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Proud to be an American… Part 2

September 28, 2012

Today I would like to take a look at the statement “proud to be an American”.  In part 1 I discussed what it means to be free and I attempted to establish that true freedom can only come through faith in Christ.  I’m hopeful God’s word is the primary agent of change in the lives of believer’s and as we allow scripture to guide our lives we will experience the transformation of our minds to the glory of God (Romans 12:2).

So what is pride?

Proverbs 16:5 Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; though they join forces, none will go unpunished.

Quoting from The Exemplary Husband by Dr. Stuart Scott

When someone is proud they are focused on self.  This is a form of self-worship.  A person is prideful who believes that they, in and of themselves, are or should be the source of what is good, right and worthy of praise.  Page 178

Six different Hebrew words are used for pride.  All of them convey lifting up, highness, magnification, presumptuousness, or rebelliousness of self.  In the Greek language, the words for pride occur in two different categories.  One particular word group suggests the idea of “straining or stretching one’s neck”…  The other category in the Greek conveys a “blindness” and even suggests the idea of being “enveloped with smoke.”…  While they are “up there” on high in their own thinking, they are blind!  They are blinded to their pride, they are blinded to God’s truth and, sometimes, even blinded to simple reality.  Page 177

In short pride is destruction and you will either destroy pride or pride will destroy you.

Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.

This country is indeed “Proud”, you see the arrogance of a government that cannot live within a budget and has an unquenchable appetite to spend.  You see a country that has made a mockery of God’s name and his word.  But this is not about politics it’s about hearts.  Who do you desire to serve, where do your loyalties lie?  Are we entitled to God Bless America?

The question we should really be asking Has America blessed God?

God chose to place me here for His purposes and by birth I am a citizen of this country.  That is a fine thing and if I can use that to my advantage I will do so as Paul used his Roman citizenship to further and advance the gospel, but my true citizenship is in heaven.  Listen to the Apostle Paul’s exhortation to the Philippians.  I think this is very relevant statement to the attitudes that are so commons today.

Philippians 3:17-20 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.  For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame- who set their mind on earthly things.  For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Do you dwell on earthly things?  Does your citizenship in the United States of America have you stretch out your neck?  If your citizenship is in heaven why?  God has blessed this country with incredible beauty and he has also placed His people here and in every country across the world.  If I believe that my citizenship is in heaven then the Chinese believer is my fellow countryman and so is the man in Saudi Arabia or Iraq or any country God has placed my brothers and sisters to spread the gospel.

Jeremiah 32:38-41 They shall be My people, and I will be their God; then I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and their children after them. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me. Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will assuredly plant them in this land, with all My heart and with all My soul.

Today I write this from my living room and I am free.  I’m not free because sinful men died but I’m free because a righteous man died.  He bought and paid for my freedom.  I owe Him my life and I owe Him my loyalty, He’s my Lord and He’s my Savior.  I should not dwell on the problems of this world.  This world is passing away and I have responsibilities as a solider of Christ.

2 Timothy 2:3-4 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.  No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.

John 18:36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world.  If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”

I hope you will contemplate the words of scripture and ask yourself what you are holding on to if you take pride in anything other than Christ.  Remember our term Cognitive Dissonance?  Is this challenging your worldview?  Are you proud to be an American?  Do you cling to a flag or do you cling to the cross?  Do you love a piece of land (creation) or do you love the Creator?   What should you do?  I expect you will either be upset with me or you will consider Gods word and have your mind renewed for His glory.

2 Chronicles 7:14 If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Kevin

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2 Comments
  1. I enjoy reading your thoughts Kevin and the paralleling verses. In my moms ministry I tend to hit basic and bottom line. So…after 19 years in BSF and being out for 2, I enjoy meditating on another’s thoughts and the Word of God that is so dear to my heart. Remember, my mind runs in thoughts relating to moms with young children!

    In 1999, I started praying for 5 traits to develop within my children each with a verse. When you wrote of “pride,” #4 on our prayer list was “to be humble and gentle like Jesus.” Matthew 11:29. After praying for several months and noticing the ways of the young, I added the addendum, “to be confident , never prideful.” What a world of difference that made in my children’s lives as well as in ours.

    Then you wrote of 2 Timothy 2:3,”endure hardship as a good soldier for Jesus Christ.”
    We wrote that verse on our first aid kit and when it was brought out (and boy was it ever brought out!), we would remind our children to be a good soldier for Jesus and sing, “Onward Christian Soldiers!”

    We never know how our words can effect others. Yours have made me not only reminisce (our children are 29 and 26 now,and yes all 5 traits we prayed have developed within our children) but to search my heart for ways I can be a better follower of the Lord. To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Thank you one more.
    from the heart,
    Vickie

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