by Cindy Waple
This week we paused to celebrate Independence Day. It is on this day we are reminded that the freedoms we enjoy as citizens of the United States were gained for us during the Revolutionary War and continue to be secured for us by the men and women serving in the military today.
We, as Americans, do enjoy great freedoms including the right to openly practice our Christian faith. One only needs to listen to the news to know that this freedom is not experienced by Christians throughout the world – there are many countries where openly proclaiming the name of Jesus and/or the Gospel will result in excommunication from family, imprisonment and even death. We must never take for granted our freedom nor forget it came only at great cost and sacrifice.
But, as Christian’s we enjoy a freedom that far exceeds our rights and privileges as Americans. As Christians we have a freedom that also came at a great cost and sacrifice. However, this freedom was not born out of the ideology of men but rather out of love – the love God has for each of us.
Paul writes, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. (Galatians 5:1, 13 NIV).
It is important that we understand exactly what we are free from. First and foremost, I am free from the penalty of sin. I live knowing that I am fully forgiven and accepted by God and that my future is secured and sealed in Christ. That is the truth and joy of the Gospel.
However, our freedom in Christ is not just for the future – it also has implications for today. For in addition to being free from the penalty of sin, we are also free from fear, worry, pride, jealousy and envy. We are free from the need for acceptance and the praise of men and women; we are free from the need for success, power and even perfection. We are free from everything and anything that keeps us from loving God and living fully in the abundant life that is ours in Christ.
How do we live in this freedom? We begin with a simple prayer of desire – Lord, You created me to live in freedom. May Your Holy Spirit guide me to follow You freely. Instill in my heart a desire to know, love and trust You more each day. Amen.
Happy Independence Day – today and every day after!