“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Freedom & Independence, by Randall D. Kittle
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“It was for freedom that Christ set us free …” — Galatians 5:1

The 4
th of July is always great family fun with cookouts, watermelon, parades, and fireworks. And while it’s good to enjoy the celebration, it is also important that amidst all the fun we remember those who went before us to bring us freedom from tyranny and oppression. We are truly blessed to be part of a country with such great freedom for all people. We should never forget the price others have paid to bring us the independence we so often take for granted.

For me, Independence Day stirs in my heart deep feelings of thankfulness. I am thankful that I am an American, and thankful for those who willingly spent their labor and lives to birth this great land. I cannot help but admire and appreciate those who endured discomfort, hardship, loss, persecution, and death so I might freely enjoy the simple pleasures of raising my family and worshiping God. Their willingness to leave the comfort-zone of complacency behind has purchased the comforts we so richly enjoy in our day.

Yet, the sacrifice of our founding fathers is only a reflection of the One who truly inspired them — Jesus Christ. It was Jesus, the One who sets the captives free, who stirred the hearts of the patriots to have faith and fight for a better way of life — a life in which the freedom God purchased for us on Cavalry could actually be realized to some measure in society. The godly heritage of America is beyond debate; only a fool would argue against this.

So as we enjoy our family, friends, and fun this 4
th of July, let us remember with deep and sincere appreciation those who endured hardship and risked their all so we could have the freedom that we celebrate. Let our hearts be thankful because we have the privilege of being part of this great land.

But even more than this, let us acknowledge with thank-filled hearts the greatest sacrifice of all time — the innocent, sinless life of Christ surrendered that we might have liberty. Jesus, our Liberator, endured the harshness and torment of the Cross to purchase our freedom from sin and independence from legalistic religion and human striving. Let us be ever thankful that He made the way for us to be a part of His family.

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