Here are a few Bible passages to remember as we celebrate the 4th of July:
Respect, love, fear: “Respect everyone, and love the family of believers, fear God, and respect the King.” (1 Peter 2:17)
Pray for our national, state, and local leaders: “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
Be thankful for freedoms, physical and spiritual, and use your freedom as a motive for godliness: “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) “For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil.” (1 Peter 2:16)
Love your neighbors: “A second [commandment] is equally important: ‘Love your neighbors as yourself.'” (Matthew 22:39)
Love and pray for your enemies: “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:43-45)
And remember that no matter what happens on earth, in Christ you are part of an unshakable, eternal Kingdom: “Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe.” (Hebrews 12:28)
Have a safe and happy Independence Day!