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Galatians 5: 1

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

As we celebrate this Independence Day holiday we think of the many men and women who sacrificed their lives and fortunes to secure our liberty. Yet freedom is not won once for all. The call of freedom is one of vigilance. We must constantly be on the alert for those who would steal or limit our liberty.

There is no one who gave more than Jesus in the continuous fight for freedom. His calling was to set the captives free (Isaiah 61: 1). When all of humanity was in bondage he bore in his body the price of our freedom. Even as we think of the brave patriots who fought and died for a better way of life let us remember that without Jesus’ victory there would have been no liberty for us to pursue. He bought our personal freedom with which we were able to dream of political and religious freedom. Paul warns us, though, that liberty gained is transient if we do not stand firm resisting the yoke of slavery.

I cringe when I see all of the personal liberties we relinquish these days in favor of convenience, security, etc. Americans are giving away their liberty hand over fist. The single greatest reason seems to be fear but why should we fear? Are we not all children of the most high? People even argue today that individuals have no right to personal privacy. Not so many years ago that would have sounded completely ludicrous. It still does to me. But then look how we have subjected ourselves to bondage even though Jesus did set us free.  Sometimes it is better to die than to pay the price of slavery.

We have made ourselves slaves to all sorts of substances, habits, television, leisure and so on. We have relaxed our guard even though Paul warned us not to and have become slaves again to sin and the fear of death. We have become prisoners of vain philosophies when the Word of God is the sword of freedom. We have allowed the lies of the enemy to imprison us in dungeons of sickness, poverty, brokenness and every imaginable impediment to liberty.

But Jesus stands at the threshold. He stands ever ready to show us the way to loose the shackles that bind us, he having already broken them. There is no shackle, no prison that has power over us. Jesus has set the captives free. Although prison doors have been splintered before the mighty arm of the Lord, they retain all the power we give them for if we do not arise and walk through the open doorway then we are every bit a prisoner as if the bars remained. We are only enslaved to the degree of our acceptance because the battle has been fought and won. 

This 4th of July renew yourself to the freedom won for you by those who have gone before. Refuse to allow your personal liberties to be trod upon and give no quarter to the enemy who seeks to enslave you again to the yoke from which Jesus freed you. Renew your stance, standing firm against those who would trade liberty for convenience or governmental assistance. Determine that you will guard your personal liberties even as you stand with and for your neighbor. Freedom is precious but it is always under attack. Stand firm therefore.

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