Let's Talk About Freedom
Today is the day that the American people gather together, donning Old Navy t-shirts and carrying Budweisers, to celebrate the United States of America's independence. True patriots will intentionally state "Happy Independence Day" instead of shouting "Happy Fourth of July." The fourth is a date. Independence, on the other hand, is a state of being. As Americans, we are proud of our country's rich heritage of freedom. We are proud of the consistent progress we have made for the freedom of those who may have been without it at the time of our founding. "Free" is a title we love to claim.
I love the U.S.A. I love Independence Day and eagles and yards full of American flags flying high. I believe that while the United States is not perfect, we are blessed with the liberties we have protected. We are blessed with men and women who fight for the freedom we claim. I am proud to be an American.
Yet while I love living in the land of the free, I believe that the only true form of freedom comes from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Last night, a dear woman that I was blessed to have learned from went to be with the Lord. As I awoke this morning, restless, I looked at the calendar and began to reflect on this freedom that she is celebrating. She is no longer in pain, battling with the cancer that invaded her body. She is living the life that she had always celebrated; freedom with Christ. This morning I have poured over Bible verses that discuss the concept of freedom. And while I am continuously thankful for the worldly freedoms we experience in the United States, that freedom does not come close to the freedom we have in Christ.
Whether you like to admit it or not, your sins put up a barrier with the Lord. Your sins clearly show your imperfections. Your sins humble you and recognize the fact that you are not good enough to enter the Kingdom. Human beings can't get rid of this sin -- we cannot free ourselves of these chains (Acts 13:38-39).
Then Jesus comes in and takes those sins off your shoulders and places them onto His own. He takes your imperfections and says "even these are not too much for Me" (1 Peter 2:24). He breaks our chains, and He knocks down the barrier our sins create with the Father. He fought for our freedom. His sacrifice, love, and desire to be with His children make us free from everything -- EVERYTHING -- on this earth and otherwise. Christ is the author of freedom, a graceful Savior who gifted us with this state of being should we choose to follow Him.
Do we as believers celebrate this freedom with the same enthusiasm as we do the earthly freedom our great nation has? We ought to. We ought to take our Independence Day smiles and have the same, proud, loud, excited attitude about the freedom provided by Christ.
My dear sweet friend is free from her pain, celebrating with the Lord, surely giving lots of hugs and singing loudly up in Heaven right now. What I loved most about her example is that she's been celebrating this freedom in Christ every day, as we all ought to. Speaking truth, loving large, and praising the One who made her free. She didn't wait to celebrate -- eternal life starts right now. You needn't wait until a certain moment strikes to commemorate freedom in Christ - let your banner fly and live your life in a manner of celebration. We are free, we are free indeed.
Galatians 5:13-14 says, "You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in one command: Love your neighbor as yourself."