ONLINE CHURCH BULLETIN
HAVE YOU DECLARED YOUR DEPENDENCE?
July 4 is Independence Day in the United States, a holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. The story of America's quest for political and religious freedom is still capturing the hearts of people worldwide. The idea of independence is a noble one in the sense our founding fathers perceived and pursued it. No people should have to endure pain, suffering, and oppression at the hands of a tyrannical, abusive, dictatorial person or government. Americans hold as almost sacred the idea that government ought to be "of the people, by the people, and for the people."
In the religious realm, however, the independent spirit spells disaster. "Independent" is defined as follows "not subject to the authority of another; selfdetermining; disconnected; not affected or influenced in action, opinion, etc. by others; selfsufficient; selfreliant." These words describe the attitudes of millions. They translate out as "ain't nobody gonna' tell me what to do" and, "It's your thing, do what you wanna' do," and, in the words of a famous song, "I did it my way."
The church of Christ is not a group that has declared its independence, but rather its dependence upon God! The "independent spirit," so admired in the American political and cultural psyche, is exactly what we must not display as it relates to the will of God. The church is not to do its own thing. In Philippians 2:38 the apostle Paul reminds us that Christ refused to do His own thing and instead submitted Himself to the will of God"Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross."
The church of Christ was purchased by the blood, sweat, and tears of One who, though He was equal with God, refused the independent spirit which ignores God. Have you declared your dependence?
Smithville church of Christ