Freedom Worth Celebrating

There are lots of interesting facts that revolve around July 4th.  Did you know America will eat around 150 million hotdogs?  70-something of those will be eaten by a single person at the Nathan’s Hotdog eating contest.  And fireworks?  There will be around 15,000 shows around the nation, some, such as the one in Boston, costing more than $2 million.

The picture above is often assumed to be an actual scene of delegates gathered on July 4th putting pen to paper to declare our independence from Great Britain.  But what most of us don’t know is that the first document was signed initially only by John Hancock and Charles Thomson.  A document with the remaining 54 signatures would not appear together until around August 2nd.

So why do we love the image of delegates in Philadelphia taking a stand against the “tyrants” across the ocean? Why do we spend millions on fireworks and eat millions of hotdogs at 4th of July celebrations around the nation?

Freedom is worth celebrating.

We take it for granted now, but at the first celebrations in 1777, those people had experienced being ruled by something that not only took life from them, it contributed nothing but heartache and difficulty.

Our Christian lives mirror similar images. Sin has a way of taking the joy out of life, leaving us empty and wanting. It rules us ruthlessly.  When we allow our lives to be controlled by what the world offers, we are anything but free.  But the good news is that freedom awaits us.  We don’t have to remain in bondage to anger, controlling situations, manipulation, fearing failure… and the list goes on. There is freedom from sin.

Because of what Jesus did on the cross for us, he has broken the chains of sin and the tyranny it assumes in our lives.

However, one thing every one of us experiences in the midst of that truth, sin continues to self-promote and assumes the role of ruling over us.

The following words of the song Hello Beautiful by Mercyme ring true: “I used to play the victim singing take these chains from me, but they have long been broken, I was free but would not leave.  Somehow I got too comfortable locked up here in this prison, that I missed the doors are wide open, more like ripped off its hinges”.

The Holy Spirit brings the power to potentially be free from sin if we believe in the work Jesus did on the cross for us. To begin to be free from sin, we have to begin to be healed of sin. And to begin to be healed of sin, we must first confess sin.  James 5:16 commands us to confess our sins one to another, pray for each other, and (thereby) be healed. The other side of healing from sin is freedom in Christ.

As we celebrate freedom this week, seek freedom by seeking healing.  Where to start?  Believe what God tells us through James, commit to confessing the sin that controls you today!

Confess to God for forgiveness (1 John 1:9).  Confess to each other for healing…for freedom.

Article by Jonathan Dennis

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