America is not perfect, in spite of her generosity and open arms. With all her faults, we believe she is the greatest nation on earth. She has her faults. I will get to that in a minute.
God gave us freedom. We choose the path we travel. We can love God, or we can curse him. God doesn’t love us only when we are obedient and good. He still loves us, even when we reject him.
Timothy tells us, “God commendeth his love toward us while we were yet sinners.” Our freedom to choose our path will either bring us to defeat, or give us wings to fly where angels dwell. The consequences of our choices determine our destiny.
Many have kicked God out of the public square! God allows that; we are free to reject or embrace him. Human nature is a gift from God. He died on the cross to keep us from going to hell; but if you insist, you can have your way. He will never cancel your freedom to choose!
Human nature is a gift from God. He knew we would sin and make mistakes. All of us are guilty. None of us are perfect. In answer to Solomon’s prayer for the sins of Israel, God said, “If my people which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked way: then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin, and heal their land.” He will forgive our sins if we confess our sins and change our ways.
It behooves us to always do the right thing, no matter how difficult. We are encouraged to go the second mile, no matter how hard, and to love others as we love ourselves. Learn and practice these and you will be on the right road.
I challenge you to live such a life that you can proudly say to your children and grandchildren: Walk in my footsteps. Do what you see me do. Speak the words you hear me say. Use my life as an example and your life will overflow with joy and happiness.
Your blessings will be without number; your strength will be sufficient, and at journey’s end you will know the peace that passes understanding. One example is better than a hundred lectures. If you can say to your children, “Do as I do,” you are likely to be on the high and best road.
Some unknown poet taught us that we learn from both pleasure and sorrow.
I walked a mile with Pleasure,
She chattered all the way,
And I was none the wiser,
For all she had to say.
I walked a mile with Sorrow,
And ne’er a word said she,
But oh, the things I learned from her,
When Sorrow walked with me.
I wish I could tell you, “Be good and you will never suffer.” Jesus was the only perfect man to live on this earth, and he was nailed to a cross. But I can tell you this: No matter what you are facing, with God all things are possible.
Robert V. Ozment is a retired United Methodist minister.