Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Birthday, America

Some challenging thoughts from the sermon yesterday at church. Thanks, Pastor Mark.

  • Government has been ordained by God to preserve order, protect citizens and promote righteousness.
God doesn't endorse any particular form of government (i.e. monarchy, democracy, etc.), but he does ordain government. He does not necessarily endorse every person in authority, but he allows them, for that season and His ultimate purpose, to hold that position.
  • Christians are to cooperate with their government whenever possible, challenge their government whenever necessary and pray for their government at all times.
This one was my "ouch" moment, and I think may be for you as well. Do we spend more time ridiculing and criticizing our leaders, or praying for them? This is sin.

1 Peter 2:13-17 was written when Nero ruled Rome...probably the most evil leader the world has ever seen.

13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.

In 1 Timothy 2:1-2, the first thing Timothy was told to do was pray for authority.

1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
  • God is King over all the earth and no respecter of nations.
America is not more loved or favored by God than other nations. We are indeed a great nation, but God shows us no greater favor than England or Zambia or Malaysia. I think of this a lot as I desire Dayna to be proud to be American AND Chinese. I would never want her to believe that we brought her here because we're better than her family and country of origin.
  • Our ultimate allegiance is to Christ, and our highest calling is to bring the good news of the gospel to bear on the whole world.
Our citizenship is in heaven. Period.

So today I will celebrate being American. I will remember to pray for our leaders. And I will exalt our Great High King.

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