Sitting in our worship service at church, I experienced a deep, overwhelming sense of gratitude and humility. I am so incredibly grateful for the awesome privilege to get up, dress up or not, pick up one of my many Bibles, get in my nice new car and drive to a church of my choosing to attend worship in a beautiful, air-conditioned building, along with other believers and lift my praises to “The One True Living God & Savior Jesus Christ”.
This week as we celebrate Independence Day 2013, we are celebrating our freedom; we are liberated and we are prosperous and tremendously blessed as a nation under God.
I am in thought now and may you consider for a moment too, our brothers and sisters in Christ living in other countries worshiping God underground, in secret so as to spare their lives and the lives of their family. Can you imagine for a moment, living in a country where it is illegal to take your children to church and to read your Bible? Think about receiving a death sentence if you are found with a Bible in your possession? Think for a minute and calculate how many Bibles you have in your home? Me, I own two dozen in various translations. How often have I taken for granted that at my fingertips I have full access to The Word of God when there are others that can’t own a Bible without the fear of imprisonment or death? My friends please let us not take for granted the Bible on our coffee table and how precious and truthful and life-giving the word of God is to us.
There are fellow brothers and sisters in Christ that I know personally in China, parts of Africa, Jamaica, Haiti and Mexico that walk for miles to hear the Word taught and to be amongst other believers for prayer and encouragement, and yet we complain if we aren’t able to get a close parking spot for church. How often do we get “put off” and inconvenienced when our pastor asks us to park furthest away or for us to consider parking off campus and ride in an air-conditioned shuttle bus, being let out at the front entrance of the church so visitors may be able to park close in the church lot? It truly is a shame for us to be upset by that request for visitors to not be inconvenienced!
I don’t want to be one of the Christians that just attend church because it is the “right” thing to do, because everyone else does. I never want to be one of the complainers, we all know at least one, that gripes about the service being too long, or the music being too loud or too contemporary or the way the Pastor doesn’t tuck in his shirt. Lord, please help us!
We as a church whole have become complacent, way too comfortable in our beautiful buildings with the most phenomenal music and vocalists to entertain us. We seem to have forgotten that each of us is part of the body of Christ; we all have a function, a role to fulfill in reaching the lost and dying. We need to practice being “Jesus” wherever we are; in the marketplace, in the workplace, in our homes and neighborhoods; we are commissioned to minister and meet the needs of others and serve in whatever capacity possible.
When we do get together with one another for worship, may we remember the awesome privilege we have to come and fellowship, sharing our faith, beliefs and requests with others and lift our prayers to the Father. We are so blessed!
The longer I sit here in the presence of God, about to partake of Communion, I am moved to tears this morning; thinking about my blessing of living in America, I am free to worship. My prayer is that you too will feel the same gratitude for your freedom.
You know, nothing is ever FREE! If it were, there would be no value in it. Jesus paid the ultimate price for us, so be thankful today. Thank you Father for the blessing of being free; our freedom did not come cheap. A mighty price and sacrifice was paid for our freedom. Thank you Jesus for laying down your life for me and taking my place on the cross for my sins, dying for me so I might live for you!
I cannot forget the many service men and women stationed around the globe and the great sacrifice they are enduring so we may remain a Free Nation! May we also show our appreciation for the wives, husbands, moms and dads & children that are also sacrificing in being away from their loved ones as they serve our Country in the Military? A big GOD BLESS you for your service and our prayers and thoughts are with you.
Make this a beautiful, heartwarming and safe holiday and love on your loved ones. Say a special prayer for our military and missionaries serving around the world today! GOD, PLEASE CONTINUE TO BLESS AMERICA!
July 3, 2013