By Emily Saunders
Happy 4th of July ‘Merica! I’m so thankful to live in the country that I do. We enjoy so many freedoms, liberties and protections that we take for granted daily. I too often forget the sacrifices made by those who gave their own lives or lost family and friends in order to establish and secure that freedom. Today I want to say thank you. If you are a member of our military or have a family member or friend who has or is currently serving I want to thank you.
When I ponder the many luxuries I am able to enjoy just by being born in the United States, the ability to freely exercise my faith is at the top of my list. We live in uncertain times. The times always have been and always will be uncertain. It seems like history just continues to repeat itself. In our current political environment it can be hard to see God working, but I do see Him working every single day, I just have to look and notice. I know His promises are true and I know He stands tall on His throne. It seems like every day our nation moves a little further away from God, but as Christians I feel like that challenge brings us just a little closer to Him. Nevertheless, I am grateful to live in a country where I CAN freely express my faith in Jesus.
I can drive to church on Sunday while listening to K-Love on the radio rockin’ my CHRIST bumper sticker without fear of losing my life. I can write this blog post, post Bible verses on Facebook and wear a cross around my neck. I am thankful for God’s favor and the ability to live in a place where I have that right. The question is… do I exercise it enough?
Sometimes I think it gets harder and harder to stand for Christ in this world. But does it really? Perhaps as the world becomes more worldly it gives us an opportunity to reach out a little further, to grasp a little tighter? Does the fact that it’s not as “popular” to be a Christian make me irrelevant and “old-school”? Do I care? Do I allow cool and popular to dictate the way I act or do I stand firm on the truth? Our fallen world is not headed toward “easier”, but I must cling to the promises and freedoms that my Jesus provides.
On this day of Freedom let’s focus on not only the freedoms we have as Americans, but also the freedoms that Christ’s death on the cross secures for us. Today may we celebrate together the word FREEDOM. Freedom in Christ. True Freedom. Forever Freedom. My personal freedoms might change on Earth, but the freedom of salvation will never change. He is the same yesterday, today and always. Thank you Lord for the gift of freedom and please help me to exercise it daily!
Freedom from Fear:
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
“Tell everyone who is discouraged, Be strong and don’t be afraid! God is coming to your rescue…” Isaiah 35:4
Freedom from Guilt/Shame:
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1
“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.” Romans 5:1
Freedom from Death:
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” Romans 8:2
The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. 2 Timothy 4:18