Mini-Post: July 4th & Your Children

First of all, then, I
urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for
all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a
peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it
is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved
and to come to the knowledge of the truth. I Timothy 2:1-4

The Fourth of July is a combination many things – cookouts,
fireworks, concerts, memorials to fallen heroes and to the birth of a nation. Tonight
fireworks and explosions will mark celebrations all across the country.
We can and should be thankful for the many blessings that God has bestowed upon the United States
for the last 232 years. However, it is more important to remember why our
country and indeed all countries exist. Our country exists by the sustaining
power of Jesus Christ, to the end that God, his Father, will bring salvation to
all those whom he has called. America does not exist for her own heritage, nor does she survive by her own will. America exists  and continues to survive because it pleases God for her to do so. We owe our
collective breath as Americans to the purposes and pleasures of God. We will
not survive one minute longer or shorter than what God sees as fitting. This
may rankle the notions of the politically correct, but it is true nonetheless.
(Act 17:24-28; Col. 1:15-20; Romans 13)

In the passage above, Paul shows us how to pray for our
nation. We are to pray that our leaders will lead in such a way that we, the
people of God, may be about the business of bringing honor to the name of Jesus
Christ. Paul sent these words to Timothy while living under the tyrannical and
decadent rule of the Caesars. Paul was not telling Timothy to lead a populist
revolt against unjust leaders. Instead, Paul urged prayers of thanksgiving and
intercession be made for them. Why? Because he wanted God’s people to be about
God’s work. God’s work was not about saving the Roman empire, any more than
God’s work today is about saving the United States.  Paul was a faithful
and good Roman citizen who used that citizenship for God’s purposes, just as
American Christians should today. But Paul’s focus was on his heavenly
citizenship and adding others to the heavenly nation.America has
eerily mimicked aspects of the Roman culture of Timothy’s day. As in the Roman
world, spiritualism is on the rise. Sexual perversion has become normal and
legal. Preaching the Constitution will not turn aside these pagan tides. Preaching
the Gospel will.

On this election year Independence Day, don’t get caught up
in the fear that each political party has of the other party’s presidential
candidate. Teach your children why America really exists as a nation. In
this moment of history, those of us who live in the United States have the
mandate to declare the glory and message of Jesus Christ to a fallen and lost


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