Psalm 34:1-3 NKJV
“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.”
As we look through the Bible we can see where when people blessed the Lord first they in turn were blessed by the Lord. David is just one example of this. David was quick to praise (bless) God and he desired for others to do so with him. He was grateful to God and he recognized the holiness of God. We often hear the phrase, “God bless America!” In America we are quick to ask God to bless us and the things we do however, as a nation, we fail to bless Him. Bless means to ask God’s favor for; wish good to; feel grateful to; call holy; praise, glorify; guard and protect from evil. While we want God to prosper, guard and protect us we fail to feel grateful to Him. As a nation, we fail to call Him holy or praise and glorify Him.
I. As A Nation We Must Show Our Gratefulness To God
Grateful means wanting to do a favor (act of kindness, approval, liked, accepted, gift to show fondness) in return or being thankful. When you are grateful to someone you will show it through your words and actions. Our gratefulness to God should cause us to have a desire to bless the Lord with our entire being, with everything within us.
Psalm 103:1 NKJV
“Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!”
All across America there are people that take for granted the blessings they have received from God instead of being thankful (feeling or expressing thanks or grateful) to Him. Each of us should respond to God out of a thankful and joyful heart. We are to enter into the presence of God with an attitude of gratitude and bring Him worship that pleases Him, worship that magnifies His name and exalts Him. We are actually commanded to be thankful unto God.
“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.”
1 Chronicles 16:34 NKJV “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”
II. As A Nation We Must Acknowledge The Holiness Of God
Holy means sacred, spiritually perfect, very good, pure in heart, and worthy of reverence. As a nation, America must acknowledge that God is all of these things.
Exodus 15:11 NKJV
“Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness,
Fearful in praises, doing wonders?”
Many people try to replace the one true God (who is holy) with other things, but God alone is God. No person, false god, or thing can compare to the one true God who is glorious in holiness.
1 Chronicles 16:29 NKJV
“Give to the Lord the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!”
Some people might not want to recognize God as holy because they don’t want to live a life of holiness themselves. We have been instructed, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
1 Peter 1:15 NKJV
“but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’ ”
God is truly sacred and He must be reverenced and not disregarded. Reverence is a feeling of deep respect, mixed with wonder, awe, and love. Can we truly say that America has a reverence for God?
III. As A Nation We Must Praise And Glorify God
As a nation we must stand up together and bless the Lord. We must call Him and His name holy. The name of the Lord is above all names and He is worthy of our blessings and our praise. We must glorify the name of the Lord as a nation.
Nehemiah 9:5-6 NKJV
“Stand up and bless the Lord your God
Forever and ever! Blessed be Your glorious name,
Which is exalted above all blessing and praise! You alone are the Lord; You made heaven,
The heaven of heavens, with their host,
The earth and everything on it,
The seas and all that is in them,
And You preserve them all. The host of heaven worship You.”
1 Chronicles 29:20 NKJV
“Then David said to all the assembly, ‘Now bless the Lord your God.’ So all the assembly blessed the Lord God of their fathers, and bowed their heads and prostrated themselves before the Lord and the King.”
Many Americans have departed from righteousness and godliness. They have ceased to be thankful or grateful to God, their loving Creator and the Creator of the entire universe. The one who is worthy and deserving of our worship and praise.
Romans 1:18-22 NKJV
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools”
God tells us in His Word that He will not share His glory with anyone or anything.
A lack of gratefulness, acknowledgment of God’s holiness and praise unto His name in our lives will eventually cause us to turn our back on God. America is often thought of as a land of plenty. Prosperity, wealth, and plenty often leads to pride and eventually to a rejection of God.
Deuteronomy 8:11-20 NKJV
“Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest – when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end- then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the Lord you God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surly perish. As the nations which the Lord destroys before you, so you shall perish, because you would not be obedient to the voice of the Lord your God.”
God has commanded us not to forget Him or all that He has done for us. We, as a nation, must remember to properly thank, praise, and worship God. If we fail to do so we will become forgetful. We will forget that God has provided us with the things that we have and what we are. When we forget the part that God has played in forming America we will become self-sufficient, complacent, and greedy. Pride will take root in our lives and cause us to forget that we are nothing apart from God. Pride is having a high opinion of one’s own worth or possessions, too high opinion of oneself, arrogance, acting as if better than others, and conceit. Pride implies a pleased satisfaction with what one is, has, or has done. People (or nations) that are filled with pride think that they are superior. When a person (or nation) is conceited they have too high an opinion of their own abilities and accomplishments. They put their trust in things instead of God, thus falling into idol worship. Often they have an unpleasant assertive manner. They will begin to think that they have accomplished everything in their own might, strength, and power. We must remember that God hates and resists the proud.
Proverbs 8:13 NKJV
“The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And the perverse mouth I hate.”
Pride will bring strife and it leads to conflicts. Pride will cause a person (or nation) to become arrogant and to refuse to glorify God. In the end pride will bring a person (or nation) down. God raises the humble up and He brings low (puts down) the arrogant and the proud.
Proverbs 13:10 NKJV
“By pride comes nothing but strife,
But with the well-advised is wisdom.”
Proverbs 16:18-19 NKJV
“Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly,
Than to divide the spoil with the proud.”
Proverbs 29:23 NKJV
“A man’s pride will bring him low,
But the humble in spirit will retain honor.”
Psalm 147:6 NKJV
“The Lord lifts up the humble; He casts the wicked down to the ground.”
Daniel 4:37 NKJV
“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.”
When America fails to acknowledge God and bless Him it is the same as denying God through our words and actions. Deny means to declare not true; say that one does not hold to or accept; refuse to acknowledge. We must be obedient to God. If as a nation we desire to draw close to God we must turn away from the things that He hates (evil, pride, arrogance, misbehavior, and perverse speech) and obey Him. As a nation we must join together and lift our voices in blessings unto God. The creator of the entire universe, including us and including America. When America shows gratefulness to God, acknowledges the holiness of God, and praises and glorifies God (blesses God), He will in turn bless America. After we have blessed God we can then say “God, bless America!”
Help me to always bless You first. I desire to be quick to praise You. You are a holy God and I am grateful to You for everything. Don’t allow me to take for granted the blessings I have received from You. Let me respond to You out of a thankful and joyful heart. Let me enter into Your presence with an attitude of gratitude and bring unto You worship that pleases You, worship that magnifies Your name and exalts You. I don’t want to forget You or all that You has done for me. Empower me to properly thank, praise, and worship You. I don’t want to forget that You have provided me with the things that I have. Holy Spirit don’t allow me to become self-sufficient, complacent, or greedy. Don’t allow pride to take root in my life. Cause me not to forget that I am nothing apart from God. Cause me to never fail to acknowledge You, O Lord and bless You. Help me to be obedient and draw closer to You.
In Jesus’ name, Amen