At great danger, Vio and Elizabeth, with their three children, escaped a few years ago from their homeland in Eastern Europe, to come to America where they could worship God freely. They now attend a church in Southern California.
We who have lived in America all our lives tend to take our right to worship for granted, but when I hear someone like Vio tell his story, I realize afresh what a great privilege we have.
The first amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees us the freedom to worship as we see fit, along with the freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly. These rights are assured to citizens of the United States by decree of our federal government.
Those rights are ours because they are a part of our Constitution. We have it in writing!
Likewise, as citizens of heaven, we have spiritual rights, guaranteed by decree of the omnipotent and sovereign ruler of Heaven and earth, God Himself.
We also have these rights in writing! They are included in God's holy Word, the Bible.
The U.S. Constitution is a wonderful and mighty document. We can usually rely upon it, except when judges may ignore it and prefer to write their own law in order to further their personal beliefs and agendas -- often anti-God.
But if the Constitution, only a human work, is a mighty document, how much more mighty and reliable is God's Word? There is no comparison.
By His decree, in writing, God has granted us these many rights for the purpose of furthering His Kingdom, and for bringing others, who are spiritual aliens, into heavenly citizenship.
Many Americans are not aware of their rights in the Constitution, and are often ineffective citizens.
Many Christians are not aware of their rights God has given them in the Bible, and are often ineffective citizens of God's Kingdom.
God went to a lot of trouble to give us His Word, and the many Bible writers lived sacrificial lives to provide us their Holy Spirit-inspired words. By knowing, living, and acting upon them, we can be spiritually rich. By not knowing and ignoring them, one can remain in spiritual poverty.
God says, "My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh" (Proverbs 4:20-22, KJV).
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.