Mon: Jeremiah 17:5-8 Thu: Psalm 18:1-2 Sun: Matthew 6:25-34
Tue: Psalm 62:5-9 Fri: John 15:4-5
Wed: Matthew 5:1-12 Sat: Philippians 4:12-13
I think I love the nation’s birthday even more than my own. I love everything about the Fourth of July. I love seeing American flags flying from just about every home on our tree-lined street. I love the family gatherings, picnics, sparklers, fireworks displays, inspiring music, Old Navy flag t-shirts, historical documentaries and movies … I love all of it! I’ve also been caught humming Sousa marches as I hand wash the dishes (yes, people still do that), walk around the house and fall to sleep.
A number of years ago, I had the great pleasure of changing the road sign at the church we attended. The first year I volunteered, I made sure my three-month rotation included the month of July. That very first July, I came up with the following words (which became an annual tradition for the several years I served in that way) …
faith’s document is a
declaration of dependence
The fabric of our nation’s birth is woven together with the thread of strong faith. The freedom earned with the blood of patriots was the result of our people’s collective desire for independence. In stark contrast, the foundation of our faith has as its cornerstone, a strong statement of dependence. I desire God, and He desires me. I have no hope separate from what Jesus did for me on the cross. Apart from Him, “I can’t” is my best, but “I can do everything” (Philippians 4:13) when He is the One I depend on.
In a culture defined by rugged individualism, dependence is more often seen as a sign of weakness. In my world (as a kingdom citizen), the weak shall be strong, and the meek will inherit the earth.
Each Fourth of July season, I celebrate my citizenship and allegiance to the great country I call home, the United States of America. And while I may call it “my home,” my heart knows that it’s not. My true citizenship is in a kingdom of the here-and-now, yet not of this world. My true King is my Creator and my God.
Father, I am thankful for where you placed me. May I be ever grateful and mindful during this specific season for the service and last full measure of devotion which men and woman have given so I can live in a country which is free. May I also be grateful and mindful every day for the blood that your Son shed to redeem me and gift me complete freedom in serving others and living for You. I boldly and joyously celebrate this day (and every other that you have numbered for me) as Dependence Day!