This weekend, we will celebrate our nation’s independence. The smells and sounds of picnics will likely reverberate throughout the nation. Fireworks will light the sky. Meanwhile, here are a few thoughts to consider as believers:
- Many of us have more Bibles in our homes than we have people. We have the entire Scriptures in the English language, a gift available in only 700 of the more than 7300 languages around the world today.
- In one sermon, we hear more of the Word than 4 billion people in the world are likely to hear in a lifetime. Not only do we have liberty to hear the Word, but our pastors seldom feel threatened with persecution when they preach.
- It is generally not dangerous for us to initiate a conversation about Jesus and the gospel. That is simply not the case in many places of the world.
- We have little fear that our church buildings will be destroyed this week because we shared the gospel. I’ve heard from leaders in some parts of the world where they risk their building if they choose to evangelize. Much of the time, they take the risk and evangelize any way.
- Many of our pastors have the freedom and the opportunity to get training. On the other hand, many pastors around the world lack basic theological training. In fact, I’ve seen studies that showed anywhere from 60-85 percent of pastors around the world fit this description.
- Most of us have not been persecuted for our faith. We sometimes “feel” persecuted when others don’t listen to us, but what we face pales in comparison to what our global brothers and sisters may face.
- We generally have freedom to gather publicly as believers. That freedom is not available in some parts of the world.
- Many believers wonder how long we will have these freedoms. Indeed, some would argue we’re already losing some of these freedoms. Because these issues are real, we cannot afford to be complacent about Christ and the gospel today.
- We sometimes talk about our freedom as Americans while living in bondage to our own sin. In some cases, our ongoing, private sin haunts us on the inside while we celebrate freedom on the outside. Our gripping sin keeps us from truly celebrating.
- On the other hand, Christ offers us freedom from our controlling sins. Because God’s Spirit lives in us, we can have victory. The chains of sin have been broken, and we have freedom and opportunity to learn that truth, believe it, and live it out.
- The gospel grants us freedom not to worry about death. Following Christ is an amazing way to live, and sweetly trusting Him even in death is an equally amazing way to die.
- TODAY is the day we serve the Lord. Regardless of where our nation lands in the future, we serve the Lord today – and today gives us opportunities to tell the story of Jesus and to live out that story in freedom. Don’t miss that opportunity.
What would you add to this list?