There are many rights afforded me as an American citizen. The United States Bill of Rights guarantees all its citizens certain rights under that constitution. I am still amazed at this document that became the foundation and the very spirit of our democracy. We have lots of freedom under that law, but with that freedom comes great responsibility. There are still boundaries even in the “land of the free and home of the brave”. Our freedom also came with great sacrifice. I’m living in this free country today, because of many brave men and women who’ve gone before me and fought back against threats to our freedoms. I am given “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” under our constitution. This well-known phrase gives three examples of my unalienable rights given to me by God, which the Declaration of Independence declares that governments are there to protect.
Paul talks about his rights as an Apostle. He also gives up his rights for the sake of the gospel. He really sets a high bar when it comes to spreading the gospel. Check this out….
19 Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ. 20 When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. 21 When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ.
22 When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. 23 I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings. (1 Corinthians 9:19-23 NLT)
I believe it’s important in sharing the gospel to explain its simplicity. It is certain simple to trust in Jesus, but it’s certainly not easy to live it out. I heard a great quote once by Les Brown that said: “If you do what is easy, your life will be hard, but if you do what is hard, your life will be easy”. Becoming a disciple of Jesus is definitely harder to live out day to day than it sounds. He calls me to surrender who I am to who He is calling me to be. I can fight that call, but He won’t stop calling me. I have found that surrendering to that call puts me in a place of great blessing – in the center of His Will for my life. Just because I’m a follower of Jesus doesn’t make me “better” than anyone else. I am still broken and flawed. I still sin and make colossal mistakes in my journey of following Him. I’ve given up my rights to follow Him. I’ve surrendered all that I have and all that I’ve done to follow Him. Everything I have is His. Everything I am is His. I have no rights to speak of except what He’s given me. I surrender all that I am and ever hope to be just to know Him and make Him known here on the earth.