But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12 NKJV)
In the first inning of the April 25, 1976, Chicago Cubs game at Dodger Stadium, two individuals tried to burn an American flag in the outfield. Rick Monday, outfielder for the LA Dodgers, saw the incident and snatched the flag away, deeply grieved as a former soldier that this would take place. It was a battle of the Right of Free Speech vs the Right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
As Christians, our heavenly rights do not match our human rights. As members of a Church, we might expect the right to have a voice. As Americans, we demand much more. But as Christians, there are essentially two rights that we can cling to biblically: the right to become a child of God and the right to be filled with the Holy Spirit. When we pick up the cross to follow Jesus, we forfeit many other rights.
Our rights are based upon our need to protect self and self-interests. But by carrying a cross, we are purposefully denying self for a greater cause: That Christ would guide our life and provide for what we need. As John the Baptist said in his own self-denying moment, “He (Jesus) must increase, and I must decrease.” (John 3:30) Choose the greater, better, harder path of discipline. Choose the life of Heavenly Rights! You are loved!