Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." They answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, 'You will be made free'?" Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” --- John 8:31-36
Today is a day when the whole nation gets caught up in a time of partying, picnics, sporting events, flag waving, setting off fireworks or watching spectacular displays of the same.
It’s the 4th of July and much mention is made of celebrating independence. It’s the birthday of our republic and so the country goes all out – it’s a national holiday and just about everybody celebrates in one way or another. Unfortunately there are quite a number of persons who have to work and do not get the day off – emergency personnel, those employed in hospitals and nursing care homes, and those employed by businesses that choose to do business on this holiday.
The persons who signed the original document stating that we would no longer submit to the English crown placed their lives in jeopardy. It is a bit of little known information for some strange reason as to what happened to a number of them. Fifty six men signed the Declaration of Independence. Five were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes burned to the ground. Two lost sons serving in the Revolutionary Army, and two more had sons captured. Nine fought and died in the Revolutionary War. It is also reported that some had members of family captured and tortured by the British.
Our founding fathers had a deep conviction that by the grace of God this nation achieved independence and became a sovereign nation. Time and again our nation’s leaders in the earlier decades made reference to God in their statements and exhorted obedience to God as being necessary for receiving blessings from Him and experiencing a secure future filled with hope.
But over time things changed and the moment came that those exhortations to draw near to God, to honor and worship Him, to seek to be obedient to Him no longer took place. God for all practical intent is considered a rude intruder and not to meddle in our national life. Court decisions bear out this tragic fact.
Since our national spirit is now one of defiance and a “declaration of independence” of a different kind, we find ourselves staggering and groping as would a blind man in a drunken condition. We have turned our backs on the One Who alone can truly set us free – His name is Jesus Christ. Read again His statement at the beginning – what is it that He said about being free?
There will be much talk about independence today as the nation celebrates, but only a few know from personal experience what it is to be truly free! Are you one of those few, or are you among the majority – a bunch of slaves who are deceived and celebrating “independence?”
In other words, do you know that Jesus Christ has set you free from all that is destructive in your life and forgiven you of all your sins committed against a holy God and against your fellow human beings? If so, then celebrate your freedom that political processes cannot give nor can they take it away!
For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men; as free, yet not using your liberty as a cloak for vice, but as servants of God. --- 1 Peter 2:15, 16