Today is July the 4th. Here at the Wilson home, we've finished the cookout and are getting ready for tonight's fireworks. One has to precede the other and well, we might as well eat. While we're waiting I started thinking about how amazing it is to be a part of it all- the great experiment that is America.
What made America different? Why, among all the nations that have come and gone, is she looked to as a model - a lighthouse to the world - that "City on a Hill"?
You can look over the incredible beauty of our land. You can see the works of the hands and the warmth of the hearts of our people. You can measure our strength and the valor of those who serve her. But first things first.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...
As the men who "pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor" wrote their explanation to the world in the form of a "Declaration of Independence", setting out on a course that would lead to America - before they unpacked their grievances with Britain, they found within them something pure and God-given.
Before one single battle was fought, before any laws were passed, before the first coin was struck, before a flag was flown, America wanted to be known as the nation who recognized that some things surpassed preferences, local culture, or national identity. "We hold these truths to be self-evident..."
First things first.
So how can we incorporate that in our busy and hectic lives? How can we make sure we are living purposeful lives? That we are putting our energies into what matters, and holding as convictions those things that place us into the center of God's will?
19 "Don't store up treasures here on earth, where they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in and steal. 20Store your treasures in heaven, where they will never become moth-eaten or rusty and where they will be safe from thieves. 21Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be. Matthew 6 (NLT)
"Wherever your treasure is..."
A friend of mine in California has five kids - all boys under 15. They play every sport known to man and some that they just make up. He lives in a nice neighborhood where people take great pride in the appearance of their homes and their yards. The wear and tear on his yard doesn't help him keep up. One night after agonizing over what to do about it, he went back inside and walked past the bedrooms of his sons as they slept. Looking at them for a minute, he left and went into his garage and went straight from there out to the lawn.
The next morning, his neighbors who passed by noticed the new sign.
"We're raising sons now. Grass later."
First things first. Make God the center of your life. Look to Him and through His Word at your life, your values, your desires. Set your priorities based on nothing other than your love and devotion to Him. If you love Him, you'll hold His truths to be "self-evident" and your life as the "evidence" of His love.
Grace! And May God Bless America.