Happy Fourth of July!

I’ve got a few Independence Day topics and a few other timely topics. Enjoy reading!

  1. Blackaby on Integrity

In my daily devotional, Henry Blackaby gave me a powerful message on July 2. The devotional was titled “Integrity Upheld,” mentioning the verse Psalm 41:12, “You supported me because of my integrity and set me in your presence forever.”

Blackaby’s message edified me, especially when it comes to my prideful approach to using social media. Here’s an excerpt from the devotional:

“The most important thing is not that people know the truth. The most important thing is that you are a person of integrity before God… your confidence should not be in the hope of vindication in the eyes of others. It should be in the knowledge that God keeps you in His sight. If you have this confidence, it will be enough to sustain you.”

There’s much to draw from his comments. When he said “the most important thing,” I understand he knows there are other important things, which would include aspiring for people to know the truth. However, what I take from his point is sometimes people gain knowledge of truth through other means besides me having to proclaim truth.

Living a life of integrity before God would be most important because whether I share truth with people or not, my life example can speak greater volumes over the words I say. God, through the Holy Spirit, may convey truth to people who could gain confidence in me by having a friendship of built trust, regardless of our viewpoints. This comes by living a life of integrity.

When my focus is on honoring God, this should be where I can be satisfied, have peace in my life or as Blackaby said, be “sustained.”

  1. A review on a book review

I appreciate Michael McAfee. He writes in a relatable manner. In his article “Compelling Reasons to Trust a 2,000-Year-Old Bible,” he shares his story that sounds similar to my story—grew up in a conservative Oklahoma church, learned to trust the Bible, was challenged to know why the Bible can be trusted.

McAfee reviews Timothy Paul Jones’ book “Why Should I Trust the Bible?”

“My favorite aspect of this book,” McAfee wrote, “is that Jones provides specific examples without becoming overly technical.”

He said Jones does cover the hard issues about the Bible, specifically relating to perceived contradictions among Scripture passages, how the Bible was misused to defend slavery and how to discuss the Bible with skeptics.

And thanks to McAfee, I now want to read Jones’ book.

  1. Recent SCOTUS summary

If you have been paying attention to what the U.S. Supreme Court has been ruling in the last few weeks, the highest court in the land has drawn both ire and appreciation.

Joe Carter’s summary covers the two most spotlighted cases that have been ruled in the last week. Check out “Supreme Court: Religious Liberty is Winning—and the Pro-Life Cause is Losing.”

If you want greater understanding on the SCOTUS rulings, Carter is one of the best explainers.

  1. Family-friendly July 4 viewing recommendations

Entertainment writer Michael Foust will be doing his monthly report of family-friendly recommendations of shows later in July. However, for this weekend, I asked him if he had a couple of suggestions of what to watch for the July 4 weekend.

Foust’s first recommendation is Liberty’s Kids, which he said is free on YouTube under a channel called “Wild Brain.”

Liberty Kids, Foust said, “is the greatest animated series about the Revolutionary War ever. I watch it with my kids.”

The second show he recommended is Apollo 11, a documentary on the NASA project of the first American astronauts walking on the moon in July 1969. The Todd Douglas Miller film is on Hulu and can be rented.

  1. Ashford on patriotism

I conclude this week’s DHD with two articles that offer commentary on the Christian worldview and celebrating America. Patriotism in America is scrutinized today, especially since we are living in divided times.

I appreciate Bruce Ashford’s conclusion in his article “Proud to be an American?”

“We must be grateful for what is good in our nation’s history and appropriately critical for what is bad,” Ashford wrote. “We must cultivate a real but limited allegiance while reserving our ultimate allegiance for Christ.”

  1. DeYoung’s American analysis

Kevin DeYoung provides a more specific overview about the concerns of American History and the country’s current status.

“With Liberty and Justice for All” would take some time to read. You may consider reading it twice. I might even read it a third time later.

“So what is my view of America?” DeYoung wrote. “Well, it’s complicated. The more you look deeply into any person, any time period, or any nation, the more you realize that the ‘good guys’ and the ‘bad guys’ are usually more of a mixture than we’d like to admit.”

I suggest reading both Ashford’s and DeYoung’s articles, and be objective and “truth”-minded. Allow yourself to be challenged in your views of our country. Obviously, it is a flawed nation, as all nations are in a sin-laden world.

But don’t neglect to see how God used many God-fearing people throughout American history. Most importantly, see how American history could be viewed from the spectrum of advancing the Gospel. Regardless of your personal perspective of America, hold strong to honoring God and ask Him to bless America to be what He desires this country to be.