Happy fourth of July, and happy 240th birthday America! A lot has happened since 1776. We have cars, air conditioning, a “unified” country of fifty states, and the freedom to do pretty much what we want when we want to. Yeah, we have to obey laws and stuff, but we are still free to do what we want. We just have to pay the price for doing what we want if it happens to break a law.
Freedom is really a special thing. Not everyone in the world gets to experience it, and those of us who do often take it for granted. It can be too easy to forget those who have paid the ultimate price so that we could experience freedom. Days like Memorial Day or Independence Day help us as a country to remember, but in normal day-to-day life, unless we have a loved one who recently served, is currently serving, or who paid the ultimate price for our freedom while serving, we don’t think too often about how we are able to live in freedom.
Today, of all days, let us celebrate well and joyously our country, and those who have given us the ability to live in freedom. Our soldiers have made possible the freedom to worship in the open whoever we want, to walk down the street without fear of a car bomb or being at home and not worrying about a terrorist group rolling through the street taking us captive. We are free to pursue education and careers that many don’t have the ability to do. We have the freedom to sit at home and play video games all day, read books, watch TV or go to the movie theater if we choose. We have the freedom to vote for our leaders and to have a say in how our country is run.
All of this is made possible because of the sacrifice of normal men and women doing extraordinary things.
This is all for our physical freedoms. There is One who paid the ultimate price so that we could be spiritually free. Jesus Christ came to earth, died on a cross for you and for me, and rose again from the dead three days later so that we could have the freedom to choose not to sin. He died so we could be saved from the wrath of God and so we could live in freedom from the power and penalty of sin. He died and rose again so that you and I could receive the free gift of eternal life by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. – John 1:12
But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. – Acts 2:21
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 6:23
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. – Galatians 5:1
Christ has set us free so that we could have a relationship with God and have eternal life with Him when we die. He also set us free so that right now, living on earth, we could live in freedom from the slavery of sin and so we can live the full, satisfying life that Jesus promises (John 10:10).
Remember today why you and I get to live in freedom. Remember those who have paid the price for freedom. Remember the Ultimate Sacrifice that gives us the ability to live in spiritual freedom for eternity. Remember. And let the remembrance lead you to thankful action.