4th of July

Written by Steve Ballinger. Posted in Devotions

4th of July

“He has sent Me to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives . . .”
-Isaiah 61:1-

On July 4, 1776, the delegates of the Continental Congress formally declared our national independence from Great Britain, as they voted to adopt the Declaration of Independence. Contained within this declaration are these unforgettable 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.” (emphasis added)

It’s been said, “God grants liberty (the freedom from oppression) only to those who love it and are always ready to guard and defend it.” Unfortunately, most of us take our liberty for granted, that is until we are about to lose it. I know this was the case for my father who, on December 12, 1941, was taken prisoner of war on the island of Guam by the Japanese Army. For the next four years, he lost the freedom that he and others were fighting to protect.

I give thanks to God for the men and women of our Armed Forces and our first-responder community who are willing to fight and die for the defense of our freedoms, and to protect and serve our citizens. Though our freedom is very important to us and we cherish it greatly, there is a freedom we can have that is far more precious. It is a freedom that comes to us, not because of the brave souls who protect us, but because of a Savior who died for us (1 John 5:12; Galatians 5:1; Psalms 144:15).

Biblically speaking, there are two types of freedoms. First, there is a false freedom, a freedom where a man is free to do whatever he likes. The Bible warns us about that type of freedom. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its way leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12). Then there is a true freedom, a freedom that was purchased on Calvary. In this freedom, man is free to do as he ought. This is the type of freedom that God encourages us to embrace. “This is the way, walk in it” (Isaiah 30:21). When we choose this freedom, the Lord loves, accepts, forgives, and frees us to live for Him.

May this July 4th be a day when we not only give thanks for the freedom we have as a nation, but more importantly, the freedom we have in Christ Jesus our Lord.

“Therefore if the Son makes you free, YOU SHALL BE FREE indeed”
-John 8:36-

Are You Free?


Chaplain Steve

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