July 4th celebration is a reminder of our freedoms here in America, and that these privileges that we have came at a cost. The price that so many paid by sacrificing their lives so that this country could stand as it does today. These sacrifices can never be forgotten. There will always be sacrifices that will have to be made for the United States to continue to stand strong in the world. This week is when we stop and remember. These freedoms and sacrifices should also cause us all to pause and remember the ultimate sacrifice that was made for us so long ago by Jesus Christ. “Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.” Acts 13: 38-39
Freedom through Sacrifice
Freedom was purchased for us by Christ as he sacrificed himself for our freedom from sin. Christ’s sacrifice may even have been a model by which revolutionaries and patriots chose to fight and raise up this country so many years ago. Declaration of Independence states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” These words were not just words that the first signers used without regard to their true meaning. The signers were purposeful in choosing these words for our country to stand strong for 241 years now. These words are significant not just to our country but our faith. Galatians 5:13 reminds us, “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. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” We must love our neighbor just as we would love ourselves. Sometimes we maybe called to sacrifice. Now, I must use the freedoms given to me to use for good as 1 Peter 2:16 reads, “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.”
I began my focus on Freedom before the July 4th holiday after reading a devotion that focused on this verse. (I am sharing two versions as I prefer the NLT translation.)
Psalm 119:45, “ I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments” (NLT)
“and I shall walk in a wide place, for I have sought your precepts.” (ESV)
As I read this verse, I could not help but make the connection from the sacrifices made for America and the sacrifice made by Christ for our souls. Christians of different sects come together to create a country that would be accepting of different beliefs but allows for the compassion and tolerance that Christ modeled in his life. Christ sacrifice brought Hebrews and Gentiles together into one family through his love and sacrifice for all our sins. The Patriots chose to build a country that brought many together through their own blood and sacrifice.
Christ is a Firework
While watching fireworks explode across the water, I saw the beauty even though it was brief. What a powerful symbol not just to celebrate our country, but as a symbol of Christ’s short life. Although he only walked on this earth for around 30 years, his impact is still felt today. He is like a firework exploding in the sky. These are quick and beautiful and we remember that beauty until we get to see some again. I cling to Christ’s beauty until I am able to behold him with my own eyes. John 8:36 confirms my freedom through the Son, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
Closing Verse: “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
Challenge: Be thankful each day for the sacrifices made for both your country and your soul.