Happy Independence Day Y’all! Today we celebrate the birthday of the greatest country on planet Earth. There has been much debate about how great America actually is. We have had our issues, our dark past, our shaky present, but we control our future. America can be a country of endless opportunity, if you are willing to seize it. I have witnessed those who barely escape high school begin working at a successful grocery chain and work their way up to store management and a life of wealth and comfort. I have witnessed troubled teens walk into recruiting offices and raise their right hand to do their part to serve this nation and create a glorious life of stability and upward mobility as they stay on and work their way up the ranks.
There has been a lot of finger pointing going on lately about who is privileged in this country. We are all privileged to live in this country. We live in a country with many safety nets for our population. These safety nets are not meant to make anyone rich, as they should not be, they are meant to help those who need it get to a place of stability. As I stated in the previous paragraph, there are companies out in our society where an entry level worker can promote within and make a very, very good living. And every American citizen has the PRIVILEGE of walking into a recruiting office and serving their country, which opens endless possibilities, including the very basic fact that at 18 years-old, you can begin a life of comfort and stability, with pay, housing, and guidance provided for you. But none of this is easy, it takes hard work and grit. So do not ever take for granted how PRIVILEGED you are as an American citizen.
Today, as we celebrate the VICTORY America had over the British empire to gain our independence, I want you to think of the opposite as we move forward into 2020. I want you to think of SURRENDER. We need to surrender our lives to Jesus Christ. Surrender to the two simple facts that we need to love God and love others. Surrender to the peace that passes understanding. Surrender to the simplicity of life and loving what we have. Surrender to grace and forgiveness. Surrender to love. Surrender.
20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
When you give your life to Christ, you become dead to yourself. But you are filled with the life and love of Christ. His agenda lives in you. You are to live like Him. But you won’t be able to do that if you don’t know anything about HIm. In order to live like Jesus, you have to read His word. Read the Bible! We all want to get to Heaven but we have to know how to get there. What’s easier: if someone gives you a piece of paper with an address on it to a place you had to go, or if someone gives you a piece of paper with an address on it, along with an explanation on how to get there? That is what the Bible is. The Bible is the address WITH the specific direction on how to get there. We get to Heaven through Jesus, when we give our lives to Him and allow Jesus to live in us. We have been called to live like Jesus. In order to do that we have to read about Him. Read the Word, and not just a verse a day, but actually READ the Bible, learn the Bible, live the lessons learned from the Bible. And then when our time is done on this Earth we will have arrived at our destination.
Reading plan: Galatians 4
Deeper reading plan: Ecclesiastes 10, 11, 12
Prayer and meditation: Pray for our country. Pray for love to conquer all. Pray that Christ infects our hearts and ignites a final fire of revival to sweep this land.
Fitness challenge: Run four miles.
Serve Day: It’s a holiday, so go out and celebrate America. If you can work in some ways to give back today, kudos to you!