Saturday, July 02, 2011

But What is Freedom? (More Thoughts Inspired by the Fourth of July)

The sad truth is that, except possibly for the benefit of close family and friends, we human beings value freedom more than just about anything, more even than we value love. We'd a lot rather have our own way than to ever give way. It's part of our fallen human nature, inherited from Adam and Eve and all the other parents in between then and now.

Love, from the standpoint of God and the Bible, is not an emotion. It's a tough commitment to what honors God and helps others. It’s what the apostle Paul was talking about when he told the first century Christians at Philippi: “Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.

Real freedom resides in being so secure in yourself and your place in God’s kingdom that you don’t need to “look out for number one.” You know that, in Jesus Christ, in His death on the cross, and His resurrection from the dead, God has already looked out for you and will keep looking out for those who repent and believe in Christ, for all eternity. You have the mind of Christ and are set free, as Christ was while He was on earth, to truly live, whether you're living in a penthouse or the big house, whether you're being commended or being condemned. You have the freedom to become the person of steely love and obedience to God you were made to be.

None of us will experience this freedom in its fullness on this side of death. Personally, I admit that I do, say, and think things every day that have me turning to God to ask for forgiveness and to seek the power to live my daily prayer, “Thy will be done.”

But those who follow Jesus Christ have freedom in ways that no Declaration of Independence and no Constitution, no matter how cherished or important they may be, can ever bring.

True freedom--freedom from sin and death, freedom to live this life without fear--comes to all who trust in Jesus Christ, no matter the governmental system under which they live.  I hope that you're experiencing the freedom that comes from Jesus Christ alone on this Fourth of July weekend.

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