Summary: A shorter Sunday evening sermon for the 4th of July, explaining why we have our freedoms and what we must do to keep them.
Have you ever thought about why America is so great? Could it be because America is so different? Let’s take a look at just some of the ways in which we are so different.
. . . Only in America can a pizza get to your house faster than an ambulance.
. . . Only in America do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions, while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front.
. . . Only in America do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put our junk in the garage.
. . . Only in America do we use answering machines to screen calls and have call waiting so we won’t miss a call from someone we didn’t want to talk to in the first place.
. . . Only in America do we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight.
At a prayer breakfast for Congress one time, Billy Graham said he believed that there were many times in the history of America when certain men stood for God and actually changed the course of our history.
With that in mind, let’s go back to the first Constitutional Convention, where the delegates were burdened with the pressures of their time, and they exhausted from trying to hammer out a new government’s precepts.
These men were so frustrated at not being able to agree on a Constitution that they were all but ready to throw the whole idea out and forget it. But, it was during this upheaval of spirit, that one older man with white hair stood up, calm and deliberate. That man was Benjamin Franklin, and this is what he said:
“Gentlemen, if it is true that not one single petal from any flower falls to the ground
without escaping God’s attention, will the distress of this nation go unheeded? Let us therefore determine to seek His face.”
These men did something that would cause many legal challenges today. They immediately put down their pens and all got on their knees in prayer. When they got back on their feet, the slogan ‘E Pluribus Unum’ was born. “One Out Of Many.”
In the Living Bible, EPHESIANS 4:4-6 says,
“We are all parts of one body, we have the same Spirit, and we have all been called to the same glorious future. For us, there is only one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and we all have the same God and Father who is over us all and in us all, and living through every part of us.”
I believe that is why Christians should celebrate the 4th of July. We are One Nation – Under God.
As Americans, we are used to giving praise, aren’t we? We give our loved ones praise when they do something good; we give coworkers praise in the form of incentives and encouragement.
There is a cartoon I once saw of a man who was obviously having the worst bad-hair day of his life, and the caption said, “When I woke up this morning, I had one never left, and you are starting to get on it!”
Sometimes, we praise our kids for not getting on our last nerve, don’t we?
Sometimes, we are so busy giving our praises to others, that we all but forget who we are supposed to give all praise to. In PSALM 150, we read,
“Praise the Lord, praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens. Praise Him for His acts of power; praise Him for His surpassing greatness. Praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise Him with the harp and lyre, praise Him with tambourine and dancing, praise Him with the strings and flute, praise Him with the clash of cymbals, praise Him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!”
We tend to praise everything in our lives, from our toasters to our pets, but in reality, the practice of praise belongs to none other than our Lord in Heaven. I think that we have an invitation to give God praise this morning, and I also think He is due our praise.
MATTHEW HENRY once said,
“Holy joy is the heart and soul of praise..”
In PSALM 33:1, we are told,
“Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous”
In VERSE 3, it says,
“Sing to Him a new song, play skillfully and shout for joy!”
I think it is time that America should sing one song, in harmony, and that song should be a song of praise to God. God may be invisible to our human eyes, but he is so visible to our Christian hearts.
As Americans, we have led a comfortable life, haven’t we? They used to call this the Life of Riley. They even wrote a song about it. That song said, “Everything’s going my way!”