~ Pastor Robert Fleischmann
On the 4th of July our nation will celebrate its 240th anniversary of declared independence. The history of the 13 colonies and its rocky relationship with Great Britain set the stage for the birth of what is often called this world’s most powerful nation.
For 240 years God has blessed this nation. We have survived regional and world wars. We have reassembled a house once divided and freed people in recognition that all of us are equal in the eyes of our Creator.
In many ways, however, our nation reflects a sad tradition that began in the Garden of Eden. Time and time again men and women have taken God’s blessings and made them instruments of sin and rebellion. Like the forbidden tree in Eden, life presents to us challenges of obedience and disobedience. Each day Adam and Eve walked past that tree and obeyed God by leaving it alone it was the wise and honorable way to use their freedom.
As we look at the 240th milestone of declaring independence from Great Britain and our national freedom it compels all of us to ask how we use freedom. Peter wrote, “Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God” (1 Peter 2:16 – NIV84).
In 240 years of experience it has been made it clear that however great the struggle to gain independence and freedom may have been, it pales in comparison with to the challenges of how we live our freedom.
It is no secret that our nation has chosen a path of “freedoms” in nearly all areas of life. With each freedom comes the challenge for Christians of how they will use it, how they will speak of it and how they will honor God with it. As you well know, not every freedom is in line with the will of God. Adam and Eve were “free” to eat of forbidden tree but were commanded not to. They were to live freely – honoring God with their right choices. In the end, however, they faltered and used their freedom for sin.
As God’s children we celebrate the freedom we have. Knowing forgiveness through Jesus Christ has broken our bondage of fear and enslavement to the law of God which we never could fully satisfy. Now there lies before each of us a series of daily decisions on how we use our freedom.
May God be honored by our decisions and may the world be enlightened by our choices. In the end it is only by living as God’s redeemed children through the blood of Christ that we know the true meaning of freedom. Enjoy your freedom and use it wisely.
I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies. ~ John 11:25