In God We Still Trust: A 365-Day Devotional

In God We Still Trust: A 365-Day Devotional

by Richard Lee

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A year-long devotional that explores the Godly principles on which our country was founded.

Experience gratitude for country and love of God with this 365-day journey through America’s historical events as Dr. Richard Lee introduces the people who established and shaped our nation, and teaches the Godly principles on which it was founded. Each


A year-long devotional that explores the Godly principles on which our country was founded.

Experience gratitude for country and love of God with this 365-day journey through America’s historical events as Dr. Richard Lee introduces the people who established and shaped our nation, and teaches the Godly principles on which it was founded. Each devotional is followed by a Patriot Prayer and Promise. Scripture is taken from the New King James Version of the Bible.

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In God We Still Trust

A 365-Day Devotional

By Richard G. Lee

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2010 Dr. Richard G. Lee
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4041-8965-2



January 1

Praying for Our Nation

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14

From our nation's earliest days, God's promise in 2 Chronicles 7 that He will hear the cry of a humbled people has motivated America's leaders to call citizens to prayer. In 1775, as it began the process of forming a new nation, the Continental Congress called for a day of prayer. At critical junctures during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln called for the nation to fast and pray. And in 1952 President Truman signed a bill establishing an annual National Day of Prayer.

Second Chronicles helps establish a model of national spiritual renewal. The book recounts how a succession of righteous kings in Judah led to reforms that brought the people back to true faith in God. Second Chronicles 16:9 assures us that God will "show Himself strong" toward those who place their trust in Him.

* * Patriot's Prayer * *

Lord, I am very aware of our nation's need to repent and return to You. I am also very aware that such repentance must begin in every heart, including mine. Today I ask You to reveal to me the sins hidden in my heart and accept my plea for forgiveness.

* * Patriot's Promise * *

God promises that "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).

January 2

Patriotism Defined

The men of Judah ... remained loyal to their king.

2 Samuel 20:2

Noah Webster's An American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828: patriotism, n. Love of one's country; the passion which aims to serve one's country, either in defending it from invasion, or protecting its rights and maintaining its laws and institutions in vigor and purity. Patriotism is the characteristic of a good citizen, the noblest passion that animates a man in the character of a citizen.

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition, copyright © 2004: patriotism, n. Love for or devotion to one's country.

Note how the definitions have changed. With its objective actions, Noah Webster's patriotism is very different from the vague, subjective patriotism of one who only feels love for his country. True patriotism is not just an emotional feeling; it is action.

Webster's original definition starts with a love for country, but moves to specific actions: service to country, defense of country, protection of the rights of country, maintenance of the laws and institutions of country, and preservation of religion and morality in public and private life. This kind of patriotism puts the needs of the country above personal or partisan desires, as well as above the favor of foreign nations.

* * Patriot's Prayer * *

I love my country, Lord, and I ask You to protect us from harm. Be with those men and women in each branch of service. Guard us all in Your Name.

* * Patriot's Promise * *

Hear God's promise: "The Lord commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is this day" (Deuteronomy 6:24).

January 3

True History or Consummate Fraud?

If Christ is not risen, your faith is futile.

1 Corinthians 15:17

Hear the confident declaration of American statesman Daniel Webster (1782–1852):

The Gospel is either true history, or it is a consummate fraud; it is either a reality or an imposition. Christ was what He professed to be, or He was an imposter. There is no other alternative. His spotless life in His earnest enforcement of the truth—His suffering in its defense, forbid us to suppose that He was suffering an illusion of a heated brain. Every act of His pure and holy life shows that He was the author of truth, the advocate of truth, the earnest defender of truth, and the uncompromising sufferer for truth. Now, considering the purity of His doctrines, the simplicity of His life, and the sublimity of His death, is it possible that He would have died for an illusion? In all His preaching the Savior made no popular appeals. His discourses were always directed to the individual. Christ and His apostles sought to impress upon every man the conviction that he must stand or fall alone—he must live for himself, and die for himself, and give up his account to the omniscient God as though he were the only dependent creature in the universe. The Gospel leaves the individual sinner alone with himself and his God.

* * Patriot's Prayer * *

Gracious Father, thank You for sending Jesus to die for sinners, myself among them.

* * Patriot's Promise * *

In Isaiah 9:6, God promised to send His Son: "His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Promise fulfilled!

January 4

Investing in Eternity

The word of the Lord endures forever.

1 Peter 1:25

Elias Boudinot Jr. (1740–1821) was an American lawyer and statesman from Elizabeth, New Jersey. An energetic patriot, he was elected a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1777 to 1784, serving as its president from 1782 until 1783. He then served three terms in Congress and ten years as Director of the Mint. Boudinot supported many civic and educational causes during his life, including serving as one of Princeton's trustees for nearly half a century.

Boudinot was elected president of the American Bible Society at its founding in 1816. In accepting the office, he wrote that this was "the greatest honor" that could have been conferred upon him "this side of the grave." He had an unwavering faith that God had called the men of the society to the work of making Bibles available in America. His $10,000 gift, at a time when an annual salary of $400 was considered good, essentially enabled the formation and organization of the American Bible Society, which still sponsors the work of Bible translation and distribution around the world.

* * Patriot's Prayer * *

Help me, Father, to remember—as Elias Boudinot did—that the most significant work I can do on this earth is work I do for You. The things of this world will fade away, but work done for Your kingdom will last for eternity.

* * Patriot's Promise * *

In 1 Samuel 2:30, God says, "Those who honor Me I will honor," and we honor Him by being committed to living by His principles each day and by giving our time, talents, and treasures to His kingdom work.

January 5

"The God Who Made the Peanut"

There is a God in heaven who reveals secrets.

Daniel 2:28

Chemist George Washington Carver (1864–1943) gained international fame in the field of agriculture due to his research into crops like peanuts, soybeans, pecans, and sweet potatoes that could be alternatives to soil-depleting cotton. He wanted poor farmers to grow soil-enriching crops so they would be able to provide food for their family as well as marketable products, thereby improving their quality of life.

In 1921 (when it was unusual for an African-American to be called as an expert), Carver spoke in favor of a peanut tariff before the Ways and Means Committee of the US House of Representatives. After he detailed the potential uses of the peanut and other new crops to improve the economy of the South, the Chairman of the Committee had a question:

"Dr. Carver, how did you learn all of these things?"

Carver answered: "From an old book."

"What book?"

Carver replied, "The Bible."

The senator inquired, "Does the Bible tell about peanuts?"

"No, sir," Dr. Carver replied, "but it tells about the God who made the peanut. I asked Him to show me what to do with the peanut, and He did."

* * Patriot's Prayer * *

Almighty God, help me today to be guided by Your hand. Only You know those things that are a mystery to me. Please reveal to me what You would have me know so I can serve You today.

* * Patriot's Promise * *

Daniel 2:22 says, "He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with Him."

January 6

God's Co-Worker

In Him we live and move and have our being.

Acts 17:28

Agricultural chemist George Washington Carver (1864–1943) discovered three hundred uses for peanuts and hundreds more uses for soybeans, pecans, and sweet potatoes. Read his thoughts about God:

As a very small boy exploring the almost virgin woods of the old Carver place, I had the impression someone had just been there ahead of me. Things were so orderly, so clean, so harmoniously beautiful. A few years later in this same woods ... I was practically overwhelmed with the sense of some Great Presence. Not only had someone been there. Someone was there....

Years later when I read in the Scriptures, "In Him we live and move and have our being," I knew what the writer meant. Never since have I been without this consciousness of the Creator speaking to me.... The out-of-doors has been to me more and more a great cathedral in which God could be continuously spoken to and heard from....

Man, who needed a purpose, a mission, to keep him alive, had one. He could be ... God's co-worker.... My purpose alone must be God's purpose—to increase the welfare and happiness of His people. ... Why, then, should we who believe in Christ be so surprised at what God can do with a willing man in a laboratory?

* * Patriot's Prayer * *

Lord, show me the specific purpose that You have for me today.

* * Patriot's Promise * *

"The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it" (Genesis 2:15)—this assignment is the promise of a purposeful life.

January 7

A Vital Connection

The Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.

Deuteronomy 20:4

As Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1939 State of the Union underscores, until recent years America's leaders understood the vital connection between religion and democracy. With Hitler on the move in Europe, President Roosevelt said this:

Storms from abroad directly challenge three institutions indispensable to Americans, now as always. The first is religion. It is the source of the other two—democracy and international good faith.

Religion, by teaching man his relationship to God, gives the individual a sense of his own dignity and teaches him to respect himself by respecting his neighbors.

Democracy, the practice of self-government, is a covenant among free men to respect the rights and liberties of their fellows.

International good faith, a sister of democracy, springs from the will of civilized nations of men to respect the rights and liberties of other nations of men....

There comes a time in the affairs of men when they must prepare to defend, not their homes alone, but the tenets of faith and humanity on which their churches, their governments, and their very civilization are founded. The defense of religion, of democracy, and of good faith among nations is all the same fight. To save one we must now make up our minds to save all.

* * Patriot's Prayer * *

Father, may I always defend the faith—today and every day.

* * Patriot's Promise * *

"Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:36).

January 8

Words of Truth

O Lord, the hope of Israel ...

Jeremiah 17:13

The Sea of Galilee—like life itself—is known for unexpected storms. Winds gust, waves crash, and fishermen fear for their well-being. Likewise, settling a new land, establishing a new nation, and experimenting with a new form of government meant unexpected storms for American colonists.

No matter the place or the course, storms of life happen, and we do well to have an anchor to keep from drifting off course or even capsizing. The founders of the State of Rhode Island knew that well. On the state seal appears a picture of an anchor. Above it, this motto:


* * Patriot's Prayer * *

You are my anchor, heavenly Father. Sometimes I feel like I am on a tumultuous sea, being tossed to and fro and having no real sense of direction. But I know that You are there with me, You have me in Your hand, and that You are guiding me safely to shore. Thank You, Lord, that I can hope in You.

* * Patriot's Promise * *

Psalm 33:18 is one of God's many promises that gives us hope: "Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy."

January 9

Revival Fires

So the people of Nineveh believed God.

Jonah 3:5

A chaplain in the Confederate Army, William W. Bennett published a first-hand account of the spiritual renewal that swept through every corps, division, brigade, and regiment in General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia:

Up to January 1865, it was estimated that nearly 150,000 soldiers had been converted during the progress of the war, and it was believed that fully one-third of all the soldiers in the field were praying men and members of some branch of the Christian church.

* * Patriot's Prayer * *

What amazing good came out of the tragedy of the Civil War! Use me today as an instrument of Your saving power, Lord, whether people are dealing with tragedy or the everyday. I want my life to be an open book to those who are searching for You. Let people see Jesus in me and may my words be Spirit led.

* * Patriot's Promise * *

David told the Lord, "I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You" (Psalm 51:13). He trusted in God's promise that if we tell people about His ways, they will be converted—and you and I can too.

January 10

"To Live Is Christ"

For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Philippians 1:21

The apostle Paul's letter to believers in Philippi is a note of thanks for their help during his time of need. He also lovingly urged the members of the church there to center their actions and thoughts on the pursuit of the Person and power of Christ. Paul's central point was simple: only in Christ are real unity and genuine joy possible. With Christ as our model of humility and service, we believers can enjoy a oneness of purpose, attitude, goal, and labor. Paul then reminded the Philippians that their ultimate citizenship is in heaven.

However, the words of Adlai Stevenson (1900–1965), who served as the US ambassador to the United Nations from 1961 to 1965, remind us of the privilege of being an American citizen:

"When an American says that he loves his country, he means not only that he loves the New England hills, the prairies glistening in the sun, the wide and rising plains, the great mountains, and the sea. He means that he loves an inner air, an inner light in which freedom lives and in which a man can draw the breath of self-respect."

* * Patriot's Prayer * *

Lord, I thank You for the unspeakable joy I have discovered in the Christian life, joy that can supersede circumstances. Help me this day to encourage people in my life to look to You to find hope for a better tomorrow even in the midst of difficult times.

* * Patriot's Promise * *

Psalm 84:11 is the promise that "no good thing will [the Lord] withhold from those who walk uprightly."

January 11

Liberty, a Gift from the Creator

Have we not all one Father?

Malachi 2:10

Founding Father and one of the three authors of the Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755–July 12, 1804) wrote this concerning the nature of liberty:

The fundamental source of all your errors, sophisms, and false reasonings is a total ignorance of the natural rights of mankind. Were you once to become acquainted with these, you could never entertain a thought that all men are not, by nature, entitled to a parity of privileges. You would be convinced that natural liberty is a gift of the beneficent Creator to the whole human race; and that civil liberty is founded in that and cannot be wrested from any people, without the most manifest violation of justice.

* * Patriot's Prayer * *

I praise You, Righteous Father, for giving me the liberties that I enjoy each day. May I never take for granted that You grant us our freedoms only by Your grace.

* * Patriot's Promise * *

We have been set free in Christ. As Galatians 4:7 promises, we are no longer slaves, but heirs of God.


Excerpted from In God We Still Trust by Richard G. Lee. Copyright © 2010 Dr. Richard G. Lee. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Dr. Richard Lee, founding pastor of First Redeemer Church in Atlanta, is the speaker for the award-winning There’s Hope America TV series and is widely recognized as a spokesman on the influence of America’s religious history and its impact upon today’s culture. Dr. Lee was educated at Mercer University and Luther Rice Seminary with postdoctoral studies at Oxford University.

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