• July 5, 2024
  • BY Sydney Bylsma
  • no responses
CATEGORIZED IN: From Pastor Philip
There’s nothing more American than a good cookout, apple pie, and fireworks on the 4th of July. Growing up in Ohio, our family would drive to the Independence Day parade in our little town. The school bands would march, the civic organizations would show up, the classic car clubs would cruise along, and the first responders would blare their sirens. Cheap candy was given out as we waved our flags and celebrated with red, white, and blue. At the end of the day, after our family cookout, we packed up our lawn chairs for the fireworks display. We kids got to stay up late, and we loved every minute of it!


I’m proud to be an American. I learned patriotism from my Grandpa, who served in the Air Force with honor. There’s nowhere I’d rather live or raise my family. And it’s because I love my country that I pray for her so often. There’s so much promise in America, and so many problems as well. We pray, “God bless America,” but I often wonder how God can bless a people who are so evidently bent on rejecting Him at every turn. It is because of my love for my country that I pray for her repentance. Jesus is the hope of all nations—including our own.


In Philippians 3:20, the apostle Paul reminds us, “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Philippi was a retirement community for military leaders who’d served the Roman Empire and was one of just a few cities where you automatically received Roman citizenship by birth. The Philippians loved the glory of Rome, served Caesar with their lives, and took great pride in their Imperial citizenship. They were patriotic to the core. But Paul reminds them that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has demoted their patriotism for Rome because they now live with a higher allegiance. They have a better Savior, a higher Lord, a greater citizenship. While they might love their earthly nation, their true and greater loyalties lie with Jesus, the Savior of heaven and Earth.


So on this 4th of July, let’s celebrate life as citizens of America, while keeping our heart’s allegiance fixed on Jesus who has given us a higher citizenship in the kingdom of heaven. One day, all the nations will give way to the Savior and Lord of all when He comes in His glory. His dominion will be an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom one that shall not be destroyed (Daniel 7:14). One day, America will be just a footnote in the pages of history, for at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father (Philippians 2:10–11). As the multi-ethnic bride of Christ gathered from every nation, tribe, language, and tongue, this is our true allegiance, our highest citizenship, and our greatest hope.


On that day, we shall realize we are loved, more than we ever knew.

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