Presidents’ Day: Wisdom from Washington, Lincoln, and Jesus

Each year in February, the U.S. sets aside a single day, Presidents’ Day, to honor great leaders in its past like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, honorable men and the country’s noble forefathers. 

These remarkable men guided the young nation’s subjects through some of the most tumultuous times in its history, and they did it with ultimate reliance on God’s will and faith in His supreme authority.

Your Light

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told his audience that people do not “light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.” (Matthew 5:15)

Abraham Lincoln was unafraid to shine his light before others by proclaiming his faith in God’s ultimate authority. He told the Ohio Legislature in 1861 that he would now “look to the American people and to that God who has never forsaken them.” 1

Jesus told us to do the same:  “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

Do you proclaim your faith in God to your audiences? Does your light “shine before others?” 

Your Words

In what is known as The Great Commission, Jesus told his disciples to “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” (Mark 16:15) We are to be unafraid to share our faith. 

God instructs us to tell others about salvation every day, to “[d]eclare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!” (Psalm 96:2-3)

On January 20, 2017, the newly elected President of the United States told listeners of his inaugural address that the nation will be guarded by its military and law enforcement, but “most importantly, [it] will be protected by God.”2

The President knew the words in his historical speech would be carefully dissected by his adversaries in the hope of casting aspersions on his ability to rule the nation. Yet, nonetheless, he authoritatively declared his confidence in and reliance upon God’s protection for the country.

Every day we are given a new opportunity to share the Gospel with someone in our lives. As intimidating as that might be for some at first, God tells us “the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” (Luke 12:12) Strong faith in God will not only guide us to the person in need of Scripture, but will speak through us to deliver the message that person needs to hear.

Do your words reflect your faith in God and His ability to offer eternal salvation? Do you “proclaim the gospel to the whole creation?” 

Your Obedience

In any civilized nation, there is a system of law and a hierarchy of authority that leads to an ultimate leader or governing body. God tells us that we should obey the rule of law:  “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” (Romans 13:1)

In 1789, Washington was the duly elected first President of the United States. He was in a unique position to assert the new government’s authority over the citizens, yet he used the opportunity to remind those over whom he presided that no government on earth has authority over God, saying that “…it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor…” 3

Do you recognize God as the ultimate authority over your life? Are you willing and prepared to share the Gospel in subservience to God’s will? 

One Nation under God

Our nation’s great leaders did not hide their light under a basket. Instead, they proclaimed their faith to their widest audiences and subjected themselves to God’s authority. They became shepherds for their constituents, recognizing that true sovereignty belongs to Almighty God.

For over a hundred years, The Pocket Testament League has been equipping Members with copies of the Gospel of John to “Read, Carry, and Share”© the Word of God. Get your copies and prepare yourself to let God’s light shine through your words and deeds, sharing Scripture with the person to whom God leads you and who desperately needs to hear it today.

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