It is the wee hours of the morning on July 4th and I was awakened by the sound of rolling thunder off in the distance and the treat of an upcoming storm. Finally the inability to sleep won over and I sit here at the computer at 3:00 a.m. with a cup of chocolate coffee in hand, reading my Bible and thinking about the day ahead.
Like most on this day, we are planning to gather with our family and friends for a cook out followed by swimming. Later there will be flag waving and patriotic music, followed by fireworks. This year Independence Day fell on a Friday and for many American’s the celebration will be more about the three day weekend and less about why we were granted the day off work with pay.
To think of the ‘why’ is such a sobering thought. A group of men were sick and tired of being run over by the tyranny of the “insane” King George III and decided to take a stand. And stand they did…even to the death! A band of rag tag farmers and merchants bound together by one belief over threw the well trained army of one of the first world super powers. It was not an easy task by any stretch of the means, yet they held strong through the adversity and a new nation was the result.
History shows us that freedom and death are inexplicably linked. From the American Revolution to the Civil War …to this war, the War on Terrorism…people willingly step into the fray and give their lives for freedom’s sake.
Freedom on a much higher level was also purchased by the blood of another as Christ laid down his life that we may be free from our sinful nature. With His death the new birth of man was made possible. His army did not take up arms and overthrow an oppressive dictator or engage the latest technology that he may take power by force. However, the world was forever changed as a rag tag band of fishermen, business men, and a politician were united in one belief and stood firm, and stayed the course so that all men may be free.
While the battle for the souls of men still rages (at this time) it is not fought army to army but the struggle is just as real and fraught with perilous adversity. From missionaries located in remote parts of the world to the lay leader at the local church the war wages on soul to soul as in hand to hand combat. Will you take a stand? Will you march into combat, head long and stay the course, and set men free?
John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. ~NIV
Matthew 20:20 “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give His life as a ransom for many.”
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
Romans 8:2 “because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. “
John 15:12-13 “my command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
2nd Corinthians 5: 17-19 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us a ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.”
Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
John 10:10 “The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”