This Tuesday is July 4. What does that date mean to you? For lots of people it means fireworks, fun, a day off from work, a cookout, and time to enjoy with friends and family. There is certainly nothing wrong with that. All of us understand that it is the celebration of the publication of the Declaration of Independence by the leaders of the thirteen original colonies of the New World in the continent of America. This was the culmination of long-term unrest and led to the momentous occasion when the colonists rose up and publicly said to the world that they would no longer live under the oppression of the king of England. The first description of how Independence Day would be celebrated was in a letter from John Adams to his wife Abigail on July 3, 1776. He described “pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations” throughout the United States. The colonists wanted to be free to govern themselves, conduct their own affairs, and live by self-determination rather than being told what to do and how much tax to pay by the king of England. Freedom and opportunity are two of the great advantages of our nation. Is our system perfect? No. We still have to pay taxes. We still have someone else telling us what to do in the form of the laws of the land. But such things are necessary in order to maintain the society that we have. Stories of fraud, mismanagement, waste and corruption in our governmental entities make all of us angry. Even so, we are certainly blessed to be able to call the United States our home! There is no other country of this world where I would rather live than in the United States but even if I did—or if our own country took a terrible turn for the worse—the best thing about this life is that we know the Lord and His way for our lives. The freedom we have in America is fantastic. The greatest freedom in life is knowing that your sins are forgiven and you are a saved child of God through your faith in Jesus and obedience to His will. Jesus said in John 8:31-32, “If you continue in my word you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” Then in verse 36, He said, “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” This freedom transcends the borders of any nation. It is a spiritual possession that you have as a gift from God. No person on earth can take it away from you. Even if you lived in the most oppressive, most impoverished nation on earth, you would still have spiritual freedom and riches in Christ. This is what Jesus means when He says you will be free indeed. Cherish the freedom of being an American and especially the freedom of being a Christian!