Free to Assemble and Free to Worship
In the country that we live in, we are free to assemble as a church or religion and we are free to worship whoever we claim to be our God. I thank God that we have this type of freedom. However, even if we didn’t just like China we would find a way to worship and assemble even if it is unlawful.
My thought today was even though we have this freedom, if we the church do not break free from our comfortable walled-off settings of worship in order to go out and do the Kingdom business of God we are still in great bondage. Satan seeks to lie and manipulate. So strives to make us so thankful to have a place to worship that we won’t ever leave it to actually make a difference in the world around us. So we must be careful to not allow our freedom of religion create a slavery of complacency.
Americans and Christians
We are Christians who live in America
This is a great country that I appreciate, respect, and love. I take pride in our flag, our soldiers, our forms of government, and our bond. However, I am not a Christian because of America. I am not an American because of Christ. This may seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes we really do confuse the two or better yet act as if they are synonymous. I am an American because I was born in America. I am a Christian because I choose to do my best every day to live in the Kingdom of God and follow my savior Jesus Christ. There are Christians in other countries. They don’t follow Christ because its easy or in order to become good citizens. They follow because he saved them and they wish to live for the Kingdom. Being a good American doesn’t make me a good Christian. Being a good Christian won’t make me a good American. They are not synonymous, although since our country was founded by Christians there is quite a bit of overlap. Enough said I think!
True freedom comes at a cost. Freedom from the tyranny of other countries has cost our nation many lives. Those lives were not lost in vain. They died so that we could have certain unalienable rights. We should honor those that have fallen, those that have suffered, those that have sacrificed, and those that have supported this country. We honor these because of what they have done in the name of freedom for our country. I honor them because without them I could not live the life I live in the United States of America. I am thankful!
There is another freedom for which I’m thankful; a freedom from sin and death. I deserve the sentence of death due to my own sin and brokenness. However, I have been freed from that bondage because of what God has done IN me, Christ has done FOR me, and the Spirit has done THROUGH me. It also has come at a great cost. One I can never pay back. One that is ultimately not owed. Christ didn’t die so we could work our way into His grace. He died that we might have grace immediately and life abundantly.
While I enjoy, appreciate, respect, and live in both freedoms only one will last throughout all time and in any place…Freedom in Christ! It is the freedom in Christ that taught our forefathers of this nation how to fight for its own freedom as a country. I live in the unshakeable Kingdom of God that extends freedom to all who enter and live.
I pray that as Americans we can see all people who reside in our country as Americans. Not only those who have realized “The American Dream”, but with the eyes of Christ we can see all races, all economic levels, both genders, and all that express their American freedom the way they choose as Americans. More importantly I pray we can see them as people who have a story and that are on a journey that will one day, if they haven’t already, intersect with God and us so that we can continue to build on the great story of God and His people. With global eyes we will see that Christianity is stronger than one person, one church community, one nation and also see that America’s freedoms are something we can appreciate and celebrate. Now, let’s go join God in His work and celebrate the Kingdom!