As I write this blog people around the United States are traveling to their cottages, heading to the beach, firing up the barbecue, and attending parades because today is Memorial Day. It is a day of celebration and relaxation, but more importantly, it is a day of remembering the men and women who gave their lives, so we could live in freedom. It is a time to pause and reflect on the gift of living in a free country as well as a time to be deeply grateful to those who made the supreme, ultimate sacrifice. How easy it is to take our freedom for granted or forget about the grieving families whose lives were forever changed. Our freedom came at a steep price for many – let’s remember and be grateful for their sacrifice.
My father made sure we never forgot the reason for Memorial Day because he was one of the young men who ran up the beach in Normandy. Obviously, he survived, but losing so many friends and eventually his brother, changed his life forever. Political freedom is costly…and so is spiritual freedom. As I have been reflecting on the sacrifice soldiers made for our national freedom, I am being overwhelmed with a fresh appreciation of the sacrifice that purchased our spiritual and eternal freedom. Just as it is too easy to take our political freedom for granted, we can easily fall into the trap of being complacent about our spiritual freedom. Let us never stop being struck with awe and wonder that Jesus Christ offered the perfect blood sacrifice, died for the sins of ALL humanity and set us free! Because of Jesus Christ, we are:
- Free from bondage to our old sinful nature – “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
- Free from Satan and his lies – “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
- Free from finality of death – “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:54b-57
- Free from paralyzing fear – “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise — in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” Psalm 54:3-4
- Free from the dread of being alone or abandoned – “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
- Free from the anguish of feeling unworthy or unloved – “Though the mountains be shaken, and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” Isaiah 54:10
We are free indeed!!
Let us continue to be grateful to those who provided political freedom and as well as grow in gratitude and praise for the spiritual freedom Christ provided through His perfect sacrifice. Let these words from John 8:32, 36 fill you with awe and wonder, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free… so if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”