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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"As American As…"

July 4, 2007

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“For I the LORD do not change.” Malachi 3:6a

Years ago, there was an advertisement that still sticks in my mind. It said something like, “American as baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet.” On the 4th of July, the most American of all holidays, it’s only natural for us to talk about this country.

But what I want to say is this: we’ve got a problem. Did you know that the all-time hot dog eating champion is a Japanese fellow by the name of Takeru Kobayashi? That’s right. For the last six years, the Forth of July hot dog eating championship on Coney Island has been won by a 165-pound fellow from the “Land of the Rising Sun.” Last year, he set a record by devouring 53 ¾ hot dogs AND buns in a 12-minute period. Now, if you happen to be a follower of major sporting events like hot dog eating, the Associated Press has just sent out a bulletin announcing to all the world that Takeru may bow out of the tournament this year because he has developed arthritis of the jaw.

If the hot dog-eating champion can be Japanese, what else can’t be counted on? Let’s go back to the first paragraph of this devotion. Although baseball remains popular in the US, almost every authority agrees more people watch football. Some even say that basketball, NASCAR, and bird watching have trumped baseball. And as far as Chevrolet is concerned, as of May 2007, Toyota has sold 5,700 more cars in the US than has General Motors.

The only thing left on our list of American favorites is “apple pie.” All the rest have been bumped to the side. This leads me to ask, “If these truly American things are not untouchable, is there anything in which we can believe? Is there anyone in whom we can place our trust? Is there anybody who can always be counted on?” By inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and speaking for the Holy Trinity, the Old Testament Prophet, Malachi provides the answer. God says, “I am the Lord, I change not.” (KJV)

While I rejoice in my country, and give thanks to God for the many blessings she offers, I thank the Lord most of all for the Savior whose forgiveness, love, and grace can be counted on forever. Even if the mountains crumble and apple pie is no longer palatable, the Lord will be with me. This is why I will trust in Him as my best friend and truest support.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I give thanks for Your unchanging love and promise of continuing presence. Further, I ask that You will bless this land and keep it free. Bring Your salvation and hope to those countries where Your Name is banned and freedom to believe has been curtailed. In Your Name, Amen.

Today's Bible Readings: 1 Kings 16-18    Acts 13:1-25

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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