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Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
(“The New Colossus,” a poem by Emma Lazarus, inscribed on the Statue of Liberty pedestal.)
I am one of the most patriotic individuals you will ever meet. I still declare the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag . . . and cry. I still boldly sing The Star Spangled Banner, our National Anthem, even if it is incredibly high . . . and cry. I am not a history buff, but I know I am an American -- I know what it means to be an American and I know what it cost to be an American. I am also one of the “Melting Pot” that is our great United States. If I attempted to have an ancestry DNA analysis done, it would come back a “Heinz 57” variety. My pie chart would be made up of numerous slivers of nationalities. I know for sure that my ancestors include, but not necessarily are limited to, Cherokee, Choctaw, Irish, “Black” Dutch, German . . . you get the picture?

Today, our nation is in the midst of a political quagmire concerning immigration issues. We all have an opinion about the issue; however, that is not what I want to discuss today. What I want to talk about is something Jesus had to say in Matthew 11:28-30 that sounds a whole lot like the above portion of the poem on the Statue of Liberty, “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Sound familiar?

Our nation was founded by men and women of God, yearning to be free. Many of them were in distress, in debt and definitely discontented when they left the shores of their homes for a new home, a new land, a new opportunity—which reminds me of a story.

In 1 Samuel 22, we read about an incident that happened in the life of David, the anointed and soon-to-be-king of Israel, who was running from King Saul. He ended up at Adullam. In verse two the Word declares, “and everyone that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.” What a desirable group of people to be the followers and supporters of David! Not! – Disabled, troubled, limited, dispirited, overwhelmed, incapable, impaired, tyrannized . . . and that was just the distressed bunch! The second batch of people who came to “help” David were those in debt – those who had been deceived, taken in usury, seduced, deluded, and lead astray. These individuals were not just financially in debt, but were in debt in other ways as well.

The “discontented” group finished up the number. These were the bitter, restless, frustrated, angry, and the dissatisfied. I have to wonder what David thought as he surveyed this group of followers. What did he “see” when he looked over his camp? Probably not much! However, what he saw and what he thought about this camp didn’t matter too much in the scheme of things. What mattered was what God saw and what God thought about these followers. That’s what made the difference!

You see, out of these distressed, in debt, and discontented group of people came the mighty men who are listed in 2 Samuel 23:8-39. It is an awesome thing to read about the victories they won and the mighty exploits they did. And, just in case you wonder, they are even mentioned in the New Testament – Hebrews 11, God’s Hall of Fame of faith.

You might ask, “What does this have to do with us today?” Well, I don’t know about you, but I was one of the distressed, in debt, and discontented that was blessed to hear someone preach from the Bible, “Come unto me . . . .” That call was made to “all ye” and I was an “all ye.” How about you?

The glory of the gospel is that Jesus saw us . . . saw what the enemy had done to us and what we thought we had become. But, He didn’t stop there. He saw who we really are and what mighty things we could do for His kingdom. He saw us as we can be . . . as He destined us to be. Then, He issued an invitation to come, follow, and learn of Him – providing a rest that only He can give.

If anyone asks me, though I have ancestors from many nations, I will joyfully avow that I am an American. Overwhelming that assertion, however, is the declaration of the position I hold in the Kingdom of God – I am a Christian – a little anointed one! First and foremost, I am of the household of God and a citizen of the Kingdom of God. So are you, if you have accepted the invitation of our Lord and accepted Him as Savior and Lord!

For those who hear about the struggles America is having with the issues of today and wonder about the “strangeness” our political process is going through, please remember who we are. We are a nation where there is freedom to worship God, serve our Lord, and promote the Gospel. Remember two very important facts: Jesus is coming soon and satan’s time is limited. This is why so many Christian beliefs and values are under attack. Why are we so shocked and confused? Jesus told us this day would come.

Since Jesus knew what was coming, He also prepared Himself a people “for such a time as this.” Just as in the days of David, our Lord has visions of us rising up . . . becoming mighty men and women of God . . . in spite of the fact that we came from the ranks of the distressed, in debt, and discontented. That might have been who we were, but in Jesus we are sons of the Most High God . . . heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus our Lord! I believe He expects us to be like Noah, who preached the gospel until the ark was loaded and it began to sprinkle! If he felt the need to preach until flood time, how much more we should be compelled to “go out quickly . . . bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind . . . into the highways and hedges . . .” that God’s house may be filled! (Luke 14:16-24)

Once again, I announce that I am delighted and thankful to be an American. I still say that in spite of all her problems and troubles, the United States of America is still the greatest nation on earth. Even more so, though, I am honored, privileged, and blessed to be a Christian and I boldly declare the gospel, the Good News of Jesus the Lord.

I invite you to join me as I end with this thought — As God has so richly blessed us and has anointed us to be a blessing, let us take our place and boldly proclaim . . .

God Bless this United States of America! May she continue to be a promoter of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Copyright © Church of the Fulness of God
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Kathryn Stuckey
Web site: The Church of the Fulness of God
Kathryn Cypert Stuckey is the cofounder of the Church of the Fulness of God in Abilene, Texas. She assists her husband, David, in pastoring; however her primary duties are preaching and administrating. She leads The Ways of a Woman of God seminar and is the author of The Devil Knows Your Right!

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