Today, citizens here in America and American citizens around the world are celebrating their freedom as a country. A freedom that was attained at a high price by hundreds of men and women we will never be able to thank. A freedom that is sustained at that same high price by men and women who have pledged to fight for those freedoms. They paid the price and continue to pay the price so that most of us will never have to. These precious freedom-fighters and their families deserve our thanks and prayers, because we can’t see the private cost of living without a spouse, a mom, or a dad. The private toll of waiting for the news that the fighter made it… or is never coming home.
While we are celebrating the freedom that we hold dear, the freedom we sometimes take for granted, the freedom that we dream for other people around the world, I hope we also remember our more important freedom: freedom from the slavery of sin. The freedom…
that grants us access to the very throne room of God.
that changes the enemy of God into the friend of God.
from the fear of death, because it is defeated.
from condemnation, because Christ has forgiven.
This freedom was not without cost. The cost was death. But that cost was paid by the only One who was Holy, the only One who could pay it, the only One true hope.
So, as American citizens, may we celebrate with thankfulness the freedoms we have in this country – freedoms we don’t deserve. As Christians, let us always be thankful for the greater freedom we have as citizens of the Kingdom of God – a freedom given us because of the great mercy of God, and not of our own deserving.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. – Romans 5:1-11