Read an Excerpt
God's Promises for the American Patriot
By Richard G. Lee, Jack Countryman
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2011 Dr. Richard G. Lee and Jack Countryman
All rights reserved.
City of New York, October 3, 1789
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me "to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanks-giving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."
Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th. day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks, for his kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the People, by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and Us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
Praying for Our Nation
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.
* * *
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
* * *
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
* * *
Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3
* * *
Save now, I pray, O Lord;
O Lord, I pray, send now prosperity.
Adopted on July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence stated that the thirteen American colonies were "Free and Independent States" and that "all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved." Our Founding Fathers acknowledged God as the source of our rights:
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—That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness....
For the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
As Founding Father Benjamin Rush said:
Without [religion] there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.
* * *
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
* * *
Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,
Whose hope is in the Lord his God,
Who made heaven and earth,
The sea, and all that is in them;
Who keeps truth forever,
Who executes justice for the oppressed,
Who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners.
* * *
Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
2 Corinthians 3:17
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.
* * *
And 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.
* * *
Let your heart therefore be loyal to the Lord our God, to walk in His statutes and keep His commandments, as at this day.
1 Kings 8:61
* * *
So every man of Israel ... remained loyal to their king.
2 Samuel 20:2
* * *
Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God....
Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due ... fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.
Romans 13:1, 7
True History or Consummate Fraud?
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.
* * *
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
* * *
Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.
1 Corinthians 15:28
* * *
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."
Investing in Eternity
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 1777–1784, serving as its president from 1782–1783. 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 ten-thousand-dollar gift, at a time when an annual salary of four hundred dollars 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.
* * *
Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy."
1 Peter 1:13–16
* * *
Therefore the Lord God of Israel says: "I said indeed that your house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever." But now the Lord says: "Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed."
1 Samuel 2:30
* * *
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
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....
Excerpted from God's Promises for the American Patriot by Richard G. Lee, Jack Countryman. Copyright © 2011 Dr. Richard G. Lee and Jack Countryman. 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.