Do you hunger for God’s Word in a world where the duty to love (God with all our hearts, neighbors, even enemies) and stand firm on right from wrong has lost valor, dulled senses, and hardened hearts? Are we yearning for the Lord to teach us the way we should go and help us to walk in His truth each day? Are we praising Him with our lips and filling our hearts with the joy of His love and blessings?
Psalm 86:11-12 reminds us to do these things with passion and glorify His name forevermore. So, are we or are we not? Has summer been a time of boredom or blessings, staying connected to electronics or Christ, grumbling and complaining over things of this world or giving and caring about things (gifts) and people with an attitude of gratitude? When the hot, hazy, crazy days of summer end, what good news stories can you write about the places you’ve been and the people you’ve blessed and been blessed by? We must purposefully proceed with passion and promise as seasons come and go.
Sharing words and deeds of great Biblical leaders and presidents of the United States of America have seasoned my summer stories and hopefully, given time for reflecting and recounting the loving gifts God has blessed you (and me) with. When passion and purpose are lost, for one reason or another, in seasons when we wonder what in the world happened, our stories personify stormy seasons that can drown us in pity, depression, and misery. Good news is silenced when hope and happiness are void in our storyline. Strong, Christian leaders are needed in all seasons for the pursuit of happiness to be present for future generations.
Dwight Eisenhower understood this important principal and shared it in his Inaugural Address in 1953.
“Almighty God, as we stand here at the moment my future associates in the executive branch of government… Give us, we pray, the power to discern clearly right from wrong and allow all our words and actions to be governed thereby, and by the laws of this land. Especially we pray that our concern shall be for all the people regardless of station, race, or calling.
May cooperation be permitted and be the mutual aim of these who, under the concepts of our Constitution, hold to differing political faiths; so that all may work for the good of our beloved country and thy glory. Amen”
The right from wrong wording in President Eisenhower’s speech is relevant for today’s living when what is wrong seems right and what is right seems wrong. The Bible clears the right/wrong questions for all who believe in Jesus Christ and God’s Word.
James 4:17 “So, whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”
Isaiah 5:20 “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”
Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”
Romans 13: 8-10 “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”
2 Corinthians 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”
Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
President John F. Kennedy shared a powerful prayer with our nation on Thanksgiving Day in 1963. Political issues and threats of war from Russia surely made this great President grow weary while trying to do good for our nation. He did not give up, neither did Paul, or Mary, or Martin Luther King Jr., or Mother Teresa, or Joseph, or John the Baptist, or Jesus. Neither should we!
“Let us proclaim our gratitude to Providence for manifold blessings – let us be humbly thankful for inherited ideals – and let us resolve to share these blessings and these ideals with our fellow human beings throughout the world.
On that day let us gather in sanctuaries dedicated to worship and in homes blessed by family affection to express our gratitude for the glorious gifts of God; and let us earnestly and humbly pray that He will continue to guide and sustain us in the great unfinished tasks of achieving peace justice, and understanding among all men and nations and of ending misery and suffering wherever they exist.”
As July ends and August, another summer month starts, we are faced with new beginnings, extreme heat, see me nots (worrisome tiny creatures that attack without visibility), changes in schedules and situations, and the need for fervent prayer in homes, schools, businesses, athletic events, and churches that dot country sides and cities of this nation.
Let the call to rise up and heed the words from great American and Biblical leaders who shaped nations and shared stories that continue to encourage us today ring throughout the land. It is time to turn back to God. We need Him. Spiritual renewal and revival can spread from sea to shining sea and be a light to the world, drawing people together with peace and promise as we write the final chapters of our good news stories and prepare to spend eternity with our Father who loves us more!
Becky Spell Vann is the owner and operator of Tim’s Gift and The Learning Station.