Devotion for Saturday, July 4
Christ has freed us so that we may enjoy the benefits of freedom.
Therefore, be firm in this freedom,
And don't become slaves again.
I don't always agree with the decisions and policies that our government officials enact. I'm not always pleased with the results of our elections. But that doesn't mean that I don't appreciate the wonderful privilege of living in the United States. Guys, we enjoy liberties that people in many other countries long for but have never known in their lifetime. In spite of our nation's shortcomings and problems, we have much to celebrate this weekend.
When Jesus came into this world, Israel was ruled by Rome. The people suffered very unfair treatment. Even though Jesus was the promised Messiah, He did not come to set Israel free from oppression and that confused many of His followers.
Jesus did, though, set Mary Magdalene free from evil spirits. He freed the woman at the well from guilt over a shameful past. He freed a man roaming a graveyard from mental illness. He set many people free from blindness, paralysis, and all sorts of illness. He even set Lazarus and a few others free from the grave.
But the most importantly, Jesus died on the cross and rose again to set us free from the consequences of our sins. We no longer have to fear the Judgement of our God because Jesus took care of our sin on the cross. And he rose from the grave to assure us of life eternal in heaven.
Sure, we will keep slipping back into our sinful ways, but with help from Jesus, we can choose to draw strength from His divine power in order to live a life that pleases Him and brings us joy. And Brothers and Sisters, that is certainly worth celebrating every single day - not just on July 4!
Let us pray: Gracious Heavenly Father, Thank you for the freedoms we enjoy as citizens of this great country. And thank you even more for the freedom we enjoy as your children who are dearly loved by you. Help us to always be aware of and thankful for our freedoms. Amen.