In light of tomorrow being the Fourth of July: a day filled with cookouts, loved ones, fireworks and good old patriotic swag, I thought I would talk a little about freedom.
Being born in Russia, sometimes I wonder how different my life would be if my mom and I had stayed in Russia.. would I still be the same person? I don’t know but I can tell you I would have never had all the opportunities that I have here in the States. Not because Russia is a bad place to live—sometimes I wish I lived there—but because America is home of the dreamers and of opportunity. We have SO much just by living here in the States and I hope that this Fourth, you take a second to sit and think about how many blessings God has given you.
I would also challenge you to think of other countries who don’t share our freedom and who are in a constant battle for it. Friends, we are so blessed. We have been given much but what are we doing with it? Are you serving in a local church? Are you going on missions trips? Are you tithing to your church? All of these things are small acts that we can all do to further God’s Kingdom. Now, I’m not saying that tomorrow you can’t go out and enjoy a day with family and friends, eat some burgers, and watch fireworks. By all means, relish this little nugget of heaven. Just know that you are able to do these things because of the freedom so many fought for and ultimately God allowed.
Not only are we blessed, we also have so much to look forward to when we confess with our lips that Jesus is Lord over our lives. He is our Faithful and Perfect Dad who wants to give His kids the best of everything! But guess what, it doesn’t end there. He is preparing a world for His children to live in forever. A world with no tears, no pain, no sadness; only perfect communion with the King himself awaits us in Heaven.
Think about that.
All this brings to mind the story of the Widow at Zarephath in 1st Kings 17:8-14. The only thing this widow had was her son, and everything she did was for him. (What a picture of God’s love and devotion to us, huh?) So when Elija comes into town and asks this widow for some water and bread, she protests. She only has enough oil to provide one last meal for her child, she’s not going to give that away to some stranger. But Elija promises that her oil will not run out and so she obeys in blind faith. The Lord blessed that faith and her oil didn’t run out for several days!
She had little, but what she had, she gave to God.
Is that true of you? If I’m honest, that hasn’t been true of me lately. I’m more like a woman who has her gold locked away in a closet and gives God her crumbs. Man, even just writing that image sends chills down my spine. But it’s true. I have been so abundantly blessed but I have been wasting my blessings because I haven’t felt like doing a quiet time. And when I don’t do a quiet time I am less equipped to help the people God puts in my path on a daily basis. Then when I try to help out of my own strength I just sound like a washed up bible cd, spouting out any bible verse I can think of. It’s a good try but I’m not bringing my very best to the table.
So friend, whether you are like me and have been struggling with your walk or you have been walking steadily with God, be vigilant in how you spend your blessings. This earth will die and we will get to enjoy all the wonders of God’s Kingdom one day, but while we are still here, we can bring nuggets of Heaven to earth by sharing the incredible love and gift of Christ.
Jesus, knowing all the sins I would commit, chose to die for me, so that I can live forever with Him. And while I’m still breathing, I don’t want anyone else to miss out on that.
This Fourth of July, I’m excited for all the normal festivities, but I’m also excited for what the Lord is doing in my city and the joys of His coming Kingdom!
I know I have been distant lately but I know that you love me anyway. Thank you for always being patient with me and for blessing me even when I don’t deserve it. You are so good to me and I pray that I never lose the wonder of that. Please give me the eyes to see you at work today and the courage to follow your promptings. Thank you that we have the ultimate freedom through your son. You didn’t have to send Jesus to die for me, but you did so that we could be together for eternity. I am so glad that you hold the pen and paper and not me, I’m thankful that you are writing my story because I know it will be so much more beautiful than I could have ever dreamed. Thank you for this day where we can celebrate our country’s freedom and enjoy all the liberties that it brings us. Lord you are too good for me but I thank you for still choosing me and loving me right where I am.
Jenn (@jenn.alexx) is an author + creative at thegracescripts.com. Jenn is passionate about women’s ministry. She attends Southeastern Seminary. She and her husband live in North Carolina.