In the Name of God, by the Grace of God, for the Glory of God

Happy Independence Day America!

Hotdogs, parades, marching bands, and fireworks galore. A day at the lake or a backyard barbeque. Plans are being made for our annual celebration on the Fourth of July.

But do we really know what we ae celebrating?

I never want to get political here. That’s not what this is about. But it is almost impossible not to want to shout “stop” and send everyone to time out until they can place nice these days.

How did we get to a place where being disrespectful is a quality to be encouraged and admired? I may never agree with you politically, but I am never going to spit in your face.

I’m just going to stop right there before I go in a direction other than where I intended today.

Let’s talk about the Mayflower Compact instead. This agreement was the first document to establish self-government in the New World. It was created and signed by the colonists aboard the Mayflower on November 11, 1620.

It starts out like this:

"In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereigne Lord, King James, by the grace of God, of Great Britaine, France and Ireland king, defender of the faith, etc. having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, and honour of our king and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northerne parts of Virginia, doe by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civill body politick, for our better ordering and preservation, and furtherance of the ends aforesaid..."

In the name of God, by the grace of God, for the glory of God,

and the advancement of the Christian faith

I don’t know what went on as the Mayflower Compact was constructed and agreed upon. I’m sure there was some debating, disagreement, and differing opinions that had to be worked out. I suspect someone was willing to compromise, someone gave a little here, and another gave a little there. I doubt there was any spitting.

But these colonists looked to a greater purpose than their own selfish and momentary comfort.

What would have happened to this first colony of settlers if they had not come together and chosen to govern themselves in the name of God, by the grace of God, for the glory of God, and the advancement of the Christian faith?

What if they had governed themselves like we as a country are trying to do today?

What would have become of America if they had left out the God of all creation and instead sought to serve only the god of their own selves?

I’m just going to leave it right there for now.

I wish you all a very safe and joyous Fourth of July. And I encourage you to take a moment to ponder and give thanks for the blessings you have enjoyed by the hand of God as He led the first colonists to establish our nation in the name of God, by the grace of God, for the glory of God.

We are not born entitled to our freedoms. We are born indebted to those who bought them for us. To the colonists aboard the Mayflower that forged that freedom first with a pen as they inscribed the Mayflower Compact on paper. To the men and women who have fought wars at home and abroad to hold onto our liberties by letting go of their lives.

And once and for all, to the one who paid the ultimate price to redeem us from death and restore us to the only true and lasting freedom—Jesus Christ.

May we never forget or abandon the purpose to which we have been called which is the advancement of the Kingdom of God.

“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

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