Psalm 33:4-22: "For the WORD of the LORD is right, and all His work is done in truth. He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD. By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deep in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose GOD is the LORD, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance. The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.
No king is saved by the multitude of an army; a mighty man is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a vain hope for safety; neither shall it deliver any by its great strength. Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name. Let your mercy, O LORD, be upon us, just as we hope in You."
Galatians 5:13-15: "For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' But if you bite and devour one another; beware lest you be consumed by one another!"
Ephesians 4:25-32: "Therefore, putting away lying, 'Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,' for we are members of one another. 'Be angry, and do not sin'; do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the HOLY SPIRIT of GOD, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as GOD in CHRIST forgave you."
Colossians 3:12-17, 23-24: "Therefore, as the election of GOD, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering; bearing with one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as CHRIST forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of GOD rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of CHRIST dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the LORD. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord JESUS, giving thanks to GOD the Father through Him.... And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the LORD and not to men, knowing that from the LORD you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord CHRIST. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality."
1 Timothy 2:1-7: "Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of GOD our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one GOD and one Mediator between GOD and men, the Man CHRIST JESUS, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle--I am speaking the truth in CHRIST and not lying--a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth."
Titus 2:11-15: "For the grace of GOD that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great GOD and Savior JESUS CHRIST, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you."
Titus 3:1-11, 14: "Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of GOD our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the HOLY SPIRIT, whom He poured out on us abundantly through JESUS CHRIST our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in GOD should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men. But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and striving about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless. Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.... And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful."
WHEN we were kids in public school, in the eighties and nineties, in small-town East Texas, we learned to love our country, respect those in authority, from the teacher to those in law enforcement, especially the elder men and women, in our families, our churches and our communities, and we learned how to love others too and how to play well together, tell the truth, be held accountable for every action, and work well with others, many of us from different backgrounds and races and gender and ages, but we all used to come together and stand in class, after the morning announcements, with our eyes on the stars and stripes of the American flag, usually with our hand over our heart and we would collectively recite the pledge of allegiance every morning; then, we would collectively, enthusiastically and proudly sing, most often, the national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner," and often, "My Country Tis of Thee" and sometimes, "O Beautiful," like Ray Charles used to sing. It was rarely about politics for us; it was always about loving HIM first and loving IT: our GOD and our nation--our country--the land of promise, freedom, and opportunity GOD blessed us with and gave us of His own good pleasure and free will. Later, in the cafeteria, as a group, we would all, most often, close our eyes, bow our heads and recite this "grace" of thanksgiving: "GOD is Good; GOD is Great. Thank You for this food today."
GOD the Father was our Superintendent; JESUS the Son of GOD was equally our Headmaster and Teacher/Instructor/Professor; The HOLY SPIRIT was equally our Administrator, Principal, and Disciplinarian; The WORD of GOD was our Lifetime Manual--our instructions for a biblical lifestyle and a kingdom-of-heaven/kingdom-of-GOD mindset; Thanksgiving, Teamwork, Respect, Love, Compassion, Helping Others, and Promoting Togetherness and Unity was part of our character education; And public prayer, regardless of what any secular official or "anti-christ" dictated, was our 24/7 knee-mail, our daily communication and fellowship with GOD, even on the school campus.
Even though they--the secular powers that be--tried to take GOD and prayer and worship and thanksgiving out of our schools and our government and our nation, they could never take GOD and prayer and worship and thanksgiving and gratitude and the fear and reverence of GOD out of us, the real-deal, souled-out followers and believers, because we were more interested in obeying and exalting and pleasing and kneeling and bowing down to and for and because of GOD than idolizing, exalting, bowing down and kneeling FOR, because of and TO some man and/or woman, outside of JESUS CHRIST, on the basis of race, gender, denomination, nationality, community, social, and/or political affiliation. GOD called us to be IMITATORS, REFLECTIONS, and AMBASSADORS OF CHRIST; He called us to be one nation UNDER GOD, and IN CHRIST JESUS, one Body, one Church, one Family, one Bride, inseparable, signed, sealed, and delivered, DIVERSE AND UNITED, not DIVERSE and DISTRACTED, DECEIVED, DISRUPTIVE, DECEPTIVE, DIVIDED, AND DIVISIVE, and GOD's TOP TEN EXECUTIVE ORDERS, biblically, are THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, which come down to LOVING GOD FIRST, with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and LOVING OTHERS, as we love ourselves. Likewise, this was always our pledge of allegiance, from elementary to high school: "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."
And for me, especially in school as a student and in band as a flute player, it was always an honor and a privilege to learn, then sing and play, the national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner," because in our U.S. History classes, we actually learned the origin stories behind such patriotic songs such as this one and "O Beautiful," and I still love these songs today, including "GOD Bless America," and I will never stop praying for this country GOD blessed us with, nor will I stop praying for the citizens of America, including the men and women in law enforcement, healthcare, ministry, border and national security, and the military, here and abroad, nor will I stop praying for the leaders of America, here and abroad, from the White House to the Courthouse to the church house, and even my house, regardless of their race, gender, denomination and/or political affiliation, including the current, plus any future President the RIGHTEOUS, IMPARTIAL, and JUST LORD of Lords and KING of kings and ALMIGHTY GOD, not mainstream media, elects, mainly because GOD never called me as a follower, believer, disciple and "imitator" of His Son, JESUS CHRIST, to be like the dark prince of this world, catering to the world of "carnal-minded" men and women, doing what is right in their own eyes, nor to the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of culture, in gossiping, criticizing, bad-mouthing, cursing, mocking, judging, slandering, tearing down anybody, and causing discord, among the brethren, especially in the House of GOD and especially among those in authority, including enemies and adversaries; GOD called me as a believer, disciple and ambassador of CHRIST to love Him and others; to pray for my enemies and bless them, when and if I can; to be a Fisher of men and women, enlarging the Family of GOD and the kingdom of GOD, effectively bringing the kingdom of heaven to earth, in encouraging, instructing, and building others up, especially in the will, the WORD, and the WAY of GOD, because JESUS says, a tree is known by the fruit it bears, whether it be good or bad, and from the treasures of the HEART the mouth speaks. So, whatever is coming out of our mouths, whether good or bad, whether in line with the WORD, the will and the Spirit and the nature of GOD, or in line with the words, the will, the nature and spirit of the anti-christ and the adversary, the devil, is usually a good indicator or clue to our intimacy and relationship with GOD, to how much we love and fear--or revere--the LORD, and the "real" spiritual condition of our heart, in terms of it harboring the love and light of JESUS, GOD, or the hatred and darkness of the adversary, the anti-christ, the prince of this secular, humanistic culture and this kingdom of darkness, the devil.
What most seem to forget too is that GOD, including JESUS, tells us repeatedly, from Genesis to Revelation, that we all, including believers, must stand before JESUS, the Righteous Judge, in the end and give an account of every idle word we have spoken and every act we have committed during our time on earth, in our mortal body, which for believers is the "temple" of the HOLY SPIRIT, and by OUR words we will either be justified or condemned, and by our actions we are either affirming and honoring GOD, the Father and Son, or we are quenching the HOLY SPIRIT and grieving GOD.
So, today, during this time, in this season, I am no longer a lukewarm, undercover Christian, nor am I double-minded, "shady," and deceptive in terms of my love for Israel and the Jewish people; in terms of my love and passion for the WORD of GOD, the Bible; my beliefs, my values; my patriotic, often, conservative nature; my love of and devotion to prayer, praise, thanksgiving and worship; and my faith in JESUS, in GOD, in the HOLY SPIRIT; and I have an even greater, more binding, pledge of allegiance, as a child of GOD and as a saved and redeemed and "souled-out" follower and blood-bought believer in JESUS CHRIST:
"I pledge allegiance to the only living GOD, the Almighty heavenly Father and Creator of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and to His only Begotten Son, JESUS, the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One, the LORD of Lords and KING of kings, and in obedience to and accordance with the infallible, true, and eternal WORD of GOD, I pledge to trust in the LORD with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding but to acknowledge Him in all my ways and let Him, in the name of JESUS, through the Person and power of the HOLY SPIRIT, lead me, correct me, mold me, restore me, change me, transform me, equip me, empower me, and direct me, in every area of my life, and make straight my pathways, so I can be strong and courageous, more than a conqueror, not weak and cowardly, a wounded, defeated casualty; so I can be better, not bitter, so I can be a warrior, not a worrier, so I can be a victor, not a victim, so I can be faithful and faith-filled, not faithless and fearful, and so I can love HIM with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love and forgive others as myself, including my enemies and my adversaries, and so I can walk by faith, not sight, in humility, trust and obedience, worshipping GOD in sincerity and truth, like JESUS did, finding my divine purpose and fulfilling my destiny, according to the grace, mercy and will of GOD as well as working with and alongside GOD, in destroying the works of the adversary--the devil--also in alignment with the Great Commission of GOD, given through JESUS and found in Matthew 28:18-20 so that I might also complete every other GOD-given assignment He has for me, as part of the kingdom of GOD and the Body of CHRIST, all of us one family, diverse and United, in the name of JESUS, under the authority of GOD, one Church and one Bride, inseparable, indivisible, redeemed, reconciled, dedicated and devoted, foremost and primarily, to our heavenly Father, GOD, because no matter who sits in the seat of authority in the White House, Courthouse, Church house, and/or my house, GOD, the LORD of Lords and KING of kings, is always in control; sovereign, holy, RIGHTEOUS, good, just, loving, compassionate, matchless, majestic, incomparable, powerful, creative, awesome, all-knowing, merciful, gracious--eternally enthroned. So, to the King eternal, immortal and invisible, to GOD who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen--so be it."