When I looked up the meaning of “patriotism” I found this definition: “Devotion to and vigorous support for one’s country.”

I’m a patriot. I’m devoted to and I vigorously support America. Pine cone-sized goosebumps erupt whenever I hear Lee Greenwood singing “God Bless the USA.” I never pass a uniformed soldier without stopping and thanking him/her for serving our country. My prayer for this land of the free and home of the brave is “God shed his grace on thee.”

As important as loyalty to your country is, God calls us to a higher patriotism. A patriotism that must dwarf other allegiances the way an unfurled Old Glory towers over a lapel pin replica. That’s Kingdom Patriotism.

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Who Will Be a Kingdom Patriot?

In a crucial time in Israel’s life, a choice had to be made between the Golden Calf and the living God. So, like Travis’s line in the Alamo’s sand, Moses draws a line with an interrogative sword. He asks in God’s name, “Who is on the Lord’s side?” (Exodus 32:26). Meaning, “Who will be a kingdom patriot?” Who will be devoted to and vigorously support God and his cause above everything else?

We live in an equally crucial time as that of Moses’ Semper Fi challenge to God’s Old Testament people. Kingdom Patriots are needed. They’re needed in families, churches, businesses, and politics.

Kingdom Patriots are needed. Everywhere. Will we be one?

Being a Kingdom Patriot involves five allegiances.

1. Kingdom Patriotism involves allegiance to Jesus as the only Savior.

A country boy college teammate taught me the word “Onliest.” (Pronounced own-lee-ist.) It means “the only one of its kind.” Jesus declares himself the onliest Savior when he says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). This insistence that he’s the only one who can make us acceptable to God is to our tolerant generation the equivalent of shouting “Fire!” in a crowded building. Jesus singularity is unacceptable to many. But Kingdom Patriotism means standing for this.

When it comes to this allegiance, are we willing to be Kingdom Patriots?

2. Kingdom patriotism involves allegiance to whatever the Bible teaches.

Peter models this. He’s fished all night and caught nothing. The next morning Jesus tells him to fish again. Peter’s professional instinct immediately objects, “Lord, we’ve fished all night and caught nothing.” But then he says, “Nevertheless, at your word we’ll try again.” That’s the kind of allegiance to the Bible God wants in us. Loyalty here will sometimes be the equivalent of an order sending us to front line duty. Standing for things like the Trinity, Election, hell, and the idea that only men should be preachers will make you about as popular in many circles as President Trump is to Nancy Pelosi’s friends. But the Bible teaches them as clearly as the heavens declare God’s glory. The Bible’s unacceptable to many. But Kingdom Patriotism means standing for it.

When it comes to this allegiance, are we willing to be Kingdom Patriots?

3. Kingdom patriotism involves allegiance to prayer as the greatest power on earth.

Abraham Lincoln enjoyed sharing this story. Two Southern women are talking. One says, “The South will win the war because President Jefferson Davis prays.” The other says, “Lincoln prays, too.” “Yes,” says the first lady, “but when Lincoln prays the Lord will think he’s joking.” Kingdom Patriots know the Lord never takes their prayers this lightly. They know that prayer is mightier than Satan, mightier than politics, mightier than all the armies in the world. So they pray. They pray continuously. They pray expectantly. They pray about everything. Many scoff at prayer. Many neglect it. Prayer’s unacceptable to many.

When it comes to this allegiance, are we willing to be Kingdom Patriots?

4. Kingdom Patriotism involves allegiance to God everywhere and all the time.

It’s allegiance to God in the presence of those who could care less about him. Noah and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and the first Christian martyr Stephen (among many) model this side of Kingdom Patriotism. It’s allegiance to God in private life. Joseph models this. He refuses to be disloyal to God even when he was alone with Mrs. Potiphar and she used their privacy in her attempts to seduce him. It’s allegiance to God in the little things. A home-repairer friend named Bill illustrates this. He’s examining some pipes an employee wrapped underneath a house. The wrapping was shoddy. The worker says, “No one will see this.” Bill says, “God sees it and it needs to be done well for him.” The pipes were rewrapped. What do Noah, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Stephen, and Bill have in common? The belief that they were to be loyal to God everywhere and in everything. This idea’s unacceptable to many.

When it comes to this allegiance, are we willing to be Kingdom Patriots?

5. Kingdom Patriotism involves allegiance to the lifestyle of faith. Grace-Focused Optimism.

Hollywood icon James Stewart once played a man named Elwood P. Dowd. Dowd was a rich alcoholic whose best friend was a giant rabbit named Harvey. That was a problem for Elwood’s friends because Harvey’s invisible. So people thought he was crazy. Living by faith means living with confidence in an invisible God. Especially confidence in a singular promise he makes in Romans 8:28. Living with this confidence means living with optimism that God is always up to our good. This honors God like nothing else. And it’s the source of Kingdom Patriotism everywhere else. When you’re optimistic that God is always up to your good you can live for him come hell or high water. The Bible calls this “walking by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). This lifestyle’s unacceptable to many.

When it comes to this allegiance, are we willing to be Kingdom Patriots?

Stand for the Truth

Kingdom Patriots are men, women and young people who will stand for the truth that Jesus is the only Savior; who will submit to whatever the Bible teaches; who will pray because they know God works through prayer; who will be faithful to God everywhere, all the time; and who do all of this because they know that God’s always up to their good and always has their backs.

Kingdom Patriots are needed. Now. Everywhere. Desperately.

Are you willing to be one?

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