This weekend we will be observing Independence Day. A day to observe our freedoms. Freedoms we enjoy as citizens of this country and freedoms we have as Christians. Over the past 15 months, we have seen freedoms on display. The freedom to have a voice; the freedom to share our opinions, whether we agree or disagree with someone else and the freedom to be tried for crimes are just a few we have witnessed. These are the ones we have seen in the headlines and on the news. These are the ones that get the most attention, whether we agree with it or not. However, for the Christian, there are other freedoms we have the chance to enjoy. The freedom to worship openly; the freedom to witness to anyone we see; the freedom we have to read our Bibles without being sent to prison and the freedom to pray to God without being punished are just a few of the Christian freedoms. I am thankful for all the things we are free to do. We are indeed a blessed nation. I’m afraid there are times we take these freedoms for granted.
While this weekend will bring about picnics, cookouts, parades and festivities, much like Memorial Day, we must make sure to remember what this holiday means for us, as citizens, and as Christians. Freedom is a strong word, that carries with it a lot of responsibility. When I think of freedom, I am reminded of the verse of scripture in John 8:36. “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” In Christ we can find freedom. This freedom is the freedom from sin. Sin that keeps us from being the Christian God would have us be. Sin that drags us down and keeps us from enjoying the abundant life Christ came to give. Sin that causes divisions and hatred. The only way we can enjoy this freedom is through Jesus Christ and a relationship with Him. The Bible tells us this fact. So, while we enjoy the freedoms of Americans and Christians, let us enjoy knowing that Christ is the source of the freedom we have. In closing, I want to offer this prayer I found while doing some research about Independence Day.
Almighty God, you rule all the peoples of the earth.
Inspire the minds of all women and men to whom you have committed
the responsibility of government and leadership in the nations of the world.
Give to them the vision of truth and justice,
that by their counsel all nations and peoples may work together.
Give to the people of our country zeal for justice and strength of forbearance,
that we may use our liberty in accordance with your gracious will.
Forgive our shortcomings as a nation; purify our hearts to see and love the truth.
We pray all these things through Jesus Christ. Amen.
(ANDY LANGFORD, U.S.A., 20TH CENT.)
Until next time, peace and blessings… Johnny