America’s Born Again Journey
Stirring up the crunch for Blueberry Crunch, I thought about America and her soul journey.
In 1620, a boatload of born-again Christians landed creating a colony called Plymouth. Born-again Christians bringing a radical faith to a new land called America, where they could worship their Savior without fear of persecution. That boatload of born-again Christians converted this land mass – and she was born again. Her new name was America – and in her salvation, her journey began. This radical faith created a radical government – a government never tried before. . . a country born out of a born-again, gospel kind-of-faith.
America’s journey can be compared to the Christian man or woman’s born-again journey – a journey of spiritual awakening. For a moment, let us look at America through the prismof that soul journey, a born-again soul journey. Just like you and me, America was not born perfect, but through her faith journey, God has taken the broken places and rebuilt them. If we let her continue this faith journey, she will move from glory to glory – it takes a journey with Jesus to do that – not a Pharisees journey, keeping count of sins and transgressions, where failures lead to stoning, to destruction, to outcasting.
Because the prodigal’s walk to redemption is a transformation walk, the prodigal who arrived at his father’s house was not the same man who started the journey. America is walking that walk along with us.
As America is walking that prodigal journey home, she has learned to better love her neighbor as herself. She has learned to better serve those neighbors, to not just love those born of her, but those God gave her: “For even the Son of Man did not come expecting to be served by everyone, but to serve everyone, and to give his life as the ransom price for the salvation of many” (Mark 10:45).
She has striven to love one another as Jesus loves you and me: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) . . . . and so very often, she has and still does.
This born-again country, born out of a born-again humanity, has often succeeded – and often failed. Yet, she did not grow faint or faithless in her journey. When she failed, her relationship with her Savior pulled her back up to try harder, to do better. . .
The Salvation walk is not for the faithless, the proud, or the offended. It’s a walk that calls for forgiveness because no one who walks it walks in perfection.
As America has grown, some who live under her banner have forgotten about born-again living and things like forgiveness and condemned her as the Pharisees condemned Jesus. The Pharisees could not grasp the concept of a new man being reborn out of the old. They refused to see the new man in place of the old.
Instead of learning from the mistakes of the old man to thank God for the soul changes, Pharisees of yesterday and today use those mistakes as a cudgel to beat down those who miss it over and over. These Pharisees, either in their ignorance or determined self-blindness, have forgotten what those men on that Mayflower Ship knew about forgiveness:
“Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.” ~ Matthew 18:21
“. . . as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” ~ Colossians 3:13
“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.” ~ Galatians 6:1
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” ~ Hebrews 4:16
“You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.” ~ Leviticus 19:18
Unforgiveness enslaves; forgiveness frees. Today, as I celebrate America’s independence, I’m remembering how far she has grown in her faith walk – and praying that those who live within her boundaries become more deeply aware that she is a born-again Christian walking out her faith along with us. We need to love her through her challenges, not stone her.
“Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” ~ John 8:6
Remember Me Monday: #72 & Linky
“I’ll make a list of God’s gracious dealings,
all the things God has done that need praising,
All the generous bounties of God,
his great goodness to the family of Israel—
. love extravagant.”
~ Isaiah 63:7, The Message
In the Old Testament, God repeatedly, quietly and loudly, tells his children, “You have forgotten me!” (Jeremiah 3:32, Ezekiel 22:12, to name a few). It’s a heart cry from a father to a child who has forgotten all the love, all the saving, helping, little and big blessings – and it leaves me stunned when I realize our Father, the creator of the universe, who knows things I cannot begin to fathom, who authors storylines that leave me amazed, delights in all of us so much, He cries out, “Remember Me.”
While every day is a Remember God Day, I am inviting you to join me on Monday mornings to come by and remember what God has done for you, for your family. Maybe God sent a cardinal darting out in front of you, as if to tell you, “I’m here,” or broke a child’s fever after you laid it all down at His feet in a 2 a.m. bedside vigil. Maybe He stood with you in the wait of a prayer sent out, or brought someone you loved to Christ. Maybe He healed your broken heart, gave your courage, or you gave Him your dreams as a love offering only to have Him give them back in an unimaginable way. Maybe God helped you survive to bedtime after a crazy Monday, or forgive yourself for missing it with your kiddos –– Whatever it is, let’s Remember Him. . . in a “Remember Me Monday” love letter.
“My mouth will tell of your righteousness,
Of your salvation all the day long,
Though I know not its measure.
I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign Lord”
~ Psalm 71:15-16.
Let us delight in Him by telling the stories of what He’s done! If you wrote a blog post remembering what He’s done for you, join the linky. If you didn’t but still want to praise Him for what He’s done – write it in the comment section. Then visit a comment before or after yours! One of the beautiful things about the blogging community is the relationships it builds!
Rules? Write long or short, a list or a story, include photos or not. Just Remember Him and what He has done, and let the gratitude of your heart guide you. Let’s make Monday so Rejoice, that the goodness of God spills into the rest of the week!
If are having trouble linking, the linky service recommends to do the following: use [Photo] FROM FILE ” if it will not generate automatically.
Places I’m Linking at This Week:
Inspire Me Monday, Instaencouragements,
Legacy Link-Up, Recharge Wednesday
Faith on Fire, Tell His Story, Grace&Truth
Let’s Have Coffee Wednesday Celebrate Your Story
Scripture&Snapshot, Sunday Scripture Blessings
LOVE LOVE LOVE the parallels here!
I am so very glad! I really want to expand on this – but it’s a good start! Happy 4th Barb!
I love your flag flying high, friend. After a long while, we finally hung ours up last week after an unwieldy tree damaged our old one. Long may she wave.
Beautiful images, and I love your heart!
Thank you, my friend! Shalom!
Maryleigh, this is a fantastic message. True! True! True! All’s I have to say is Amen, and I’ll say it again Amen! You spoke to the heart of the matter here.
Thank you for linking up with Sweet Tea & Friends this month.
In the news, in so many things happening – I find myself looking for the heart and ways of Christ – the forgiveness, the love – and so many seem offended by those soul-changing actions! My heart grieves for what so many people are missing. Thanks for stopping by, Paul and being so encouraging!
Hi Maryleigh, beautiful post. It is good to reflect because in that we learn and grow. We can correct our course and move on. And it is true, we should life in forgiveness and love, not offense and hurt. I hope that America continues to correct its course as many countries will follow, God-willing!
God has the plan, Tracy! I may not always be comfortable in the unfolding of that plan, but I trust! Praying that the heart of our nation love like Jesus and not the Pharisees! Shalom, my friend! ~ Maryleigh
May we each pray for our country on a regular basis!
Stopped by from #TellHisStory
Yes, my friend! Praying God’s hand is on it, shaping and molding it, unfolding the story of it!
This is just the message I needed to hear, Maryleigh. I’ve become so disillusioned with America in so many ways. Yet you’re reminding me that I don’t need to give up on her when she’s down, but rather keep helping her back up every time.
Yes, Lisa! Exactly! How many sinners, how many of the lost have been helped back up by the love of Christ instead of the Pharisees condemnation? I remember asking someone who’s child had been in Teen Challenge advice on helping my own wayward child. She said, “See them how Jesus sees them.” I not only did that, I asked God to show me how to love when it didn’t feel like love. Those two things changed everything! Shalom, my friend. May we rejoice in God’s redeeming story in our land!