Two hundred years ago our forefathers established the Constitution of the United States of America which, in its present form, guarantees religious and political liberty to all our citizens.

During this 45th Annual Convention of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), we CELEBRATE that carefully crafted document which has guided our nation and given us a stable government through two centuries.

We further CELEBRATE the goodness and blessing of God as NAE has provided a clear voice to our evangelical faith and a witness to our oneness in Jesus Christ.

On this historic occasion we call upon our constituency, and Christians everywhere, to CELEBRATE with us and rejoice in God’s provision through the years.

Let us CELEBRATE our rich heritage as people of God. We know the gospel story today because our forefathers were faithful. As the Apostle Paul saw himself a debtor, so we are debtors. It is now our challenge to share that good news with our generation.

Let us CELEBRATE love. Because of this special gift from God, we are able to love the Lord and share His love with the world. Filled with divine love, we are able to befriend the lonely, bring hope to the lost and love our enemies.

Let us CELEBRATE life. John wrote, “In Him was life, and that life was the light of men” (John 1:4). And Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). We know that true life cannot be found in license or in sensual satisfaction; it is found only in Jesus Christ. We enjoy life because we have found the true meaning of life in Him.

Let us CELEBRATE the ministries of our churches and members… the millions that regularly attend Sunday and mid-week services and church schools to learn more of the gospel of Christ and what it means to be His disciple in the world… the evangelical educational institutions that are preparing young men and women for ministry both in the secular marketplace and the pulpit… the thousands of missionaries, church planters, evangelists, pastors, musicians, Sunday school teachers, youth workers, children’s workers and others who serve faithfully and sacrificially… the growing number of Christians who act out their faith through commitment to compassionate ministries – seeking to serve those in need and to defend the rights of the weak and suffering… the business people, laborers, civil workers, clerks, secretaries, lawyers, doctors, school teachers and others who seek to be witnesses for Jesus Christ and live as Christians in the marketplace.

Yes, let us CELEBRATE! But let us also see this occasion as a time to rededicate ourselves to the work that remains. And because God has so faithfully and generously provided in the past, let us take new hope as we “serve the Lord with gladness” (Psalm 100:2).