Weekend Web Wanderings: Independence Day Edition

Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. 1 Peter 2:13-17

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. Galatians 5:13

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:10-12

These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. Hebrews 11:13-16

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:9-14

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, Philippians 3:20

4TH OF JULY
Words and Music by Ben Shive

The first star of the evening was singing in the sky
High above our blanket in the park

And by the twilight’s gleaming on the 4th day of July
The city band played on into the dark

And then a canon blast a golden flame unfolding
Exploded in a momentary bloom

The pedals fell and scattered like ashes on the ocean
As another volley burst into the blue

But the first star of the evening never moved

We stood in silence the young ones and the old
As the bright procession passed us by

A generation dying another being born
A long crescendo played out in the sky

This nation, indivisible will perish from the Earth
As surely as the leaves must change and fall

And the band will end the anthem to dust she will return
So the sun must set on all things, great and small

But the first star of the evening
Will outlive them all

ARTICLES

How Much Patriotism is Too Much Patriotism? (John Piper)

In the end, Christ has relativized all human allegiances, all human loves. Keeping Christ supreme in our affections makes all our lesser loves better, not worse. Under his flag, it is right to be thankful to God that we have a fatherland, a tribe, a family, an old pair of slippers that just fit right.

How I Became a Subversive Patriot (Ryan Zhang)

I am a subversive patriot because, despite the progress we have made as a nation, America is not my best hope for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” My ultimate allegiance is to a King who gave up his own life, liberty, and happiness to redeem us from the tyranny of sin so that these may truly become our unalienable rights, not just in this world but eternally. I am a subversive patriot who, in the process of seeking a good life in America, discovered that I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ . . . who by his Holy Spirit, he also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.

9 Things You Should Know About Independence Day and the Declaration of Independence (Joe Carter)

Declaration of Dependence (Erik Raymond)

The 4th of July is a great American celebration. It is always enjoyable to watch fireworks, eat a lot of barbecue, spend time with family and enjoy a mid-summer relaxation. Our country is truly a great place to live and it is active and merciful grace that we are enabled to enjoy such freedom as we do. However, when I hear the word Independence Day and its celebration I think of my daily celebration of just the opposite, namely my dependence. For instead of my pride and value coming from a nation and our independence from another nation, it is good to use this holiday to recall, reflect, and marvel at the reality of Christian dependence upon the Lord Jesus Christ.

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