Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | July 17, 2014

July 17, 2014 “The Holy Nation”

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” (Hebrews 12: 1-2)

Good Morning Sisters and Brothers in Christ!

Yesterday, my bride Lydia and I had opportunity to visit what, in all likelihood, is the most historical building in the United States…Independence Hall in Philadelphia, PA. As we stood there in that room, we could almost feel the greatness and the presence of those who came together to produce and ratify that astounding piece of American History…the Declaration of Independence. You could almost hear Ben Franklin declare, in his typically witty, yet totally serious manner, as they signed it, “We will all hang together or we will all hang separately.” On display at the desk where he sat was the walking stick of one of the major architects of that document…Thomas Jefferson. On display was the actual chair where John Hancock sat as he took quill in hand to boldly sign his name to that world-changing parchment.  Their past presence permeated that historic room. It brought a great sense of pride to my heart to know that I am a citizen of the greatest country on earth.

But not only am I a citizen of the greatest nation on earth…I am also a citizen of an even greater nation…a Holy Nation, whose own declaration of freedom was signed and sealed by nothing less than the precious blood of Jesus Christ, its King. Others followed…heroes of the faith who with their shed blood and sacrifice spread the word of this glorious kingdom through their faith in Him. The author of Hebrews speaks eloquently of them in the 11th chapter of Hebrews, which I encourage you to read. He then goes on to say, Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”  

As an American citizen, it isn’t enough that I simply enjoy the freedoms and privileges of living in this “land of the free and the home of the brave.” It isn’t enough to simply casually admire and remember what those founding fathers, gathered in the small, sweltering confines of that room in Independence Hall accomplished in 1776. I must strive to live an honorable and exemplary life as a citizen of this nation, ever working for its common good, serving when called upon to serve, living in obedience to its laws, and exercising my right to vote for those who would represent me. As a citizen of the Holy Nation, surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, I must run the race laid out before me with my eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. I fix my eyes upon him as I come to him each day in prayer and worship, ever thankful for those who have gone before…ever grateful for the sacrifices made on my behalf…ever ready to serve my Lord and my God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. God bless America, and God bless His Holy Nation! Let’s pray!

Mighty God; You are the author and architect of liberty! Strengthen us as we seek to run the race laid out before us with the same passion and dedication as those who have gone before, that we might attain the prize that awaits us at our journey’s end, exchanging our cross for a crown in the Kingdom of the Most High God. Thank you, Lord, for granting us the privilege of citizenship in Your great Kingdom! Amen!

Advertisements

Categories

%d bloggers like this: