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A Message from Pastor John

The Apostle Paul writes: “For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

On Tuesday, the Fourth of July, all across our nation, we as Americans will celebrate our nation’s Independence Day with parades, picnics, cook-outs, fireworks displays, and family get-togethers. Some folks just treat the Fourth of July as a “day off” and a break from work. Others will look at the Fourth of July as a time to go shopping for those great summertime deals. Regardless of how one celebrates or does not celebrate the Fourth of July, we are remembering our nation’s birth, our freedom from Mother England, and the grip of a tyrannical king. Yes, we know that the Fourth of July is our independence day, when America was just a small number of English colonies (13) here on American soil struggling to become a nation in which no other government in the world would be set up like this, where men (people) are free and the government is set up by the consent of the people.

I have to ask the question, do we really understand what it means to be free? Sometimes I think we as Americans have forgotten that, or most Americans just take it for granted, without ever thinking about the possibility they may lose it, and some people just don’t appreciate the freedom(s) they have.

If I were to ask ten different people, “How do you understand what it means to be free, or to have freedom,” I would probably get ten different answers. The Declaration of Independence proclaims these words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Freedom is a gift of God. It is a blessing. God has not given us freedom so that we should squander it in selfish living. God has given us freedom because His love for us is genuine, and He wants us to love others with the same authentic love He has shown to us in Christ. Through faith in the merits of Christ (the atoning work of the blood-stained cross and His resurrection over sin, death, and the devil) Christ has set us free.

Where you see people serving freely, there is the love of God. Where you see people being set free from addiction, there is the love of God. Where you see people filled with mercy and compassion, there is the love of God. Where you see people coming together as brothers and sisters in Christ, worshiping God in Spirit and in truth, there is the love of God. God has given us this precious gift called freedom, but God has also called us to act.

John Hancock, whose signature dominates the Declaration of Independence, said: “I urge you, by all that is dear, by all that is honorable, by all that is sacred, not only that ye pray, but that ye act!” God has given us the gift of freedom. Let us cherish it by worshipping God, and living as Christ would have us to live. May your month of July be blessed.

In His Service, Pastor John

 

 

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