As a natural born citizen of the United States of America, I have been raised to take great pride in my citizenship. My grandmother was a history professor for 41 years and in combination with my mom who holds a Bachelor’s degree in History, the sacrificial road to our freedom and patriotism has not been lost on me. As a child, our family vacations were not spent at Disney World, but visiting battleships. My indoctrination as a citizen of this great land was not taken lightly.
I am proud to be an American. I have often felt privileged to be born into a nation where so much liberty, so much wealth, so much freedom was available. I have questioned how I would be so lucky to be born here. I’ve been touted with our country’s superiority. I have found identity as an American. I have bought into the American dream.
I have pledged my allegiance to the United States of America and never questioned if that allegiance was congruent with my citizenship in the Kingdom of the heaven. I have naively accepted my nationality as my identity and it most certainly is. Yet, my identity goes far beyond this societal system. There will be a day when God will not ask how well I represented the United States of America. His concern is how I have made my appeal to a lost world as His ambassador.
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.–2 Corinthians 5:20
As my eyes have been opened and I’ve studied and read for myself the truths found in Scripture, my desire is to opt out of the American dream I once bought into. I am less concerned for the moral condition of our country and more troubled over the spiritual condition of our churches. As Christians, we proudly recognize the sacrifice of the military and their families (as well we should) but consider the sacrifice of believers optional and even radical. How could we possibly make an appeal for Christ when we find our identity as Americans preferable to our identity as Christians?
It begs the question, how do I use my dual-citizenship of the USA and the Kingdom of God to make an appeal for Christ?
Let me suggest that we open our eyes to the lost world around us. We must be proactive in our approach. We are not fighting for the return of our country’s moral compass. We are fighting for souls. I’m not suggesting you knock down doors or thump people with Bibles. I’m suggesting we find ways to die to ourselves in order to further the Kingdom.
rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant,–Philippians 2:7
Find ways to serve those in your circle of influence. Think of ways you can give unselfishly of your time and resources not just to starving children in third world countries but to the hurting in your own backyard.
Making an appeal for Jesus as an ambassador means you sacrifice–you find ways to disadvantage yourself in order to gain the advantage to reach souls. Our sacrifice given out of love is the way we demonstrate who Jesus is and what Jesus did.
I am proud to be an American. I am grateful for those who have gone before of me, who have sacrificed their lives for my liberty. But I pledge my allegiance first to the only Kingdom that will last.
Question: What are you thoughts about your allegiance to American vs. your allegiance to Jesus?