Patriotism- July 4th – Independence Day- God Bless the USA.

Loyalty is a character trait. It is being faithful to a relationship with a partner or group because of a commitment made to them, not because of their performance or behavior. Many people are not loyal to their marriage partner if the relationship becomes difficult, they move on to one that is easier and more “fulfilling” in spite of the vows that they made at their wedding. A person who is loyal says, “I will stay with this marriage even though it is hell on earth because I made a vow to do so”.

I have been the Pastor at JBC for 44 years even though there were some very tough and discouraging times, and offers from other larger churches offering considerably larger salaries which were very tempting. I have stayed because I made a promise to the Lord in 1989 when things were at an all time low for me, to stay at JBC until I died. Even though there were many times leaving would have been easy, I couldn’t break my promise to God.

Patriotism is being loyal to your country, your nation, because it is your country. When I was growing up in school we would say the “Pledge of Allegiance” each morning.

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

I am a patriot of the USA because it is my country, and “I pledged”, I made a commitment, I made a promise that I would be loyal, I made that pledge every morning for years. My Dad was in the Navy for 21 years, he served during World War II and had 4 ships sunk under him in battle. He once said to me during the Vietnam war while we were watching some riots on Television, “Unless you are being part of the solution for a problem, don’t bad mouth your country, it is self centered, childish, disloyal, and it will turn into a bad habit”.

A pledge that Jews made while they were slaves of foreign lands for many years is recorded in Psalms 137:5-6

“If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
May my right hand forget her skill.
May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth
If I do not remember you,
If I do not exalt Jerusalem
Above my chief joy.”

God blesses those who are loyal with strength, joy, peace, and purpose. God gives significant responsibilities to those who are faithful and loyal, they become part of the solution to problems.

Those who walk on the flag will not be used by God as part of the solution, they will continue to be part of the problem and a growing part. That is not my opinion, that is God’s law.

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