4th of July Thoughts: Freedom

Today most people will be having cookouts with friends and family.  Hotdogs and hamburgers will be fired up on the grill and red, white, and blue, will be everywhere.  Today is the 4th of July.  It is a day in which we remember when the United States claimed our own independence from England those many years ago.

What would have happened to us had July 4th never happened?  Would we have had the freedoms in which we take for granted today?  What would life have been like?  I am glad we do not have to think about that too long.  From a very serious perspective though, I do believe we take what we have for granted way too much.  We have so much to be thankful for.  This post is going to highlight just two things we often take for granted here in the US that other people do not have.

The first of these two points is our freedom of religion.  I am a Christian (a follower of Jesus Christ).  I have the freedom in this country to say that and not worry about having my doors beat down with guns drawn by a militia.  I can read my Bible in public and I can worship with believers in both public and private places.  This is something I believe we, as believers, take for granted way too much.

I used to read ‘Voice of the Martyrs’ all the time.  As I read stories of men and women who had lost limbs and their lives because of the Gospel of Jesus, I almost wanted to throw up.  I cannot read stories like that without being moved with gratitude for what I have and what I do not have to go through.  This is definitely something we cannot become lax in remembering.

The second point I would like to state is that I have freedom in Christ.  Galatians says, “If you are led by the Spirit of God, you are no longer bound to the law” (Galatians 5:18).  I have freedom because of the work of the Holy Spirit in me.  I now can worship God in Spirit and Truth.  Yet, so often, I meet Christians who do not live in freedom.  It honestly makes me mad when cannot function as the body of Christ because one member has been brainwashed by those who want to add to the Gospel of Christ.  The Law of Moses does not hold us captive anymore.  We have been given Christ as our liberator from the bonds of sin and death.  Therefore, we should be walking as one who has been freed from a death sentence.

I have been to churches where you have to wear a three-piece suit in order to participate in the service as a worshipper of God.  I have been to churches where women have to wear hats and lots of make-up.  When does our dress dictate who we are in Christ?  When does the amount of make-up a woman wear matter to God?  Last time I checked, God was looking for a pure heart and a humble Spirit.  He could care less what kind of clothes one is wearing.  He could care less how much money our wallets hold.  He is more concerned with what we do with what we have in it more than how much we have.  We need to get back to what really matters.  What matters most is Christ and He alone.  Without Him, there is no reason to be thankful for anything.

So as we walk through the motions of all the 4th of July has to offer us, let us not forget to be thankful for our freedoms.  It is a great thing to celebrate our independence as a nation but let us not forget this day that we have freedom in Christ to worship and to celebrate our freedom in Him.  It is a beautiful thing.  Thank you for taking time to read this.  God bless.

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