Mat 7:24-27 "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell--and great was its fall!"
Why arenít things the way we imagined they would be?
Why isnít the country more patriotic?
What is wrong with the world today?
Many questions, but the answer to all ends up being the same...
The foundation is gone!
Canít build much of the house, without some sort of a foundation.
The foundation of the patriotism we remember, but do not see, was found in the family, and in that family the father was the head, and the father made certain that all in his family knew the Lord. Families ate together, prayed together and worshipped together. And children were brought up learning the 3 rís reading, rythmatic, and religion.
We might like to remember it as a time when we were a Christian nation, I donít think it ever was completely, but I do know that the Christians were influential enough that even non- Christians respected and followed the 10 commandments and the golden rule.
You see, at its heart, patriotism is the golden rule in action. And as a reminder, the golden rule is - do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If everyone goes around doing good to each other, is it any wonder that people would feel good about the country in which they lived.
But the golden rule, is a rule, and like any other law, rules do not make people good. We may respect and fear the law, we may try to avoid transgressing the law, but it doesnít make us good. Thatís what secular patriotism has forgotten, it has forgotten that all men are sinful and unclean and that all our good works are like a filthy rag. Laws cannot change this, programs cannot change this, there is only one thing that can change this, and its not even us and our hard work. The only thing that can change us, is God, and only in Jesus Christ is this change promised. In Jesus Christ we are made a new creation, in Jesus Christ we are given power over sin death and the devil. In Jesus Christ we are given peace with God, love, forgiveness, and everlasting life. And because of these gifts of God in Jesus Christ, we can live at peace with our neighbor, and be good citizens, and be such an influence that people look at the country in which we live, and give thanks to God that they are privileged to live in such a great land.
So if the strength of the country is found as indeed our text says, in those who not only hear the word, but in those that hear and do the word; then our task is clear: Those who have not heard the Word, that is the good news of Jesus Christ, the promise of life and salvation, much have the opportunity to hear.... and those who hear the Word must be encouraged that the Word calls for their response, the Word calls them t life, and calls them to become a do-er of the Word. This is the foundation on which our country was built, and if we want to repair those things which we see crumbling around us, we need to begin by repairing the foundation, that is to put Christ back into the center of our lives, and through our lives, to put Christ back into the center of our great nation.
We remember and thank our veterans who have served the cross in years gone by, and we pray God to raise up veterans for the years to come, for Jesus sake.