by guest blogger Pastor Dan Caudill

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery”. 
Galatians 5:1 NIV

I think we would all agree that America is facing trying times. I guess you might say that has been true through most, if not all, our 200+ years of existence as a nation. After all, forming, growing, and maintaining a nation based on freedom and democracy is not an easy task. There have been, and will always be, those who would like to take our freedoms away.

The reminders of the trials we face, not only as a nation, but as individual human beings, are as near as the newspapers, radios and televisions we have in our homes. Yet each year, as July 4th rolls around and we celebrate our Independence Day, I am reminded of how much we Americans still have to be thankful for. And for those of us who have found freedom in the Lord Jesus Christ, we have even more reason to give thanks.

I hold dear the freedoms I enjoy as an American citizen. I know full well that these freedoms did not come without cost. They were forged by the courage and sacrifice of men and women who were willing to risk all and pay all, if necessary, to bring forth this “new nation” of religious and political freedom. Many made the ultimate sacrifice, giving their very lives. Thankfully there are those who are still willing to sacrifice. I honor the men and women of our armed forces, wherever they may be in the world, for standing and defending this nation and the freedoms I cherish. Along with them, there have been many “soldiers” who, though they have never worn the uniform of our military, have given and sacrificed and stood, even unto death, for the ideals of a free country. I am grateful.

When we talk of freedom, I think for most of us it brings to mind all that we are free to do. I would like flip that idea upside down and for a moment think about being free to not do some things.

The Scripture encourages us not to use our freedom in Christ for sinful purposes (Galatians 5:13, I Peter 2:16 NIV). Along with our freedom to may we also focus on our freedom not to. We have the power in Christ to rise above the sinfulness of this world and live our lives as a pleasing sacrifice to the Lord. We don’t have to give up or cave-in to the pressure to conform. We don’t have to follow suit or just go along with the crowd. In fact, we have the authority in Christ to “just say no” to the Tempter and his schemes and best laid plans to trap us and lure us into sin (I Corinthians 10:13 NIV). Christ’s death on the Cross provides forgiveness of sins. His resurrection BREAKS the power of sin, so that in Him (Christ), we have the freedom and the power to say NO! Thanks be to God for such a wonderful gift!

So as we celebrate our freedoms as Americans, may we also celebrate the freedom and power we have in Christ. The freedom and power to “not” be like the sinful world in which we live.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is; his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2 NIV

In closing, I would leave us with these words from the book of Hebrews.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning it’s shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1-3


Comments are closed.

© copyright 2009-2013, Data Designs Publishing and Sandra J. Hovatter