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Veterans’ Day was last Thursday. Did you pause to think about what that day signifies, the men & women who offered themselves in service to their country - & those who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we might have the freedoms we enjoy today?
Oftentimes, when I think of Veteran’s Day, I remember funerals with flag-draped coffins & armed soldiers who gave 7-gun salutes, & tightly folded flags being presented to grieving widows. And I’m reminded of the generations that have preceded us, & the price they paid for our freedom & our heritage.
PROP. The song says, “God bless America, land that I love…” And I’m convinced that God has blessed America. But the Bible teaches that to whom much is given, much is expected. If so, then God must expect a lot from America.
I. AMERICA‘S PAST
Would you think with me a moment about America’s past?
ILL. History tells us that in 1620 a group of Christians, who called themselves Pilgrims, made their way from England across the Atlantic Ocean to the shores of this land. They had received permission to settle in the northern part of the region known as Virginia to establish a colony & erect a church that they hoped would be free & independent of the Church of England.
But late fall winds battered their little boat, pushing them northward. And when they finally sighted land it was at a place we now call Cape Cod, Mass. The date was Nov. 21. They didn’t want to land there because it was a cold & forbidding wilderness.
So they debated for a while. “Should we try to get to Virginia, or just go ahead & settle here?” Finally, they decided that their little boat would probably not make it to Virginia. So they came ashore at a place that we know as Plymouth Rock.
But before they did, they wrote what is known today as “The Mayflower Compact.” It began with these words: “In the name of God…, we whose names are underwritten… Having undertaken, for the glory of God, & advancement of the Christian faith…, a voyage to plant a first colony in the northern part of Virginia, do… solemnly & mutually in the presence of God, & one of another, covenant, & combine ourselves together…”
Did you hear what they were saying? “We have come here in the name of God.” “We have come here to glorify God.” “We have come here to advance the Christian faith.” They were saying, “We are unashamedly Christians, & we search for a place where we can worship God the way we feel the Bible teaches us to worship Him.”
ILL. Someone has said, “The difference between North & South America is that the Spaniards went to South America in search of gold, but the Pilgrims & Puritans came to North America in search of God.” There is enough truth in that to explain some of the differences in the history & development of our two continents.
The earliest foundations of this new land were spiritual foundations. We are a nation built upon faith in, & commitment to, God.
II. AMERICA’S PRESENT
A. Secondly, think about America’s present. Are you proud to be an American? I am. I still get chills when I sing the “Star Spangled Banner.” I still get tears in my eyes when I say the Pledge of Allegiance. I love this country, & I’m proud to be an American.
There are so many things you can do in this
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