Cherishing Our Freedoms
This Wednesday is the Fourth of July. As I was growing up, my thoughts about the Fourth of July revolved primarily around the opportunity to buy and shoot off firecrackers, bottle rockets, and other fireworks. There was little recognition of the importance of this day in the history of our nation or of the value of the freedoms we have in America. We are fortunate and blessed to be able to live here! It is good for us to take time to reflect upon that regularly and to cherish our freedoms. It is also fitting that we thank God for His many blessings to our nation as well as to pray for our leaders and the people of America to seek His will.
As good as it is to be citizens of the USA, it is even better to be citizens of God’s spiritual nation (see Ephesians 2:1-22 and 1 Peter 2:9-10). Here are some passages from the New Testament to remind us about the freedom and blessings that God gives us in Christ. Focus on the words “free” and “freedom” in these verses.
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)
For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:20-23)
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord,are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:17-18)
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. (Galatians 5:13)
Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. (1 Peter 2:16)
Take time to think about these things. Count your blessings. Cherish the freedoms you have as an American and especially as a Christian.