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In 1967, Roy Bates created his own nation. It started when he set up a radio station on a vacant island, three miles off the coast of England. He put it there because back then England did not allow citizens to own radio stations. His island was in international waters, so he declared himself a sovereign nation. He created his own flag, his own money, his own passport, and his own laws. He was proud of his success. Paul had more reasons to boast about his religious success, but he chose not to. He wrote in Philippians 3, “If others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more. I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin — a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.” Then after listing his pedigree, Paul said, “I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done.” He discarded his achievements because they gave him no standing with God. Once he met Jesus, his ambition was to know Christ better and discover the peace, power, and joy that come from Him. That ought to be our ambition as well.

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