Devotional for Saturday and Sunday July 4-5

Good Morning Everyone,

Our theme for this month: “Fresh wind, fresh fire”

Our Bible verse for today: “Every kingdom divided against itself is headed for destruction, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.” Matthew 12:25 (CSB)

Our thought for today: “We need unity and a sense of common purpose.”

Division is exhausting. Strife and bickering will wear you out. Conflict and arguing and the subtle but constant sense of tension that exists when people live at odds with one another is emotionally draining and results in everyone being edgy and jaded.

That’s where we’re at as a nation today. Politically and socially we’ve been so focused for so long on the things that divide us that we’re all edgy and jaded. It’s as if each of us has one nerve left and the opposition is getting on it! As a nation we need fresh wind in our sails and fresh fire in our souls.

In Matthew 12:25 Jesus taught that there is strength in unity but weakness in division. And, no nation or city or home divided against itself can stand. Eventually the division will destroy it. A contemporary application of that truth for us is if we choose instead to focus on the things we have in common, the things that we can stand united about, the strength found in that unity can go a long way towards healing the divisions between us. Last Sunday, June 28th, at Oak Hill Baptist Church I preached an entire sermon on this passage and much of it focused on the current social and political situation in our nation. You can listen to or watch that sermon on our website at www.oakhillbaptist.net.

On this 4th of July weekend, I encourage all of us – regardless of race, gender, cultural background, sexual orientation, or political affiliation, to consider all that we have in common as Americans. We share a great national heritage; we enjoy the highest standard of living of any nation in the world; we have the best healthcare system of any nation in the world; we have the greatest freedoms of any nation in the world; Americans are more generous than any other people; and there is so much more. In terms of freedom, opportunity, technology, and education, we are the best there is. The rest of the world loves our fashions, our sports, our entertainments, and our diversity. America truly is exceptional among all the nations of the world and as citizens of this great land, we share in all of that!

As Americans we truly do have a lot to be grateful for and there is much that we share in common. I encourage all of us to focus more on the great things that unite us and less on the things that could divide us. Together let’s celebrate the greatness of the USA.

God Bless,

Pastor Jim

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