Yesterday, we had the opportunity to celebrate living in the greatest country in the world. On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. This document declared that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America. We celebrate Independence Day as a day where this land shed its past and began life anew founded on the principles of God. While the United States may have issues that at times may seem insurmountable, I believe that this nation is ready for the Gospel message and for God’s people to stand tall and lead this nation back to God. I don’t know how you spent our nation's Independence Day but I would hope you spent part of that time thanking God for the opportunities he gives a believer to serve him in this great land.
Think how selfish it must sound to God when we complain, when we pout and refuse to take part or try to make an impact for him in this country. I think of Jonah and his running from God, returning to God, doing the will of God, and then pouting when God used his plan and did not do what Jonah expected. In Jonah 4, we read where Jonah became very unhappy with God and then he became angry. Jonah knew that God was kind and merciful and that was his excuse to run and hide in Tarshish. Jonah knew God did not become angry quickly and ultimately would choose not to cause harm. When Jonah did not get his way, he went into his selfish pouty mode and asked God to kill him. Jonah said in verse 3 “it is better for me to die than to live.” Can you imagine talking to God this way? Yet there may be times when we get discouraged with our lot in life and basically tell God the same thing. We tell God if we do not get our way we will shut down. Twice God asked in chapter 4 “Doest thou well to be angry?” I think of that phrase often when that emotion creeps in. God is asking “Do you think it is right for you to be angry?” Enjoy your coffee.
Love you all,
Gary W. Hall, Pastor of Mt. Olivet Baptist Church.