by R.T. Kendall
Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise.
God loves a grateful nation. Just as an individual cannot "out-thank" the Lord—for God pours out His blessing more than ever, so a nation cannot out-thank God either.
Just as those individuals who praised God on Palm Sunday possibly did so selfishly, even ignorantly and for the wrong reasons—and God accepted their praise, so God accepts the praise of a nation that attempts to show gratitude to Him. It does not necessarily matter that every single person who participates in such thanksgiving is a faithful servant of God in his or her private life; God just notices a nation overall that makes any attempt to show gratitude to Him.
If this message were to get through to heads of state, even if they are not themselves born again, I believe most of them would still want to lead the nation to show thanks—if only for what it would do for that nation. God inhabits the praise of people. If any nation were to show thanks to the true God—the One who sent His only Son into the world, that nation would be so much better off.
We should be continually thankful to God (and remember to tell Him so) for laws in the land that outlaw theft, murder, and other crimes; for medical people, for the police, for firemen. God's common grace preserves a measure of order in the world. However chaotic things may seem from time to time—whether through terrorism or natural disasters, the truth is that if God utterly withdrew His hand from the world, all hell would break loose and civilization as we know it would end overnight.
It is in the interest of any nation to show reverence to the God of the Bible.
R.T. Kendall was the pastor of Westminster Chapel in London, England, for 25 years. Born in Ashland, Ky., he was educated at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Oxford University. He is well known internationally as a speaker and teacher. He is the author of more than 40 books, including The Power of Humility, The Word and the Spirit, The Sensitivity of the Spirit, The Anointing, Just Say Thanks! and Total Forgiveness.