Tuesday, July 17 , 2018, 8:38 pm | Fair 66º

 
 
 
 
Faith

Jim Langley: Goodness Can Lead to Greatness

Goodness can lead to greatness. The question we must obviously ask is “What comprises goodness?” Virtue, righteousness and morality are some of the thoughts that come to my mind when I think about goodness.

Then we also must ask “What constitutes greatness?” Words like importance, significance, prominence and worth come to mind.

Some of us strive for greatness, or at least that was our goal when we were younger. Greatness is certainly not easily achieved, and the process in reaching greatness may take much of one’s life and energy.

A people’s corporate goodness can lead to greatness as well. There’s no better example of this than the forming of the United States of America. From the departure of the Pilgrims from Plymouth, England, in 1620 to 20th-century America, our history contains many amazing accomplishments within the borders of this great nation.

For several centuries, the United States of America was considered by the rest of the world to be truly significant and prominent. The U.S.A. is still considered the land of opportunity and freedom from oppression for many, even today. Yet, these days, many from foreign lands do not look upon this country favorably.

Our Founding Fathers built the legacy upon which this great nation was formed, and it must be renewed. There are five distinctive principles they laid down:

» Our individual rights are derived from a Creator

» There must be enduring principles compatible with the laws of nature and God’s nature

» Our human imperfection and the human heart’s natural tendency to abuse power must be recognized

» A Constitution must be drafted to skillfully divide, balance and separate powers of government and implement a system to control abuses through checks and balances

» All powers must be left with the people except those delegated to government by the people

These courageous men were visionaries with a strong belief in the God of the Universe. They called upon Him and trusted in His principles as we can see today by the placement of the Ten Commandments and many other biblical references in stone on so many of our landmarks throughout this great land.

It’s quite easy to see that America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles. Most of our forefathers were either Christians or Deists who realized the wonderful heritage and sacrifices made by those who came before them. They continued to be passionate in their desire to make this the land of the free, where all can experience life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

No doubt, they were aware of the words of Joshua found in Joshua 24. In verses 14 and 15, Joshua tells the Israelites, “Now fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshipped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

The people of Israel responded favorably that day and followed the God of the Universe for a time until Joshua’s death.

I truly believe that we, too, must get back to a corporate belief in our Heavenly Father, if we want to gain His favor once again. America’s greatness is directly related to His goodness and our obedience to His plan for this nation. This Great American Experiment is founded on His principles and His anointing of the goodness of our forefathers. Together we can make America great again!

So, where do we start? I believe we need to start in our individual lives and our relationship to our Father in Heaven.

Let me challenge you to deepen your relationship with our Heavenly Father and place your trust in Him alone. Then, corporately we can watch America become great again and give God the glory He deserves!

Passages to Ponder

» 2 Chronicles 7:13-16

» Psalm 106:1-5

» Proverbs 3:5-6

» Galatians 5:16-18

— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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