July. Where has the time gone? I can’t even fathom how quickly this year has already flown by. Just like clockwork the sun rays are even brighter and the temperatures are quickly rising. Bright red and white checkered picnic blankets decorate the lawns at the local parks. The lingering smell of the neighbor’s BBQ is in the air and fresh apple pie is on the menu for dessert. Kids playing loudly all throughout the neighborhood as we do our best to turn our pasty white skin into the envied bronze ideal (by the way, I have given up on that dream, as I am forever destined to remain either as white as a porcelain doll or as red as a lobster after it too has been boiled in the heat. LOL).
This Thursday every year our entire nation comes together to celebrate our country’s independence day, the 4th of July. Many years ago our forefathers claimed their independence from England which would put the next steps in motion for our country to become the great nation it is today, the United States of America.
When you hear someone mention the 4th of July, what is the first thought that comes to your mind?
My first image is freedom.
I grew up hearing the saying “freedom isn’t free”-as most of us have. And its not, there is always a restitution. Many brave men and woman have gifted the greatest sacrifice of all so that you, me and those we love have the luxury of living in a country where we are free.
It is something we must remember to never take for granted.
The children who will grow up without a parent because they gave them the ultimate offering of protection. The wife who sleeps on the couch brokenhearted on her tear stained pillow because she is unable to lay in bed next to the empty indentation of where here her husband previously lied down beside her. The parents who never thought they would feel the gaping hole in their chest from loosing a child they never thought would breathe their last breath before they did.
No, freedom is not free.
Freedom always seems to have a martyr. Someone who puts someone else before themselves in order to provide a better life or outcome for the one the gift is given to. A gift we do not ask for but are given without them asking for anything in return other than to accept it and use it wisely.
The greatest sacrifice ever given. The gift of freedom that breaks all chains, fractures all bondage and silences all chaos-Christ dying on the cross. However his greatest gift is simply not his death but additionally his resurrection and by the grace of God our salvation.
The scars and the stripes Christ bore on the cross are symbols of the freedom we have in Christ.
“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-because anyone who has died has been free from sin.”- Romans 6:6-7 (NIV)
God gave us the ultimate sacrifice, his one and only son-Jesus.
“For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him will never perish but have everlasting life”. -John 3:16
Jesus went through unimaginable pain during the events leading up to the cross and while he was on it. He could have easily gotten himself off the cross if he had wanted to. But he didn’t. He choose you and he choose me. To break the chains of sin and rebuild the bridge between us and our creator in heaven. To defeat the enemy once and for all. (As if there was truly ever a fight to begin with!)
No freedom is free.
The gift of Jesus. God’s mercy, grace and love is.
We can never earn it. We have been given it freely. A gift waiting to be opened. Accepted and used wisely. All we have to do is believe.
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou Shall be saved-you and your household”.- Acts 16:31 (NIV)
This 4th of July as we remember how this great country came to be and the sacrifices that were willingly given, let us not forget the most important atonement of all, the death and resurrection of Christ.
Where our true freedom resides.
Photo by Edwin Andrade on Unsplash
I thank you for the privilege of living in such a prosperous country. First and foremost I pray for our country Lord. We were once founded upon your truths. One nation under God. We have strayed so far away. Father, I pray for the leadership in our country, that they would turn their hearts to you Father. That those of us who trust you Lord would be examples to those who don’t know you. That we would not be the cause or the hindrance of anyone seeking you out Lord. I pray for anyone reading this that does not know you Lord, that you would help them to turn their hearts and minds to you Father, to ask you for forgive them of their sins and to show them what true freedom looks like through you. For those who do know you Lord , I pray we would continue to turn to you in all situations. To remember the enemy has no hold on us because you have already broken the chains. Thank you Jesus for your gift, the greatest sacrifice of all. Please keep us all safe as we go about this holiday weekend and just as the fireworks light up the sky, please fill our hearts with your truth.
In Jesus precious name.
Blessings and Hugs <3,