prayer was made.
--The Constitution came, a great world document.
--How? By prayer! Again today, prayers are needed.
--For our safety. World peace. Jobs. Economy.
--Prayer can make enemies friends - of America. God.
--To become friends of the Lord Jesus Christ to save.
--Yes, it pays to pray .. and to obey. If we do it.
O yes, it pays to pray, to seek God's will and help.
--Has not God said, "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, will forgive their sin, and heal their land" (II Chronicles 7:14)? Think of it!
--It can bring us to the place of prayer, success.
III. WE CAN IMPROVE AMERICA, AS WE IMPROVE OURSELVES.
--A nation is not better - rises no higher - than its people. It is the people who are so important.
--Sure, we need improving - just read the news! - all of us, can improve, in every way, and in the Lord.
--Let's lift up the nation - not tear it down - as we improve ourselves, our families, our communities.
America is worth loving. Praying for. Improving.
--Because all of us are in God's love - and worth Jesus dying for on a cross to save us for heaven.
--Improvement begins with you and me. All America.
As a pastor, one of my models was Rev. Peter Marshall.
--He came from Scotland; rose to be pastor of a great church in Washington, and Chaplain of the Senate.
--He was a preacher of the Word. A man of prayer.
--They made an excellent movie of his life.
--His wife, Catherine, wrote many Christian books.
--I met their son, Peter John, also a minister.
The Marshall family stood on the Capitol steps one evening, looking over Washington - a glorious sight.
--Peter said, "Of all that's wrong with America, think of all that's right with it." I can't forget that.
We see wrongs that can be righted as we focus more on the right than the wrong. On godly living. And God.
--People, and things, are improved by good example.
--By offering encouragement. By working together.
--Not by removing prayer, the Commandments or a Bible from public places, and our lives. But, by Jesus!
--Let's make America more beautiful - from within.
--The beauty of living godly. Worshiping. Caring.
--To know Jesus Christ as Savior. Live His way.
--As we do, God will bless America. And each of us.
--Let's do it!
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD. DD. 711