My Favorite American Hero
Mighty hero, the LORD is with you! (Judges 6:12).
My all-time favorite hero of history, apart from the Bible, is George Washington, Commanding General of the victorious Continental Army, the father of our nation, and the first President of the United States of America.
This nation has produced many great heroes, but in my opinion George Washington stands head and shoulders above them all. I base that on his unique historical accomplishments, his bravery in battle, his integrity, his vision for the nation, and his commitment to and unwavering trust in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
For many years, a famous portrait of General Washington has hung in my office. You would recognize the painting of my hero, kneeling to pray next to his horse, in the solitude of the woods of Valley Forge, where he had taken a few moments to seek the Lord away from battle in the Revolutionary War.
Historical revisionists try to paint our Founding Fathers, including Washington, as deists and not Christians. Research has proven that to be untrue. For example, a book out of print for 50 years was found in the stacks of the Yale Divinity School library. It contained 24 pages of Washington's manuscripts, written in his own hand. Here are some of the words Washington wrote:
"O most glorious God... Direct my thoughts, words and work, wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the Lamb, and purge my heart by thy Holy Spirit... Daily frame me more and more into the likeness of thy Son Jesus Christ... Thou gavest thy Son to die for me, and hast given me assurance of salvation..."
Washington's mother had been a source of inspiration to him. On the day he left home to begin a lifetime of service for his country, she told him, "Remember that God only is our sure trust. To Him, I commend you. My son, neglect not the duty of secret prayer." His prayer-filled notebook and known discipline for private prayer are evidences that he heeded his mother's advice.
God's hand was surely upon George Washington, in battle and in his leadership role in forming of this great nation. The rest is history. I thank God for him, and for his mother's prayers and exhortation.
During my first visit to Mount Vernon, the guide took me to the place where George Washington began and ended each day on his knees, reading the Bible and praying. For many years, I have sought to follow his example.
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
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