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Ambassador4Christ
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« on: July 04, 2004, 10:31:14 AM »


Born On The Fourth Of July        
by Dr. Bill Gillham


The American flag flies proudly from the pole I planted in my front yard! “I’m a Yankee Doodle dandy; Yankee Doodle do or die! A real live nephew of my Uncle Sam; born on the fourth of July.” Just words to an old song or words that trigger patriotic feelings, a flood of gratitude to God, maybe even accompanied by a lump in your throat? After all, who was born on the fourth of July? America! It’s her birthday and we celebrate at our house!
One good thing emerging from the ashes of the 911 tragedy is the country’s return to patriotism. The enemy successfully prompted his people to rewrite our nation’s history to exclude God and rob Him of the honor He’s due for inspiring our founding mothers and fathers; to defame many of our revered, national heroes and heroines and attribute America’s incredible bounty and success to man, when in fact it’s God’s gracious blessing to us.
In 1977, I was given a copy of Peter Marshall’s and David Manuel’s The Light and the Glory. God used it to thrill me! These Christians were inspired to reveal this well-documented history of God’s hand in the founding of our nation. God led them to some pertinent journals, manuscripts and even an obscure Spanish volume of Christopher Columbus’ Book of Prophecies in the Yale University library! They described it as “largely a compilation of…teaching and prophecies in the Bible on the subject of the earth, distant lands, population movements, and undiscovered tribes, as well as similarly pertinent writings of the ancient church fathers.”
They actually found Columbus’ journal! He wrote, “It was the Lord Who put into my mind (I could feel His hand upon me) the fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies…. There is no question that the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit, because He comforted me with rays of marvelous inspiration from the Holy Scriptures…. I have found the sweetest consolation since I made it my whole purpose to enjoy His marvelous presence.”
Awesome! Columbus’ actual writings expressing his passion for God and saying that he was led by the Holy Spirit when he discovered America! His very name, Christopher, means “Light-bearer.” He believed this was a clear indication that God had called him to carry the Light of Christ into undiscovered lands. But, I’d believed for decades that he discovered America by mistake while seeking a new trade route to India! I was robbed of seeing God’s hand of grace directing it!
Columbus christened the place where he landed San Salvador (“Holy Savior”) praying before his crew, “Oh Lord, Almighty and everlasting God, by Thy Holy Word Thou hast created the heaven and the earth, and the sea; blessed and glorified be Thy Name, and praised be Thy Majesty, which hath deigned to use us, Thy humble servants, that Thy Holy Name may be proclaimed in this second part of the earth.” Hardly the words of an avaricious glory-seeker as some have defamed him! A lesser man would have robbed God of the glory by naming the place after himself. Give this man his due!
Now fast forward to 1776. Another patriotic brother and sister in Christ left as part of their legacy to us their many letters to each other. They were John and Abigail Adams. He, along with other colonial leaders, walked the plank by signing the Declaration of Independence. These signers had no army, navy or marines to defend them against the greatest military power in the world! They had God and the farmer next door. Branded as traitors, they were destined for the gallows if God didn’t come through! Conscripts could, and many did, abandon the fight at will; even a big percentage of the population caved and remained loyal to Britain.
But, folks like the Adams put it all on the line for you and me! John wrote Abigail, “I am well aware of the blood and treasure that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the gloom I see the light and glory. I can see that the end is worth more than all the means.” He and his wife loved Jesus and played a key role in founding this land. We occupy the “end” Adams spoke of. Give yourself a gift by reading about their godly, sacrificial lives along with many excerpts from their poignant love letters to each other in David McCullough’s best-selling, new book John Adams for which he recently won a Pulitzer. It’s marvelous, inspirational, enlightening reading that I highly recommend.
Another brother in Christ who made huge sacrifices for your well being that you’ll get to give a big hug of gratitude to someday and who was the signers’ unanimous choice to become Commander in Chief of the new Continental army is George Washington. He is described as an extremely capable, respected, modest man. As Adams put it, “Mr. Washington, who happened to sit near the door, as soon as he heard me allude to him [nominating him as C-I-C of the Continental army], from his usual modesty darted into the library.”
Marshall and Manual credit God with leading them to an obscure book in the stacks of the Yale Divinity School Library that had been out of print for many decades— George Washington, the Christian, by William Johnson. The book included 24 pages of Washington’s prayers in his own hand. I.e.:
“Let my heart, therefore, Gracious God, be so affected with the glory and majesty of (Thine honor) that I may not do mine own works, but wait on Thee, and discharge those weighty duties which Thou requirest of me.” “Thou gavest Thy Son to die for me; and hast given me assurance of salvation…” “…daily frame me more into the likeness of Thy Son, Jesus Christ.”
Do those sound like the prayers of a hypocrite as some have charged?
The 6’ 4” Washington had distinguished himself in the French and Indian Wars as a young officer riding his horse in the front rank of the British army. In the Battle of the Monongahela, July 9, 1755, the British forces were decimated. Fifteen years later as Washington and a friend were exploring that territory, a band of Indians approached them. Their leader, an old chief, recognized Washington and spoke to him through a translator.
I am a chief and ruler over my tribes. My influence extends to the waters of the great lakes and to the far blue mountains. I have traveled a long and weary path that I might see the young warrior of the great battle. I [had] called to my young men and said, “Mark you tall and daring warrior? He is not of the redcoat tribe—he hath an Indian’s wisdom and his warriors fight as we do—himself alone is exposed. Let your aim be certain and he dies.” Our rifles were leveled, rifles which, but for him, knew not how to miss…. ‘Twas all in vain; a power mightier far than we shielded him from harm…. The Great Spirit guides that man and protects his destinies. He will become the chief of nations and a people yet unborn will hail him as the founder of a mighty empire. [William Johnson, George Washington, the Christian, pp. 41-42.]
Now, I realize that Columbus, Adams and Washington didn’t always live exemplary lives. Skeptics who major on their flaws would have us discredit them. But, which of us doesn’t have some broken china in his closet? I believe God led these folks to accomplish His will in founding America. The amazing thing is that God stoops to use any of us humans! Folks, the record reveals that God’s Holy Spirit worked through people, many of them born again, to found this nation we love. America is God’s gift to us! As you celebrate America’s birth on the fourth of July, your heart moved with patriotism and gratitude to God, demonstrate your love and gratitude for America. Join me in loving our flag; sing the Star Spangled Banner with all the gusto you can muster. Thank God for using men and women through the ages who were courageous enough to step up for freedom and give their lives for our freedom. Make this July 4th extra special as you sing Happy Birthday to our beloved America—sweet land of liberty!

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