During the month of July, we as a nation celebrate one of the most famous and popular holidays for us as Americans, the Fourth of July or better know as Independence Day. This Fourth of July our nation will be celebrating our 241st year of freedom which came when we adopted the Declaration of Independence which declared the legal separation and freedom of the then 13 colonies from Great Britain and declared those then 13 colonies to be a new nation. Every Fourth of July, people around our nation gather together and set off fireworks, have parades, BBQ’s, picnics and many other things to celebrate our independence or freedom as a nation. The Fourth of July holiday is filled with many joyous celebrations, as they should be, for we are celebrating being a free nation; but are we really??
I truly believe we live in the most greatest nation in the world and for anyone who doesn’t agree with that statement, then they need to move to a nation where they think they will be free and quit trying to change us (sorry for sounding a bit upset, but I am). The sad truth is that in the 69 years I have been alive and lived in the United States of America, I have watched many of the freedoms we once enjoyed as Americans, stripped away from us and that has upset me greatly. I have sadly watched as special interest groups have labored and actually become victorious in many of their battles to change many of the values that our forefathers, who founded this great nation of ours, placed into the fabric of our nation and what we once believed in. The reality of all of this is that many men and women have died on many battlefields defending the right for everyone to voice their opinions (go try to voice your opinion in some of the other nations and see what happens) Yet, in spite of all of this, I would never want to live in another country for I truly love America and enjoy the many freedoms we still have.
As Christians, we know the beautiful words Jesus spoke to the Jews who vigorously opposed His teachings. John 8:36 “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” The freedom Jesus was speaking about here was from the bondage and dominion of sin in our lives. Though earthly chains of government, politicians, and laws would still prevail, the chains and bondage of sin in our lives would no longer have its grip on us because of what Jesus would accomplish on the cross for our sins. Speaking of the Lord, Psalm 103:11-12 “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us”
When I had the privilege of taking some youth on a two-week mission trip to Estonia, I remember a time when we were walking to another location to minister and we came to an intersection where the ‘Don’t Walk’ sign was on. As we waited for the ‘Walk’ sign to light up, I remember noticing our little group was doing a lot of talking and visiting, while the local people of Estonia who were also waiting for the ‘Walk’ sign to come on, were very quiet. At the end of the day as we were back at our base camp and resting, I asked our interpreter why that was. She said Estonia at one time was under communistic rule and it was a very horrible time. She told me you never knew if someone from the KGB was standing next to you and overheard you voice words of disagreement over the communistic rule. Many of those who were heard voicing words of opposition to the communistic government were taken captive in the late hours by the KGB and never heard from again. Though the people in Estonia were now ‘free indeed’ the memories of those horrible times were so burned in their hearts, it caused them to continue to live in that old bondage.
Sadly, this is true for many Christians. The Lord Jesus paid the ultimate price so the bondage of sin which once ruled over our lives would be broken and we could be free, but because we still allow the deceiving voice of the enemy to penetrate our hearts and minds, like those Estonians, many Christians continue to live in the bondage of sin, Jesus set us free from. To the Jews who believed Him, Jesus says John 8:31-32 “If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free” Jesus said if we hold on to His teaching, then we will know the truth and that truth will set us free. Those poor people in Estonia who experienced the horrible treatment of communistic rule in their lives, though the truth was that they were now free and no longer under communistic rule, they couldn’t get past that old lie.
How about you and me, my fellow believer? The work Jesus did on the cross was a final and total work; so much as Jesus was about to breathe His last breath, we hear Him declare, “It Is Finished” The work of freedom from the bondage of sin was once and for all finished, sin would no longer had power over our lives. Only as we allow the lie of the enemy which says, “You’re not really set free” to penetrate our hearts and minds will we remain in bondage.
Let’s determine in our hearts my brother, my sister, to live this life as ‘new creations’ as Paul says; ‘Free Indeed.’ Let the world see the church of the Almighty God, our Lord and Savior, walk in that freedom!!
Categories: A Pastor's Blog