1 Peter 2:13-17 (MSG)
13-17 Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens. Respect the authorities, whatever their level; they are God’s emissaries for keeping order. It is God’s will that by doing good, you might cure the ignorance of the fools who think you’re a danger to society. Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules. Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government.
Happy 244th Birthday, America! Thank you, God, for America—land of the free and home of the brave! We are so blessed as a country to live in the freedom Jesus died to provide. We have forgiveness and freedom from sin, as well as Spiritual power to live for him and radiate his love as humans living together in a republic that protects our God-given liberty. Where other countries may have a form of freedom, we have a hierarchy of government—One Nation Under God—that has been structured to protect our God decreed freedoms. Obviously, some people do not appreciate the priceless freedom and maintained order we have in America, because they have never tasted life without it, nor have they been called to sacrifice themselves to protect the freedom of others. It is easy to condemn and destroy something when you have contributed nothing of yourself or sacrificed loved ones to protect it. No government will ever be “perfect” until God’s Kingdom comes to earth. But, America’s freedom with secure boundaries is a priceless gift while we live in a selfish and sinful world.
As unique individuals, we are never going to see things exactly the same; yet, we are free to use our differences to grow and increase in love, appreciation, and respect. We are free to use our gifts of dialogue and compromise to bring awareness to the need for change. Because sin is real and evil is a thief, we will always need to seek restoration and change that heals and renews. We need one another to gain perspective and how we treat and speak to one another either glorifies God or exalts self. True listening is first and foremost a God imparted spiritual skill for human beings that is motivated to seek the highest and best for every person made in God’s image. May God give us listening ears to hear, a heart of love for one another, and a desire to see his goodness worked out in every life.
As citizens of the United States of America, we all have choices to make for our lives. Many of us have dreams that we may worship and serve our loving God, enjoy a meaningful and healthy life, rest in a measure of security, and cultivate rich and growing relationships with our neighbors. I want to take this time to thank God for the spiritual freedom we have been given in the Son; we are free to love and value every life not just our own. And, I want to thank our President and Vice-President, government leaders, public service personnel, and law-enforcement officers who maintain the commitment to our Constitution and for seeking to balance our freedom, security, and safety. This has been a difficult year my fellow Americans, but my prayer is that Almighty God will be exalted in the hearts and lives of his worshipers and grace will make a way through this present wilderness by faith in his unfailing love. “America, America, God shed his grace on thee, and crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea.”
Prayer: Lord, I am one voice crying out, but many of us love and desire to serve you from this land called America. Have mercy upon us we pray; we have fallen short as guardians of your glory. As your children, we turn our hearts toward you for answers. Give us vision to heal this land and the power to love as you love your whole creation. As you have forgiven us, we turn to forgive one another. For those who are vessels of destruction, we pray and ask you to remove the spiritual scales from their eyes that have blinded them to the truth of your beautiful and loving presence among us. In your authority, we stand against the enemy who seeks to rob, steal, and destroy our freedom and our country. You favor the humble, so we humble ourselves before your mighty hand. We resist the work of Satan and demand that he flee. We come close to you knowing you will come close to us. We declare our loyalty to you with undivided hearts. In the power of your grace and love, we bow united in Spirit and ask for your glory to fall and your righteous authority to reign in this land! In Jesus’ name. Amen.