Hey there, Angela here again! For those of us living in the United States it’s a big red, white and blue week. The country is gearing up to celebrate its Independence Day. There will be parades, reunions, neighborhood parties and many firework displays throughout the land to remember and commemorate this holiday. Flags will be waved, anthems will be sung and hands will salute the men and women throughout our history who were committed to making this country different and independent.
After living across the world for 4 years and meeting so many people from all over this beautiful globe, I relished in the knowledge that each country has amazing history and unique national pride. While each of us could have spent time promoting “our” countries and its superiority over another, our time was much better spent in learning about what unique gifts of geography, traditions and heritage God had given each of these nations.
I am forever grateful to have been born and raised in the United States, but I believe we as Americans or any other citizens of a country make a dangerous mistake when we fail to see that a good and all sovereign God allowed us to be born wherever we were born and therefore even our citizenship is a gift from God. By seeing our citizenship as a gift from God, we are able to rightly celebrate our nation’s history without idolizing our heritage.
The dictionary defines allegiance as “the loyalty of a citizen to his or her government or of a subject to his or her sovereign”. While we may be physical citizens of various countries, when we belong to Jesus, we allow Paul’s words in Ephesians 2:19 to be our encouragement,
“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God…”
We continue to live and appreciate our nation with Matthew 6:33 always waving as a banner over us,
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.”
The mandate of any Jesus lover and follower, regardless of our place of birth, should always be:
“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your should and with all your might.”
By keeping first things first, we can rightly appreciate and celebrate God’s lavish love and generosity toward us in that He allowed us to be born wherever we were born and we can avoid idolizing our heritage over the great God who is worthy to be honored at all times and by every nation!
So as we wave our flags, watch our parades, gather with family and friends, eat and shoot off fireworks, we say, “Thank you” to our all worthy and great God for giving us this nation as our earthly home and much more for giving us a future unblemished, unwavering and untarnished in Jesus!