Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Happy Independence Day

For Freedom
Today is Independence Day for the United States of America from the oppression of Great Britain. The colonies needed to fight a Revolutionary War to be free from the tyranny of The British Crown and King George III. The war lasted from 1775-1783 as the Patriots penned the Declaration of Independence declaring: 
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.  
It is God who made us free if we would only grasp and inherit it from Him. John 8:32-36 proclaims, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will be made free? ” 34 Jesus answered them, ‘“Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”’ 
It seems we have trouble being free. We fall back into bondage as Galatians 5:1 says, Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”  The freedom given as a free gift from Christ is costly. It cost His life and our whole life given over to Him in faith. Having nothing to do with our works, it is through the Holy Spirit that we are empowered to live free. But like a dog returns to its vomit, we seem to return to our sins or mistakes. We do not forget easily and Satan will remind us of our former lives. Man’s hearts are impure. In fact Jeremiah called them dark and deceitful above all else. This is condemning, but Paul said of a new person in Christ, “That there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1). 

We once lived in Virginia, the place where the Revolutionary war was settled, yet it was also the first state to secede from the United States to start the Civil War. It was over slavery or the bondage of men that it was fought. Somehow these men of the time forgot that they had fought for freedom of oppression from cruel masters. We are selfish and prideful, dark and deceitful until our hearts are set free through Christ’s cleansing Spirit. But we must keep on being transformed or we will fall back into our darkness. “God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). We must keep walking in His healing and purifying light. This is not easy as we witnessed many Virginians with rebel flags who clearly believed that the Civil War was not over. It was quite sad to see this very presence of evil still going strong in the South. When I think of people saying that discrimination is over I shudder at what I know about mankind. We sadly live in the most segregated city in the nation. 

So where does freedom or liberty come? Psalm 119:44 says, “ I will always obey your law, for ever and ever. I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.” And James makes clear the way saying, “But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it-he will be blessed in what he does” (James 1:25). 
I pray for the continued washing in the blood and the full transformation through Christ; both for me and the rest of the world. “Come quickly Jesus- Maranatha.” Happy Independence Day!

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts.