There’s a lot of talk these days about hiring politicians who put America First. Depending on how they mean this, I’m all for it, but I also wonder… shouldn’t we really be putting GOD first? Hear me out.
Time and time again, I’ve advocated turning to God Almighty as a nation. My premise is our nation was founded by God Himself, blessed by God Himself and has risen to be the greatest nation this world has ever seen because God Almighty Himself has graciously allowed it. Why? Because for the first time in the history of the word, a nation has emerged on the basis if being ruled by its very citizens, one that sensibility guarantees each citizen equal rights under the law as the foundation of our being. We are NOT ruled by a monarch or an emperor. We are NOT ruled by a dictator. Nor are we subject to some communist scheme or ruled by a mob (i.e. a democracy). We are a Constitutional Republic, a shining light to other nations. Our nation was conceived by Christian men who risked everything to give birth to it. Now, as we decline in power, both economically and politically, as we are increasingly engulfed in corruption, we are faced with continuing on this path of assured self-annihilation, or repenting and turning back to God – asking Him to restore our nation to former glory.
I suspect my voice has fallen onto the ears of three distinct groups.
First, my brethren in Christ, most of whom look upon my words in puzzlement. Don’t they already pray to God? Daily? Repent? Of what? Surely we are seeking God already.
Second are those who already “have their religion”. Some of these claim Christ. Others worship other gods.
The third and final group scoff at the very idea. God who? They ask. Aren’t we in the modern world? You mean to say you still believe in those old fables? Well, yes, I do.
Hopefully there is yet another group – those of you who are not satisfied with the so-called “answers” above. Somewhere, maybe deep down, you know something isn’t right. Something is missing. I’m sure most of you identify with one of the above groups in some way but it’s not sitting well with you. It is you to whom I am reaching out. Hang in there. Maybe things will soon start to make sense… finally.
For starters, I’m sure you’ve come across the phrase “For God and country”. I can’t tell you where or when I heard it first. Even here something seems to be missing. In my mind this should include the word “family”. So I did some searching and what do you know?
It seems this phrase “God, family, and country” is attributed to Thomas Aquinas. He was a Roman Catholic priest and philosopher. As such he is also attributed “sainthood” but not being Catholic, I’ll circumvent that label. Still, many of his writings are remembered and studied today. Among them is the idea that the three pillars of traditional Western society are “God, family, and country”.
While I have yet to see where anyone else has said this, maybe it is just too obvious, but the order of this phrase is exactly correct. God first, family second, and country last but certainly not least. Thomas Aquinas is also known for defining many principles of “natural law”. I contend here and now, that God, family, and country are not only pillars of our civilization but also the principles on which our natural, God-given laws must stand on.
Thus God should and must come first. Why? Mostly because without God, we have nothing. Okay, let’s back up. What do we have WITH God?
For the moment set aside the concept of “sin”. For those who do not believe in God, the concept of sin is abstract at best. Rather, let us consider something all humans have sought since our beginning – life after death. For those of you who believe there is no such thing, well there you have it. Once you’ve used up whatever time you have, you’ll end up with nothing. Unless you’re wrong, but let’s not go there. I’m perfectly happy to let it go at that. You die and then… nothing. Isn’t that bad enough? Seriously, without God this is the best you can hope for.
Now WITH God in the picture, we have… eternal life. By my calculations, eternity is going to last a long, long time. Even better, in God’s world, eternity is also going to be a big upgrade to what we have now. What about the other side of that coin? You know, that eternal damnation bit with the fire and brimstone and all that? Well… what about it? I’ve heard stories. I’ve read scripture. Yes, I do believe some will end up there. Who and how, I’m not all that clear on. My own feeling, and it’s just that, a feeling, is only the very worst of the worst will end up there. (No, I don’t know about you mother-in-law.) I’m pretty sure all those devil spirits stand a good chance of job security, unpleasant as that may be. Forgiveness aside, there are a few humans I might not feel all that bad about if they ended up there. Even then, I’m not feeling very gleeful at the thought. I suspect a third option is possible. That option is simply death. Lights out forever. How about we revisit that eternal life thing?
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 John 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
Well, that doesn’t look all that hard now does it? We can obtain eternal life through Jesus Christ. The fact is, it is not hard at all. It was never meant to be. So what’s the catch?
Matthew 19:23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
Is that the catch? Whew! I’m not “rich” so I’m good right? In the passage above, wrath wasn’t the real issue. Jesus was talking to a young man who happened to be wealthy. Jesus told him to sell all he had and to follow him. The statement above falls into the “figure of speech” category. You see, that whole “eye of the needle” stuff was really a thing in those days. In some walled cities, in order for a camel to enter, they had to take off everything it was carrying as the entrance was too small for a loaded camel to get through. Whether this was by design or not, well that’s another topic. The idea here is, like that camel, you gotta lose your baggage before you can get in.
You can look at this a lot of ways but, today, I think it’s safe to say, you’ll need to give up that “well there’s many paths to God” thinking if you want eternal life via Jesus Christ. Last I heard, he wasn’t accepting coupons from other stores. Now if you’re thinking, “fine, I’ll just find a back door somewhere”, um, Houston, we’ve got a problem. Now I haven’t studied those “other paths”. I hopped on the Jesus track after I realized atheism was a dead end – literally. That said, I’m pretty sure they all pretty much think they are the only way to eternity. So, I ask you, how can they all be “right”? I guarantee you not one of them will tell you to accept Jesus as Lord. If they did, they’d have to also tell you:
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Um, yeah, there is that. Of course, you can always say Jesus was the liar, but if that is true than who is saying that and how do you know you can trust them? The thing is, I’m not seeing anyone stepping up to fill the gap if Jesus is tossed out. Nobody, nothing, even comes close. Islam? Funny thing about them, they acknowledge Jesus as a prophet and then deny him as well as his words. I have a hard time seeing how anyone can have it both ways. Can you see the problem here? I see the same issues popping up no matter where else you turn.
Now for the good news – God made it easy for us.
2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
God only gave Adam ONE commandment – do NOT eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. That was it. Eve was to follow this too but only ADAM was specifically told “NO”. So the serpent, the devil, went to work on Eve who then convinced Adam it was okay to do the ONE thing God said NOT to do. The point here is, God also makes it easy for us to accept Jesus Christ as Lord. Why? Mostly because we’ve got a lot more to deal with than Adam had back then and unless He makes it easy, we’re going to mess it up. So he made it simple.
Really, that’s the whole starter pack. Sure there’s more, a lot more, but this is the ticket you need to get your slice of eternal life. Is there more to it than this? What do you mean by “it”? If by “it” you mean being set as far as eternal life is concerned, I’d say “yep, that’s it”. Now if you are wondering if you need to do more, well… the short answer is yes, but don’t worry, God has got your back. Let me elaborate just a bit.
Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Whoa! What? Yeah. Let that sink in. God, the CREATOR of the Universe chose YOU before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blame before Him in love. Sink your teeth into that and chew on it again. Remember, God is BIG. He can create, He knows what’s going to happen down to every single detail, and He’s, well, God, so He can do what He wants… and HE CHOSE YOU. I can’t speak for anyone else but the thought still gives me chills. Trust me on this, there are lots of times I wonder why the Creator of the Universe would even want me, but He did and He does.
Romans 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
Now consider the next verse in Ephesians:
Ephesians 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will
This verse does require a bit of work to “get it” due to some common misconceptions and a rather inaccurate rendering.
First, let’s tackle the word “predestinated”. Without getting into a study of the Greek, according the Vine’s New Testament Dictionary, the word can be understood as “foreordained” or “predetermined”. In other words, while some might say everyone’s life is “set in stone”, so to speak, and thus our choices are already made for us, the very wording of this is contradictory. How can we have a “choice” if our actions are predetermined? Do keep in mind one of God’s principles is our own free will. Revisiting the Garden of Eden, Adam did not HAVE to listen to Eve and eat that fruit, but God knew ahead of time he would. If he’d refused, mankind would have taken another path and, chances are, you or I would never have been born.
Now about that word “adoption”. Ask any adopted child, the very term can be somewhat painful. Going back to the Greek, the word used here would have been better rendered “sonship”. We are children of God via birth.
1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
Jesus first alluded to this when he spoke with Nicodemus in John 3. He was speaking of the “new birth” that did not become available until after he died and God raised him from the dead at Pentecost. From that day on, when we confess Jesus as Lord and believe God raised him from the dead, God creates that “incorruptible seed” in us, that earnest (token) of what we be blessed with when Christ returns.
1 Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
And here we are right back to eternal life. Putting it all together, God, our Heavenly Father, in His foreknowledge, chose you to be holy and without blame before Him in love before the foundation of the world. He brought you here, today. Whether you accept these words or not, if you are His, He will continue to show you the truth until you are ready to accept Him as God Almighty and His only begotten son, Jesus, the Messiah (or Christ) as Lord and Savior. This is your ticket to ride.
As for my siblings in Christ who may still be wondering what you are doing here… it’s going to take all of us, both new and old, to reclaim our nation. We all need to turn to God and put God first in our lives. Certainly we were born into the greatest nation this world has every seen. We’ve been blessed beyond what anyone could expect. Many of my brothers and sisters in Christ seek God daily. What more can we do?
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
I’ve no doubt you have faith. Of course you believe that He IS, how could you not. But are you on board with the latter part of this verse? Do you believe He is a rewarder of them who diligently seek Him? Let me put it another way…
Do you really believe God can and will restore this nation just because we ask Him to? I’m not so sure who believes this. My own wife is often skeptical. Even I doubt if it will happen, but I don’t doubt God. Rather I wonder if we have not lost faith in God to deliver us. What faith?
James 1:6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
But there is more to it than just asking…
James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
This last election cycle has demonstrated this principle perfectly. The polls, if anyone can believe them, strongly indicated a “Red Wave”, even a “Red Tsunami”. What we saw was a red ripple. What happened? We voted, didn’t we? Yes. We voted. By one account Republican’s outvoted Democrats by over 3 million citizens nationwide and still many key races were lost. Why? Two reasons.
First, I am completely and thoroughly convinced, the Democrats cheated. Whether you agree with this assessment or not (I’ll not belabor it), in any honest contest, any and all discrepancies would be completely examined and questionable tallies removed. It’s been pointed out multiple times since the 2020 election that if the Democrats were so confident that vote was honest, they would insist on audits to vindicate themselves. That never happened. Instead they fought tooth and nail at every level to obfuscate any questionable results. However this is entirely secondary.
Even worse is the realization that these elections were even close. Far too many citizens proudly vote for godless ideals – abortion on demand, racist policies, pro-criminal behavior, and so forth. Much of what the globalists desire is pure evil. Those voting for evil either embrace the evil or they are blinded. The very idea that more people could possibly vote for evil over Godly principles sickens me. These same citizens have effectively rejected God Himself. Even with this great shroud of darkness looming over our nation, there is a ray of light.
Remember Ephesians 1:4-5? How many of those voting for evil are lost souls? How many has God foreordained them to be His children? I do not know, but I am convinced there are more than a few. The even better news is WE need to reach them. All we need do is reach out. It is God’s place to call His children to Him. He will not let a single one fall into the devil’s hands – at least not for eternity.
I see the potential for a great revival in this land. God is not finished with this nation. This can happen whether or not God chooses to deliver it, however restoration will not happen if we continue to turn our backs to Him. In light of this, the only commitment that makes sense is to put God first in our lives. With this strategy, we cannot lose. What can you do?
Seek out God in your private life. Pray. Read scripture daily. Join or start a bible study. Seek out others to worship with. Turn away from sinful things. Speak the truth.
On this last, I am not advocating for anyone to quote biblical passages to individuals or groups as a means of “speaking the truth”. A quiet word injected in a conversation may be enough. If you commit yourself to listening to God, He will show you. He will direct your path.
Psalms 27:11 Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
God will lead you to those who need to hear.
Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
So many of us, Christians included, look for a Donald Trump or a Ron DeSantis to save our nation. They cannot. Surely God can put such men in place to do His work but our nation needs more. It is bigger than one governorship, or a single presidency. It is greater than Congress. Our nation is one comprised of self-governing citizens, a Constitutional Republic. If we are a nation under God then we will once again be that shining beacon to the world. By putting God first in our lives, we will ensure America is first among all other nations.
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Do you believe?