â€œWe hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.â€
Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776 (my emphasis)
Are we given â€œrightsâ€ by our Creator? Are children of a King given â€œrightsâ€ just because they are his children?
Moses said to God, â€œSuppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, â€˜The God of your fathers has sent me to you,â€™ and they ask me, â€˜What is his name?â€™ Then what shall I tell them?â€
God said to Moses, â€œI AM WHO I AM.â€ Exodus 3:13-14 (NIV)
Itâ€™s been over 200 years since our forefathers declared that we had Rights that had been given by our Creator and no earthly king had the power to take them from us. Itâ€™s been 3300+ years since God told Moses who and what He was. Godâ€™s statement implies that He is all and all comes from Him. God declared us His children and if we had any doubts, Jesus clearly stated that the Father loved us and loved us enough to given His firstborn as the perfect sacrifice that would bring us into this family relationship â€“ Father and children â€“ forever.
Our earthly forefathers were careful to state that â€œLife, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happinessâ€ were only three of the rights that we had been given by the Creator. How wise of them not to limit their Creator! They didnâ€™t mention race. In their time, they may not have seen slaves as â€˜menâ€™. They certainly did not see the need to include â€˜womenâ€™ in their beautiful and inspiring words. But I submit to you that true words, inspired words, have ETERNAL significance and do not come to an end in their power.
By this time, you may be wondering: â€œWhereâ€™s the â€˜devotionâ€™ here, Jody?â€
Look around the fellowship of which you are a part. Look at all the God-gifted people. Is everyone welcome in the fellowship? Is everyone â€˜allowedâ€™ to use their God-given gifts? Are people equipped and encouraged to serve in Godâ€™s kingdom? Is evangelism or outreach done but only â€˜certain peopleâ€™ are really encouraged to attend your fellowship? Are you willing to allow the Holy Spirit to exam that area of your heart? Itâ€™s time to come to the Lordâ€™s communion table, kneel before Him, and be reconciled to Him and all of our spiritual siblings!!!
Faith in Christ Jesus is what makes each of you equal with each other, whether you are a Jew or a Greek, a slave or a free person, a man or a woman. So if you belong to Christ, you are now part of Abrahamâ€™s family, and you will be given what God has promised. Galatians 3:28-29 (CEV)