...living in a country which allows me to worship God freely.
I think this is one of those things that is so easy to take for granted. We live in a country that permits us the freedom to worship as we please, to possess a Bible (or Bibles) and to study them. I can pray wherever I want and can proudly and freely share the Word with others. Thing is, this is a rarity in the world. So many countries do not have this privilege. Their citizens are persecuted for their religious beliefs. There are people in other countries who are so hungry for God's Word that they would do just about anything to get it. Yet here in the U.S., so many of us have it and set it off to the side, just as we do God. We'll get to that later. We'll get to Him later.
We need to wake up! I often say that living in America is both a blessing and a curse. The reason I say that is because we have everything, everything we could possibly want. Our poor are nothing compared to the poor in some of the poverty-stricken countries around the world. Our choices are endless, whether it be with clothing, food, drink, books, television shows, cars, churches...the list goes on. Blessing indeed, however it can also be a curse. Because of all our luxuries and choices, we often put God on the back burner. Where these poverty-stricken countries have nothing, they have way more than many of us here. They have God. They cling to Him and to His faithfulness. They trust completely in Him and not in the stock market, not in their bank accounts. These people are willing to die for the gospel of Christ.
How many people in America truly feel that way? How many, when it comes right down to it, would be willing to give their lives for the sake of furthering Christ's kingdom? Why do we wonder why we don't see the miracles that people in India, in Africa, in other areas of the world are seeing? Why do we wonder the reasons we aren't seeing tumors fall off of people's faces? The blind having sight for the first time? The lame walking? Why.... because we don't have FAITH. We trust in what we see, in what the media tells us, what the doctor tells us.
You see, God has given us an awesome blessing by allowing us to live in the U.S. Yet it does not come without a test. Will you pass the test? Will I?
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it". Matthew 7:13
So today, I am thankful for the freedom to worship. What a gift it is. I pray I will make the most of it. I can honestly say that I don't always take the time to truly appreciate this gift. I pray that God will constantly remind me of His faithfulness, love, and patience. For those things, I am so thankful!
What are you thankful for today?