"For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery."
As the final whistle blew in Ghana's 2-0 upset of the Czech Republic during the World Cup last month, John Mensah, a Ghanaian defender, got down on his knees and revealed a t-shirt with Jesus on it. In 2004, Brazilian midfielder Kaka' sported a t-shirt reading "I belong to Jesus" over the top of his jersey when his club team, AC Milan, won the Serie A title in Europe. There are countries in the world today where these athletes would be tortured, jailed or possibly even killed for their acts of faith. Both Mensah and Kaka' were able to do these things because they live in countries where they have the freedom to express their belief in God.
As Americans we tend to dwell on the negatives much moreso than the positives. With yesterday being Independence Day, I found it only fitting to talk about the positives we have living in the United States. We live in a country where we are fortunate enough to be able to publicly express our belief in God. No, we can't pray in school. Yes, there are people out there who are trying to take God out of almost everything political. However, we need to take advantage of our freedoms. We do still have the freedom to talk openly with others about our God and Savior whenever we'd like to; we have the freedom to assemble together with other believers to hear the Good News every Sunday; and we have the freedom to talk with God many times throughout the day.
What I'm challenging you to do today is to focus on the positive aspects of living in the United States and to use the freedoms that we do have to fight for the advancement of God's glory. This can be done in so many ways, yet we sometimes don't seem to find time to accomplish any of them. Make a point today to change that.
1. In what ways do you use the freedoms God has given you?
2. How can you better use your freedoms to expand God's kingdom?