July 4th is Independence Day in the United States. This year I found myself very thankful for not only our independence but also our religious freedom. I am lucky to live in a country where we are free to practice whatever religion we want. However, that freedom can easily be taken for granted.
After living in the Middle East for four years, my appreciation for religious freedom is even greater. While we lived in Doha, Qatar we did not have the freedom to practice our religion the way we do here in the U.S. We could not read our Bibles in public, publicize our Bible studies or church services, wear anything that would identify us as a Christian or share our faith with others.
I wonder how many of us who live in countries that have religious freedom take advantage of that freedom. Do you read your Bible in public? Do you tell others about your church or Bible studies? Do you share your faith with others?
What good is the freedom we have if we don’t use it? We need to appreciate the fact we can openly practice our faith and share it with others. We need to be so excited about our relationship with the Lord we want to tell others about it so they too, can have a relationship with Christ.
We need to be passionate about His Word and be willing to share it with others. Reading your Bible at a coffee shop, in the waiting room at a doctor’s office or while waiting for your child’s practice to end is a great conversation starter. Are you willing to read His Word in public? Are you willing to share His Word with others?
May we all reflect on our willingness to take advantage of our religious freedom and not take it for granted. May we live out the words of Paul to the Ephesians.
18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.