Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.. Proverbs 14:34

What an appropriate verse for our Independence Day weekend. Our nation began with a group of people who valued righteousness enough to sail across the ocean and start a new life in a land that would allow them to worship God according to their own consciences. Others crossed the ocean for varied reasons, but the very words of our Declaration of Independence and our US Constitution support the fact that our country was established by people who had an awesome respect for God.

For many years our nation has been blessed by God as the people have given Him a place of honor in our nation. Sadly, there has been an eroding of that sense of honor for God, especially in our governing bodies. Those of us who came of age in the “Hippie Generation” should have seen it coming, but we were too willing to look for wisdom in all the wrong places. Some of us have recognized the folly of our ways and turned to God allowing Him to show us where we went wrong.

We can scold our government officials and put the blame on other people until we exhaust ourselves in wearyness. Or we can choose self-examination. Exactly where is my own heart in matters of righteousness? Would I be embarrassed if someone were able to read my thoughts at any given time? We can’t hide them from God, but we can put up a front that others can’t break through.

What is my model for righteousness? God has given us His Word in the Bible. Most people who call themselves Christians will say that the Bible is the greatest book ever written. They will revere it by keeping it in a special place and dust it if needed, but seldom take the time to read it or use it to search out God’s heart on a special concern. Sadly, when many who call themselves Christians hear what the Bible says on a given topic they are quick to add, “Yes, but I think …”

If there is hope for our nation, it will come when righteousness replaces the rampant sin that we have embraced. And that will happen one person at a time.

Father God, forgive our foolish ways. Incline our hearts to you before it is too late for our country. Bring your church to its knees in repentance. Then send your disciples out to the world when they are equipped to bring in a harvest. Start with me Lord. Clean out the places that only You and I know need cleaning out.

Copyright © 2009 by Janice Green

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