Serving God and Country

This past Monday, the United States of America celebrated its 235th birthday. Despite the increasing problems we have in this nation, I am grateful for being an American. God has richly blessed us with an abundance of natural resources. In this country, we still have freedom to preach the gospel. We really have a lot to be thankful for.

Recently a young minister wrote on her Facebook page, “I will not bow to a country nor will I pledge to a flag. This country is not my home. My home is in heaven as is yours if you know Jesus.” Except for her mentioning heaven and the name of Jesus, this sounds like something I might hear from a Jehovah’s Witness. The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society command their followers not to salute their country’s flag and to avoid military service.

Once in a while when I ask fellow believers where they’re from, they answer “heaven.” I find this response a bit annoying when I simply want to know what city or country a person lives in. Philippians 3:20 does say that our citizenship is in heaven. But until we go home to be with the Lord, each of us has a purpose for being in the nation He’s placed us in.

I have a nephew named Benjamin who is a U. S. Marine. My brother-in-law Greg shared a touching comment his son made one time when calling home from Basic Training. Benjamin was asked what he liked best about being in the Marines. His response was “breakfast and being an example for the Lord.” Greg felt he had succeeded as a father. Benjamin’s platoon mates call him “Holy Man.”

It's not ungodly to be patriotic unless you obey an order that clearly goes against the word of God. Being too nationalistic may cause you to miss God’s will for your life. Bible scholars believe Jonah initially refused his divine assignment to preach in Nineveh because of his pride for being an Israelite.

No country will be perfect until Jesus comes back. So I exhort my brothers and sisters in Christ to be grateful for where you reside and be a good witness for Him in your nation. God can move you if He sees it best for you to live somewhere else.

“Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.” - 1 Peter 2:17

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