When I think back to the 4th of July as a kid... the predominant memory is the M-80 fights my brother and I used to have. Yes, we would light the fuse and then throw them at each other hoping the explosion would happen as close as possible to the other person. It's amazing that I can still hear and see.
I survived those days and, thankfully, I've come to appreciate the 4th of July holiday much more as I've gotten older. Today, we celebrate the birth of our great nation and the incredible sacrifice that so many paid for us to have freedom. What's amazing in this day and age - some 241 years later - is that our freedom as a country and citizens is under attack. But that's another conversation for another day.
Today, so many people are in bondage even though they live in the United States of America. Free people everywhere are living enslaved and imprisoned in their hearts, minds and souls. Some of these people even seem to have all the world at the their beck and call... rich by the world's standards, but bankrupt and poor by God's. With this slavery comes fear, worry, doubt, lust, hatred, stress, loss, death, defeat, and so much more.
Even though there are many being held captive to every sin you can imagine, there is good news!
The good news has a name. JESUS.
The Gospel of Luke records an event when Jesus stood in the synagogue reading from the Prophet Isaiah. He read, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." (Luke 4:18-19)
With everyone's "eyes... fixed on him," Jesus said, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." (v.21)
Jesus offers us freedom. He frees slaves. He give sight to the blind, He raises the dead back to life.
If you want to be free, cry out to Jesus for He is your only hope!
If you've been set free, don't grow complacent and go running back to the old slave master!
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."
~ Galatians 5:1
Today, remember the sacrifice of those who have come before us. Remember the freedom you enjoy in the greatest nation on earth. But also remember the Savior and the One who truly makes you free!
Happy Independence Day everyone!