My good friend, Jerry Jones, wrote this article he will read to his church Sunday about the Kingdom of God as we celebrate our independence on July 4th. I felt it was important to remind us of our true allegience as followers of Christ.
This week we will rejoice in the fact that we are independent of the demands, ties, and expectations of other ‘earthly governments’. We will watch fireworks to remind us of ‘the rockets red glare’ and, refuse to visit our usual work places (thankfully, both are ‘legal’). But I would like to suggest that we take a moment to remember we are not independent but dependent. We belong – first and foremost – to a Monarchy and not to a Democracy. Our Monarch is a King who demands of us our lives on a daily basis. Our allegiance is to that King, not to a President, nor a Congress, nor even an Ideal of Democracy. In this Monarchy, there are no rights, no privileges, no guarantee of Happiness.
To make matters worse, this King demands that we follow Him in the way that He walked. He demands that we carry our cross – the very instrument of torture and ultimate sacrifice. He even tells us that, if we want to save our life, we must first lose it. He also tells us that being a subject of His Kingdom will require self-sacrifice, self-denial, and perhaps even martyrdom.
Thankfully, there is another side to this Monarchy because this King is a Benevolent Monarch. He has promised us Superabundant Life here on the face of this earth. He has guaranteed that these great and precious gifts will be given to us: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. He has promised that we will ‘Shine as the Sun. Of course, the process of this Shining may not always be the most pleasant.
He has also promised a ‘Place prepared for us”. This place has also been called ‘the City with foundations whose builder and maker is God”. It is a place so magnificent that ‘eye has not seen nor has ear heard’. It is our Home and to make it our home requires that we consider everywhere else, including the good ole’ US of A – a country where we exist as strangers and foreigners.
But perhaps the most important element of this Monarchy is that it EXISTS. Here, today, right now, right this instant. And that this King exists, and that he is – whether we like it or not – the King of King and Lords of Lords. His Kingdom – our Kingdom – will exist long after the United States of America has gone the way of other great human governments.
So, this week, as you celebrate our historic separation from England and our continued efforts at maintaining a level of freedom throughout the globe, remember that you belong to a King – a King Who loves you more deeply that you can imagine; a King who demands of you complete allegiance and total loyalty. Long Live the King!