Saturday, July 4, 2015

The REAL Independence Day

I have lived in this country all of my life. I was born here. I was raised here. I will die here. There is a certain pride that comes from being an American. We are free. We have set for ourselves a government of the people, by the people and for the people. At least that's how it's supposed to be.

239 years ago we declared our Independence from Great Britain. The history books tell us there was great tyranny by the British - a remote government trying to maintain its control over a distant colony.

I would like you to watch a video. It's not that long, but it contains a reading of the Declaration of Independence. I would like you to watch it and see if you notice the same thing I did.

The Real Independence Day  

After watching that video, did you feel that certain sense of pride? I did. What has happened to that feeling in our country? Where has it gone? We still shoot off fire works on the 4th of July around here but sometimes we do it on the 3rd or the 5th - whatever suites our convenience. And that is the real problem isn't it. It's all about . . . us. It's not so much about the U.S. anymore. It's about us. Not our forefathers. It's not about the ones who sacrificed so much so that we could have our freedom . . . our independence. It's just another excuse to party and watch while other people blow things up.

The further and further I see our country drift away from what we used to be, the more I need to remind myself that I no longer belong here. Yes, I will physically be here but my heart and soul are no longer limited by earthly boundaries. I am no longer a Wisconsinite, an American, or even an earthling. I am a Christian. I am child of God. This place is not my home.

The founders of our country had great plans for this country and in many ways we are still a great nation, but we have lost our direction. We have lost our compass, especially our moral compass and our spiritual compass. We have begun listening to ourselves and not to God. And, quite honestly, I think God has removed His hand of protection from us and we are being punished for our sins.

On this Independence Day, my prayer is that we return to the principles that made this country stand out from the crowd. We still have many of those characteristics. But I pray we would return to a God-honoring nation. One who obey God's commands. A nation that does not sacrifice it's children to the god of convenience. A nation that would honor God through our marriage'

A young friend of mine posted a link on Facebook. It asked questions of those of us who support gay marriage. One question caught my eye. It spoke to how we have lost our focus as a church. Instead of concerning oureselves with what God wants we have turned our focus inward, asking, "What do WE want?"

Question 37. As an evangelical, how has your support for gay marriage helped you become more passionate about traditional evangelical distinctives like a focus on being born again, the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ on the cross, the total trustworthiness of the Bible, and the urgent need to evangelize the lost?

Good question.

When Jesus was  about to be crucified, he prayed a prayer for his disciples. At the end of that prayer Jesus prayed this prayer for us.

20 “I do not ask for these only (the disciples), but also for those who will believe in me through their word (that's us), 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” - John 17:20-26

Heavenly Father, May this Independence Day be a day of REAL independence. May we return to you in repentance for the sins we have committed as a nation. And may we re-unite to what we once were before we began thinking so much of ourselves. May we return to you, one nation . . . under God. Amen.

I Do Not Belong - Kutless

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