The Fourth

The Fourth of July is one of my favorite of all of the American holidays! It always has been! Even when I was a young boy I understood, at least somewhat, the sacrifices it took to make our country what it is. I have always loved to read and in my younger days I came into contact with lots of patriotic writings. I actually dreamed of the day when I could fly a flag outside of my own home and let everyone know how proud I was of our country.
My father was a WWII Navy veteran and I followed his example and joined the Navy also. I never had to go to distant shores as he did or walk patrols on deserted beaches of South Pacific islands as he did, but I wanted to keep our country great if my participation would help, I chose to do that.
With the Fourth of July celebrations we keep alive the memory of all that it took to make our country both free and great. We remember those who were willing to give whatever it took to make sure that their descendants were able to live free. To have freedom of religion, freedom from persecution, freedom from unreasonable government control, freedom to live where they wanted and pursue career and raise their families without intervention by the government.
In the 1942 movie, “Holiday Inn” there is a “Song of Freedom” that has some tremendously powerful words. Notice just a few:
“I’m singing a song of freedom; For all people who cry out to be free;
Free to sail the seven seas, Free to worship as we please;
If the birds up in the trees can be free, Why can’t we?
Free to speak and free to hear; Free from want and free from fear
Sons of freedom far and near who agree, Sing with me, That all God’s children shall be free.”
(If you have never watched the movie I highly recommend it).
Notice what the apostle Paul had to say about true freedom: Romans 8:16-21,The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs, heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

Enjoy your Fourth of July celebration, but don’t forget that our freedom, both physical and spiritual was bought by the sacrifice of another. Of course our true freedom is only through our love of and obedience to Jesus Christ.

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