July 4, 2013 is history.
America honored her birthday four days ago—a nation born from a declaration of independence from the rule of another country. How many of us paused during our fireworks, parades, and cookouts to remember the reason for the celebration?
My husband preached on liberty yesterday. The sermon taken from John 8:36 urged us to value our freedom in Christ. “If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”
Reminding the listeners of America’s anniversary, he said, “If we’ve never been enslaved, we can’t truly know and appreciate freedom.” In one illustration, he told about a man who came to America on a slave ship and later achieved liberation. This man understood what it meant to be literally chained, hungry, and thirsty. This man understood firsthand the meaning of emancipation.
A ninety-one year old man attends our congregation. During WWII, Germany imprisoned him in a POW camp. He arrived at the site with injuries from two gunshot wounds. Medical personnel cared for his injuries and then confined him. He soon learned about chains, hunger, thirst, and harsh elements from a foreign power.
After the sermon, he said, “If we had lost the war, I don’t know where I would have ended up. Would I have been eventually released into Germany and forced to become German?” He thanks God for America’s sovereignty. This man truly understands liberty because he temporarily lost his.
Free in Christ means sins are forgiven and eternity promised in heaven. Once we have freedom in Christ, it is forever ours and will never be taken from us.
Where do we stand with our desire for freedom in America? Are we willing to give it up—to someone within our country or to a foreign power?
A Few Quotes
Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed - else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die. ~Dwight D. Eisenhower
Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide. ~Napoleon Bonaparte
Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves. ~Abraham Lincoln
Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. ~Thomas Paine
Men fight for freedom, then they begin to accumulate laws to take it away from themselves. ~Author Unknown
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. ~Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759
I prefer liberty with danger to peace with slavery. ~Author Unknown