Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Beautiful Isle Of Somewhere"1 (Lyrics)
2 Chronicles 20:6 – O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you. (ESV)
Birthdays have always been important to me. When I was a child, birthday parties were few, so as I grew up, I have always tried to get involved in a party somehow.
Maybe that's why I am so enthusiastic about Canada's 150th birthday party. This year, there are events across the country and especially on Canada Day, July 1. Even if you do not live in Canada, you may have heard of our year-long party. We haven't been exactly quiet about it!
To me, birthdays involve gifts. I feel blessed to live in a country where its Charter of Rights and Freedoms, enacted in 1982, opens with this statement: "Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law…".
That means honouring the rights of each individual, whatever their country of origin, their religion or lack of one, their gender, their skin colour, and much more. I believe that as God has blessed us so richly and as we recognize His supremacy in the Charter, we honour God as we offer a birthday gift at this time of celebration.
I wasn't born in Canada, but I grew up in Toronto, Ontario, and experienced many good things. Now is a good time to pay it forward by doing something to help someone else to experience the blessings that I have.
In many parts of the world, women are denied an active role in their society, whereas I had the privilege of starting and running my own business and doing the work that I love. So my gift to honour Canada's birthday is to support an organization that provides funds to women in the third world who want to start small businesses.
A high school student was a refugee from Syria last year. This year, she played a major role in her school's project to help children in the Middle East.
A family was re-united with a lost pet by an animal rescue group. Now they help the group rescue and find homes for animals.
I am grateful that I can worship as I wish without fear. Are you? Every church has needs.
Find the political party that matches your views. Volunteer to help their candidate get elected, or donate funds.
Is health care a priority? Hospitals and associations that are working to eliminate a specific disease all need volunteers and donations.
Education? Maybe you came from a background where educational opportunities were limited. Volunteer at your local school, and literacy groups need people to teach others reading skills, one on one.
Were you an immigrant who benefitted from classes in English as a second language? Maybe a neighbour needs help to practice his English.
These can be gifts to the supreme God that we honour, and for Canadians, our country. Happy 150th birthday, Canada!
Romans 8:28 – And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (ESV)
Prayer: Dear Lord, each of us has been truly blessed by You. Help us to recognize that. Show us how we can honour Your supremacy and thank You by helping others, perhaps in ways that we have not considered before. Amen.