This post is part of our Sunday Series titled “Articles of Faith.”
We investigate leadership lessons from the Bible.
See the whole series here. Published only on Sundays.
Happy 234th Birthday, America!
On July 4th, America celebrates its Independence Day. Here is the opening line from the Wikipedia entry on the subject:
In the United States, Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, political speeches and ceremonies, and various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the national day of the United States.
Freedom, Citizenship, and Leadership
So on this day, how do Americans relate our celebration of a national holiday to the leaders we have helping to run our nation? Well, the way we, or ANY citizen of ANY county needs to behave is to pray for their leaders and to be an obedient citizen to those who rule us.
These principles governing our behaviors toward our leaders also work well for us while at our jobs: Pray for your boss; Pray for their families; Pray for your organization; Pray for clarity, obedience, and justice. Let your thoughts and concerns be heard!
Here are some thoughts from the Bible to help direct your path:
Simple Faith and Plain Truth
1-3The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live. (The Message)
To Be a Responsible Citizen
1-3Be a good citizen. All governments are under God. Insofar as there is peace and order, it’s God’s order. So live responsibly as a citizen. If you’re irresponsible to the state, then you’re irresponsible with God, and God will hold you responsible. Duly constituted authorities are only a threat if you’re trying to get by with something. Decent citizens should have nothing to fear.
3-5Do you want to be on good terms with the government? Be a responsible citizen and you’ll get on just fine, the government working to your advantage. But if you’re breaking the rules right and left, watch out. The police aren’t there just to be admired in their uniforms. God also has an interest in keeping order, and he uses them to do it. That’s why you must live responsibly—not just to avoid punishment but also because it’s the right way to live.
6-7That’s also why you pay taxes—so that an orderly way of life can be maintained. Fulfill your obligations as a citizen. Pay your taxes, pay your bills, respect your leaders. (The Message)
Here is a great perspective from Gospel Lens blog:
With this weekend’s celebration of America’s Independence Day, we as American’s have an abundance to give thanks for. Political peace, economic, social, and religious freedoms are never areas of life we should take for granted simply because they have existed throughout our lifetimes. Our placement here in this country, in this era, is both a gift of God’s grace and a responsibility for God’s gospel purposes.
So, on this July 4th weekend, give thanks for freedom and pray diligently for those who rule over us so that the freedoms we enjoy may remain. Give thanks for our soldiers and law enforcement who sacrifice themselves to maintain and protect those freedoms. Finally, give thanks to God for true freedom. Freedom that crosses borders and is not subject to government or nationality. Freedom that was purchased for us at the highest cost. Freedom that matters everything for this life and everything for eternity. Give thanks for the blood-bought freedom we have in Christ.
“So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36
To know Jesus as Savior and Lord is to be set free from the bondage of sin and death so that in newness of life we may enjoy and glorify God in all we do, no matter where we are. Give thanks.
From About.com on Christianity, this collection of Bible verses for Independence Day is designed to encourage the celebration of freedom, both spiritual and physical, for the 4th of July holiday.
In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and he answered by setting me free. (NIV)
I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free. (NIV)
I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts. (NIV)
The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. (NIV)
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (NIV)
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (NIV)
2 Corinthians 3:17
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (NIV)
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (NIV)
In him [Christ] and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.(NIV)
May God bless the work that we do. May He bless our leaders. May he bless our freedom. And may God bless America and what she does for a peaceful and prosperous world.
So, how are you doing in praying for your leaders? Do you think of your job as one ordained by God for you to do for Him and His greater plan? Or do you think that your job just ends with you and your concerns? Do you work for the Lord? Or do you work for something else? Hmmmmm…. much to think about on this BBQ weekend.
Tom Schulte is Executive Director of Linked 2 Leadership
He provides leadership training fit for the Blackberry-Attention-Span
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