Near my home, there is a house with a cracked foundation. The family had to vacate the house. Yellow warning tape that says Do Not Enter covers all doors. A cracked foundation is dangerous for a house.
A cracked foundation is also dangerous for a nation. The Bible tells us, “When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11.3). When George Washington finished his eight years as our first president, he gave a moving farewell address. Here are a few words from his speech. “Of all the habits which lead to national prosperity, religion, and morality are of indispensable support. If we destroy those pillars, we do so to the peril of our nation.”
Here are four essential foundations upon which America stands. First, the foundation of decency. President Dwight Eisenhower said, “I believe that every president of America has one profound duty: to exert moral leadership. Decency is one of the main pillars of a sound civilization. An immoral nation invites its own ruin.” Do you think he’s right? I sure do!
Another essential foundation is duty. I mean a duty to work hard. We’ve all heard the old expression that says “an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay.” May Americans never lose that idea. The Bible says, “Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. Then people who are not believers will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others.” (1 Thessalonians 4.11-12).
A recent college graduate was asked if he was looking for work.
“No, but I’d sure like to have a job.”
No nation can survive with the attitude that says, “I don’t need to work; let others care for me.”
A third foundation is dignity. Here I speak of the dignity of human life. Every person in the world is made by God and in His image. Then God sent Jesus to be the savior of all people. So let’s be clear: Jesus is not an Hispanic savior, an Asian savior, a Black man’s savior, or a white man’s savior. Jesus is the savior of the world!
St. Jude is a great hospital in Memphis. Their motto says, ‘At St. Jude, the fight never stops to conquer cancer.” Let our motto be, “Our fight never stops until all see the dignity in every person.”
The last foundation we must maintain is devotion—our devotion to God Almighty. The Bible says, “Be careful to obey all my commands, so that all will go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and pleasing to the Lord your God.” (Deuteronomy 12.28). Our founding fathers certainly believed that verse. They wrote in the Declaration of Independence, “With a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.” With that document they declared our independence from England, and at the same time our total dependence upon God. The result was the birth of the United States of America, the most exceptional country in the history of the world!
Let’s return to devotion to God as Americans. Today we are attempting to apply political solutions to problems which are at the heart spiritual. That will never work. Only God can change a heart and then change a nation. May the Lord change my heart, your heart, and our nation. God bless you!
Dr. Tom Lindberg is lead pastor at First Assembly Memphis