Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Freedom


The 4th of July symbolizes something extremely significant to Americans: FREEDOM. What does freedom mean to you? Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary defines freedom as “the quality or state of being free [with] the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action.” Simply put, you and I have the opportunity to determine our actions without restraint or interference. We have the power to act, to produce change, and to influence others. George Washington stated, “Liberty [or freedom], when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.” Being one of our nation’s founding fathers, he understood the importance of freedom, democracy, and justice and how quickly these new principles would be implemented by the people in the hope of succeeding in life, obtaining liberty, and pursuing happiness (Declaration of Independence). Our founding fathers wanted the absolute best for each of us. They wanted a world where we could grow and see our hopes and dreams become reality. Isn’t that what God wants for each one of us as well? Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” God wants us to succeed and have our hopes become reality. In order to prosper and have hope, we must embrace freedom just as our forefathers did. God offers us the ultimate freedom: freedom from sin. He sent His only son, Jesus, into the world to teach us His ways and to die a horrible death so that we might have eternal hope. John 3:16-17 states, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” We can obtain freedom from sin and uphold the principles upon which our forefather’s founded this country by revealing the truth, trusting in God, and praying fervently. The Bibles says in John 8:32 “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” As we grow closer to God and allow Him to work His miraculous grace in our lives, we will have the power to act, to produce change, and to influence others through God’s love. This freedom we are so mercifully given is something we will want to share with others.  In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility.” As Christians, our responsibility is to share the truth of God’s word and put our faith into action by helping others experience God’s love and find freedom from sin. The Bible tells us that if we have faith without God’s love, we are nothing and if we give our all for Him but do not share His love, we gain nothing (1 Corinthians 13:2-3 paraphrased). Next, we must trust God implicitly. Psalm 84:12 states “Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you.” Finally, we must pray fervently. The Bible says, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.  We need to pray for God’s truth to be revealed and for our nation to stand firm in the Godly principles upon which it was built. Former President Ronald Reagan understood the importance the faith, in God, of our founding fathers was in forming the United States of America as a nation when he said “Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged.” Embrace God’s undeniable truth and experience an exhilarating freedom from sin. Bask in God’s love and peace. Embrace the joy that only a relationship with God can provide. Value the gift of freedom, both from sin and the freedoms of our nation. Speak the truth, take action, produce change, and influence others for God.
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