Recently I asked a congregation if they were proud to be Americans. Most of the people raised their hands and said "Yes."
I commented "I don't know if I'm proud to be an American but I'm very thankful to be an American. I'm proud to be a citizen of Heaven."
This coming Wednesday is July 4th, the day we celebrate as Independence in America. And again I am very thankful to live in America. God has blessed us abundantly with more than we could ever imagine. I do believe he holds us accountable for how we use those blessings. We are a blessed people.
Often, we bring this "spirit of Independence" into the church. This to be a problem. God never created us to be independent. He created us to be dependent upon him and to be interdependent on one another. Unity is necessary.
Romans 12 talks about us being one in the body of Christ and individually members of one another. 1 Peter 4 talks about each of us has received a gift use it to serve one another as good stewards of God's very Grace.
"May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans 15:5, 6 )
This is the question we need to ask ourselves: "Are we living in harmony with one another that brings glory to God?" Our harmony is an indicator of where we are with Jesus. In harmony we walk humbly before God, interdependent on each other. It is a sign to those who don't know Jesus. It is a vehicle which brings glory to God our Father and Jesus our Lord as we live through the Holy Spirit as God has designed us.
Prayer: Heavenly Father we thank You for America. Lord, in many ways it seems as if You used America to expand your kingdom. Lord, we ask for forgiveness where we have allowed the "spirit of Independence" to enter Your church. Forgive us Lord for how we act independent of You and independent of one another. Lord, you tell us in Proverbs 3: 5, 6: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all you ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." Lord may this be the mark of your people, of your body, of your church. Lord we are grateful people and we love you.