Ever thank God that you were born in a nation where we can preach and practice the gospel?
A friend once traveled to China, where his company was building a plant. The town he visited had no religion of any kind – none. What if you’d been born there? Or what if you’d been born into a Hindu family in India?
But all that I have said is very inconsiderable in comparison with the spiritual mercies and advantages you here enjoy for your souls. Suppose it had been your lot to have fallen in any of those vast continents possessed by pagans and heathens at this day, who bow down to the stock of a tree, and worship the host of heaven? Or suppose your lot had fallen among [Muslims]? Nay, you might have fallen into the same land in which your habitation now is, and yet have had no advantage by it as to salvation, if He that chose the bounds of your habitation had not also graciously determined the times for you (Acts 17.26). –John Flavel, The Mystery of Providence
What “spiritual mercies and advantages” we enjoy here in this nation! We can meet together without fear to hear preaching and teaching, to worship and fellowship. We can own church buildings and Bibles and spiritual books. We can preach the gospel on television, radio and podcasts. We can hold conferences and retreats. We can openly proclaim Jesus Christ without fear of being arrested and tortured. In North Korea, believers are imprisoned in packing crates for their faith. I once heard about one group of persecuted Christians that met for years in the woods on Sunday morning, with only one chapter from Proverbs to nourish them. I have numerous Bibles in my home and office, as well as access to numerous Bibles, commentaries and resources online. We have access to the works of the greatest Christians who ever lived.
And think of the providence of God that you were born in an English speaking nation. So many spiritual books have been written in English and so many preachers and teachers speak English.
God in his providence has not only placed us in our nation, but in this day and age of incredible technology. I can download a book by Tim Keller in seconds onto my iPad. I can watch summaries of books of the Bible on YouTube. I can listen to the Bible, books and teachings while I drive.
Let’s praise our Lord Jesus for the spiritual mercies and advantages his providence has provided for us in this nation!