Tuesday, July 4, 2023

America, Bless God

“And it is further recommended, that, together with devout thanksgiving, may be joined a penitent confession of our sins, and humble supplication for pardon, through the merits of our Savior...”
-The Continental Congress, 1778

God Has Blessed America

There are many things we love about our country, from its natural beauty and abundance to the history of its people and their heroic sacrifices and achievements. We treasure our God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, proclaimed by the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Our country truly has been blessed by God in many ways. Compared to much of the world and much of history, our country is incredibly prosperous, powerful, and full of opportunity.

God Bless America

It is good and right that we should ask for God’s blessing. In this way, we acknowledge our dependence upon him and seek his blessings for the present and the future. “Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain” (Psalm 127:1). If we desire the well-being of our country and our posterity, we will pray for the blessing of God upon America.

America, Bless God?

While it is good to call upon God for his blessing, we should not stop there. If someone gives you a gift, you should give them thanks. If someone saved your life, you would feel obligated to them. God has given you - and everyone you depend upon - life and everything. He has made a world full of good things that are beneficial, pleasant, and enjoyable. He sustains his creation and he sustains you. Therefore, you are obligated to God, to give him thanks and be devoted to him. “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits...” (Psalm 103:2).

Each of us, and our country as a whole, ought to bless God. And yet, our ingratitude is all too evident. Not only do we often neglect him and his worship, but we break his laws and despise his word. Proverbs 28:9 says, “If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.” It is not fair to expect God to listen to us if we do not listen to him. But mankind has repaid his generosity with rebellion and selfishness. Have you given God his due? Have you loved him with all your soul? Have you always loved your neighbor as yourself? We find impiety, greed, lust, pride, and deceit, the root of evil words and deeds. While God is generous and patient, he is a just ruler and will not approve of the guilty.

How Does God Bless?

While God has pronounced a curse on sinners, he delays his judgment, giving time for repentance. He sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to bear this curse so that sinners may be blessed. Jesus satisfied divine justice by his death on the cross and rose again to offer forgiveness and reconciliation with God through faith in him. If you repent of your sins and believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you shall be free from the curse and be truly blessed with him forever.

And so, if we are to ask God for his blessing upon this country, we ought to do so with humble gratitude and faith in Christ, repenting of our sins, endeavoring after new obedience. Let us not presume upon his kindness, which is meant to lead us to repentance.

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