Freedom Through Sacrifice
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Independence Day has always been one of my favorite holidays. I am far from a history buff, but I do know that the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, and that Thomas Jefferson wrote one of the most well-known portions of this document: “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.”
I love this part of our Declaration because it gives us the equality and liberty that we are fortunate enough to have in the United States. I feel blessed by God to live in a country that promises freedom of religion, expression, movement, association, and more. I assume that, like me, many of you will gather with your families and friends this upcoming Fourth of July to celebrate our inheritance with cookouts, fireworks, and other fun get-togethers.
But the reality is, although these freedoms are guaranteed by the Constitution, and the principles of our freedom are stated in the Declaration of Independence, without the sacrifice of those who fought in the Revolutionary War, and in other wars, we might not have these same rights today. Jesus Himself said, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13 NLT).
That’s part of the reason I love celebrating the Fourth of July—to remember and honor those who gave their lives for our nation and for everything about our great country. Remembering and honoring their sacrifice always points me back to Christ. Paul reminds us in Galatians 1:4, “Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live.”
Jesus’ tremendous act of love rescued and redeemed us! As Christians, we are privileged to have liberties that are not provided by any man, government, or nation, but have been provided through the sacrifice and redemption of Jesus Christ. So, this Independence Day, let us also celebrate the following freedoms that have been granted to us as followers of Christ:
As His followers, we are free from fear, worry, and anxiety (John 14:27, Matthew 10:31, 2 Timothy 1:7).
We are free from condemnation (John 3:16, Romans 3:23-24, Romans 10:9-10).
We are free to come to God and be in His presence (Hebrews 10:19, Matthew 11:28-30, John 6:37).
We are free to pray and bring our concerns to God (Philippians 4:5-7, Mark 11:24, Romans 8:26).
We are free from the shame and guilt of our sins (Isaiah 1:18, 1 John 1:9, Hebrews 8:12).
Father God, we are so thankful for the sacrifices others have made to secure and protect the many freedoms that we can enjoy in the United States. Please help us to never take those blessings for granted. We pray that on this Independence Day, we will remember all those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom. They showed, perhaps unknowingly, the example of your Son when He gave His life for ours. Please help us never forget that our greatest freedom is the freedom from death and sin that You provided. Thank You for redeeming our lives.
“But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last.” (Job 19:25)
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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