Happy Independence Day!!  Even with the division in our nation and all that is going on around us, we still live in the greatest nation in the world!!!  Despite how history is being re-written, this nation was founded on Christian principles and has seen blessing upon blessing given from God Almighty, the maker of heaven and earth.

I hope you really understand that freedom isn’t free.  We see that phrase a lot these days, so perhaps it just goes right over your head.  Since the very beginning, people have placed their lives on the line for our freedom.  Some have given all.  Some have given more than we can imagine, coming home maimed physically and emotionally for life.  I know, for myself, that I don’t stop to thank them enough for their sacrifices.  It seems I just take my freedom for granted.  But as I see our freedoms erode before our eyes, it becomes more clear the preciousness of our freedom.

For those of us who are believers (it is my prayer that you are a brother or sister in Christ!), we, too, have freedom.  Jesus died for that freedom.  See, there is a cost!!!  But what are we doing with that freedom He bought for us?  Are we also taking it for granted?  Are we re-writing it’s history?  Are we abusing it?  Galatians 5:1 says “Stand fast therefore in the liberty (freedom) by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with  a yoke of bondage.”  Are you standing fast in the faith that saved your soul from eternal destruction?  Or are you living “for the moment” and doing as you please, listening to the world instead of your Savior?  Galatians 5: 13 goes on to say “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”

As we celebrate this day of freedom, take time to evaluate your life and see where you are.  Does your life reflect that of Jesus Christ?  Or does your life look more like your unbelieving neighbor or co-worker?  Jesus came that we might have life (His life within us) and that we might be conformed into His image.  God still has some work to do in me!!!  How about you?  Are you daily surrendering your life to His leading or are you still just doing your own thing?

“Freedom doesn’t give us the right to do what we please, but to do what pleases God.”  (Daily Bread, 7-4-12)  Chew on that one for a while.

Lots of love, Sharon

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