As a Christian living in America, I wanted to think through the celebration of Independence Day. It’s easy to get caught up in the wrong worldview and just go with the flow. This 4th of July, I wanted to be intentional about thinking Biblically.
God has orchestrated my life and location so that I would live here in the United States of America. I was born into citizenship of the USA, a little over 34 years ago. I’m so grateful that God has provided me with the ability to live here. It’s a wonderful country that allows me the freedom of religion where I can explore the Scriptures, study, and proclaim them. This is a liberty that we must not take for granted. It’s precious, and we should seek to utilize it.
However, I’m not only a citizen of the USA. As a believer, I’m first and foremost a citizenship of heaven. My eternal destination is heaven, not the USA. While I’m here I’m following Scriptures commands to submit to the governmental authorities, but my eyes are looking out into eternity beyond the existence of my national citizenship to a spiritual citizenship. This perspective has a major impact on how I live my life every day. While I have the opportunity to get deeply involved in governmental work, I choose to focus my time and efforts on the kingdom of heaven and it’s future blessings.
The blessings of the kingdom of heaven are yet to be experienced. We can look forward to eternal joy free from the pain of sin, praising our king forever.
We should also consider the blessings do we experience now because of God’s goodness to us as we live in America. Here are a few…
First, as I mentioned earlier, we can openly study and proclaim God’s word. This is a blessing we take for granted every day. There are believers world-wide who count it a privilege to hold a single page of Scripture in their hands. We can go to any Christian book store and choose from 100s of Bibles in stock. This is a true blessing that we carelessly disregard.
Second, we experience many freedoms and comforts in this nation that provide us the opportunity to further God’s kingdom. Each day, there are fears we don’t experience that other nations must deal with. We have police and law enforcement working to uphold peace and justice, and be an agent of good. This can be a constant reminder of the goodness of our eternal God who will deal with the pain and corruption of sin forever.
Third (and the last one I will explore), we live in the lap of much prosperity. Our country has seen times of both prosperity and loss. No matter the situation we are called to pour into God’s kingdom with our whole hearts. So, as we experience any opportunity in abundance, we can return that blessing back to the creator who has give it to us.
During this 4th of July, how does Scripture call us to change? What ingratitude do we need to repent of, and return thanks to our creator? What selfish living do we hold so tightly to that we must forsake and bless others with, considering them more important than ourselves? What short-sighted, earthly lenses do we need to trade in for eternal ones?