Jun
30

What God Can Do For America – Fourth of July Sermon

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WHAT GOD CAN DO FOR AMERICA!
by Eddie Lawrence

Alternate Titles:
America’s Hope
God Still Can!
Fireworks in the Prayer Room
How God Can Change Our Nation

INTRODUCTION – Most people, whether Republican, Democrat, or Independent, appreciated President Ronald Reagan’s wit and charm. He had a way of saying things that caused you to think. Once he made a statement concerning America and her relationship with God. Here’s what he said,

“America was founded by people who believed that God was their rock of safety. I recognize we must be cautious in claiming that God is on our side, but I think it’s all right to keep asking if we’re on His side.” Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States

What President Reagan said is really something to think about. Think of the difference it makes when we choose to be on God’s side. The early church certainly experienced the benefits of being on God’s side. Let’s look at an occasion when the Apostles were commanded to preach no more about Jesus.

Acts 4: 24And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:
 25Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?
 26The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.
 27For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
 28For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
 29And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,
 30By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
 31And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

TRANSITION— This exciting Scripture shows us what can happen when you decide to choose to serve the Lord. Today, I want you to think through this text with me and see what God does for his people in a time of peril. He will do the same for America today if we will pray to Him and serve Him as the early church did:
 
WHAT GOD CAN DO:

1.  HE ANSWERS THE PRAYERS OF HIS PEOPLE

All the incredible things that happened in the above passage, happened because the people prayed. They went to God in prayer.

As it has been said, “Much prayer, much power! Little prayer, little power!”
Dutch Sheets taught in his book on Intercessory Prayer that there are things that God does for us, that would not be done, if we had not prayed.

James wrote in the book of James, “We have not because we ask not.”
Whatever your theology, you cannot walk away from a reading of the Bible without admitting that there is a relationship between desperate faith-filled prayer and God’s intervention into the affairs of men and nations.
 
2.  HE DOES WHAT HE WANTS TO DO (Sovereign Lord and Creator)

The early church prayed knowing that their prayers did not violate God’s Sovereignty. He is still God and is not taking applications for His replacement.

This is the tension between prayer and Sovereignty. We ask but God is not bound by our prayers. This is actually good news. Thank God because He sees what we don’t and knows what we don’t, that He will move in our best interest.  Why pray? Because God in His Sovereignty has chosen to partner with praying men and women in carrying out His plans and purposes. Our prayers do make a difference and our faith in God’s Sovereignty only increases our confidence that God’s will be done. I also believe that the absence of our prayers can create delays and detours. This again is the tension of human responsibility and Divine Sovereignty. God is Sovereign and Just! He can do what He wants because He is God. He never gets pinned in a corner by man. There was a time in our nation when our President saw this at work. President Lincoln in during the Civil War saw the Sovereign Hand of God at work.

STORY— The Civil War produced the death of more Americans — almost half a million — than any war before or since. With Americans dying on both sides, the War taxed everyone's ability to understand what God was doing here. This was no holy war against the pagan infidels; this was a war that turned brother against brother, father against son, and Christian against Christian. This was a God-forsaken war if there ever was one, and yet Lincoln saw God using this war to set straight the course of history.

"Both parties deprecated war," Lincoln proclaimed in his Second Inaugural Address, "but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came….Neither party expected for the war, the magnitude, or the duration, which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with, or even before, the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other….The prayers of both could not be answered; that of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes."

"If we shall suppose that American Slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South, this terrible war, as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a Living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope — fervently do we pray — that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away."

"Yet, if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bond-man's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid with another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said 'the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.'" (Lincoln: Selected Speeches and Writings, Vintage Books • Random House, 1992).
 
3.  HE  HONORS HIS WORD

-The early church prayed the word of God that was relevant to their situation.

-Believers should seize God’s promises relevant to our nation’s crisis situations as well.

Listen to the words of one of our former Presidents:
Woodrow Wilson, 28th U.S. President “There are a good many problems before the American people today, and before me as President, but I expect to find the solution to those problems just in the proportion that I am in the study of the Word of God.”

Dear friends, let’s hold to God’s Word regardless of what the media tells us. Our current circumstances do not make null and void the Word of God. This is the time to demonstrate the power of God’s promises to people.

4.  HE RULES THE RULERS OF THE EARTH

Psalm 33:12–Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. KJV

Proverbs 21:1– The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will. KJV

1 Samuel 13:13  “You acted foolishly,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time.”

Listen to America’s founding President who understand his need for God’s hand upon his life.

Illus—“Direct my thought, words and work, wash away my sins in the immaculate Blood of the Lamb, and purge my  heart by Thy Holy Spirit….Daily frame me more and more into the likeness of Thy Son Jesus Christ.”  George Washington, 1st U.S. President

Other Presidents understood this as well. Listen to them:

George Bush, 41st President “The Lord our God be with us, as HE was with our fathers; may He not leave us or forsake us; so that He may incline our hearts to Him, to walk in all His ways…that all peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other.”
 
Harry S. Truman, 33rd US. President “We can all pray. We all should pray. We should ask for courage, wisdom, for the quietness of soul which comes alone in them who place their lives in His hands.”
 
5.  HE  CONFUSES THE PLANS OF THE ENEMY

The early church prayed, “Behold their threats…”

Illus—the cross was the ultimate upstaging of Satan’s plans
Illus—In Israel He caused the enemy to turn on himself.
-Gideon with clay pots and torches
-David with a rock and sling
Illus—Lord send the sound of a multitude of horses and chariots to drive away Israel’s enemies.
God knows and will often reveal what the enemy is up to…
Illus—The Lord showed Elijah what the king was thinking in his chambers
Illus—Daniel told Nebucanezzar what he dreamed.
 
6.  HE PROVIDES PROTECTION FOR US

Illus—2 kings 6:16 those for us more than those against us
Our nation’s history is filled with remarkable stories of how the impossible became possible because of God’s intervention.

7.  HE RESPONDS TO OBEDIENCE (enable us to speak your word  boldly)

The early church knew their charge and mandate. To preach the good news of Jesus Christ. When told to stop, they prayed for the power to GO!

The mandate still remains unchanged for the church. We must collectively come together and rise up take the nations the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
 
8.  HE CAN BIRTH REVIVAL OUT OF THE ENEMY’S ATTACK

This persecution against the early church brought the church together in powerful prayer and precipitated another outpouring on the early church.

Tertullian  of the early centuries said, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.” We all have heard of Jim Elliott and Nate Saint and their companions who were martyred in the 1950’s.  But through their suffering the Gospel spread among the  Auca Indians in South America.

Similar stories could be repeated throughout the centuries and around the world.


Billy Graham speaking at the National Cathedral after the 911 attacks,  “We will look back and see this as a day of victory.”

Illus—There was a youth revival and healing revival that followed WWII
Illus—There were hundreds  of soldiers were saved in the Gulf War. There are some beautiful photos on the web of soldiers being baptized in make shift watery graves carved out in the sand.

Through the power of the risen Christ, we too can continue the destruction of the works of the devil. If God be for us, who can be against us?

… For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. (1John 3:8)

CONCLUSION— We as Americans need to humble ourselves and realize that it is not we can do, but what can do that can bring true revival to our nation.

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Categories : Fourth of July

Comments

  1. craig pillay says:

    Powerful words and also seasoned. God is can and will do things his way. Amen

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