As America prepares to celebrate its day of independence it is good to consider where one's citizenship actually lies.
[Darris McNeely] This week marks the Fourth of July, which in the United States of America, is America's birthday – a celebration of the Declaration of Independence, July 4th, 1776, in Philadelphia – and has been a tradition and a custom for us here. Now, as I talk for a few Dailies here this week on this subject, I ask those of you in Canada, Great Britain, Australia, or New Zealand, to bear with me – this is not strictly just about America, because it's really about the English-speaking peoples, and it's even more than that. It is about God. And it's about a number of large questions that we think about at a time like this, such as patriotism, liberty, freedom, exceptionalism, and greatness and power status in the world. But beyond all of that, we should also think about something else, and that's God. And, from our perspective on Beyond Today, the exact Source of all the things that we talk about that are connected with the Fourth of July and its celebrations in the United States, which not only impact the English-speaking nations as well, but really the entire world. Let me set just one ground rule here, as I talk about this. This is not just Americanism – as I said, it is about the world, but it's about God. And it is about something that helps us to understand where our true citizenship does lie.
The Bible talks about that in Philippians 3:20 Philippians 3:20For our conversation is in heaven; from where also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ:
American King James Version×, where the apostle Paul, who was himself an Israelite – specifically of the tribe of Benjamin, and of the tribe of Judah – he recognized that. He also understood that he was a citizen of a much, much larger and far more important kingdom and nation and, if you will, place – and that is the kingdom of God. And in Philippians 3:20 Philippians 3:20For our conversation is in heaven; from where also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ:
American King James Version×, the apostle Paul leaves us with a comment and a teaching. He says, "Our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ." So anything that I talk about here in these Dailies – I talk about America, and the greatness, and the power that America and Britain and the English-speaking peoples have extended to the world during their time of power status on the world scene, really reflects something about God, His purpose and His will, not just with America and the English-speaking nations, but with all nations and ultimately all peoples and what He is doing, ultimately as His work to bring about the kingdom of God on this earth.
We look at the Fourth of July and we celebrate a lot of things. And today it is becoming a growing custom for people to look at America as not just an exceptional country but just one of many other countries. And the question comes up – and it's been asked because right now we're in the midst of the world soccer matches in Brazil, and America, at least as I speak today, is still on the hunt, but it's been competing with the other nations. There's been a great deal of enthusiasm about America's role, but the question has come up – is America just another nation with a soccer team in this great World Cup match? Well, it is in one sense, but it's far more than that, as well. I'll come back on a second Daily and we'll talk a bit more about what it is that does make America exceptional. But let's look at this in regard of our ultimate patriotism and that is to God's kingdom.
That's BT Daily. Join us next time.