Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Independence Day Blues

And reds and whites. No, I'm not sad. Just trying to be a little funny.

Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays. Partially because everyone has a 4th (fourth) of July but only in America is that day a celebration of freedom. I think it's the irony that I like.

I also love all the traditions that ID4 has acquired over the years: the aforementioned color scheme, parades, fireworks, revisited history lessons, summer blockbuster movies, cookouts with hot burgers and cold watermelon, national pride and unity, and best of all, classical music with an accompaniment of booming cannons. It just doesn't get much better than this.

But let's not forget to thank those still fighting for the cause of independence in this world. People on the front line with tyranny, oppression, and destruction. Men and women and even children whose sacrifice is too costly to be overlooked. Yes, I'm talking about soldiers and marines and sailors and airmen and guardsmen and police and all other uniformed individuals. But I'm also thinking of pastors, evangelists, prophets, apostles, and teachers. Those who proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to set the captives free from the tyranny of death, the oppression of the devil, and the destruction of sin.

Do not forget that you've been set free. Paul declares, "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" (2 Corinthians 3:17). Are you free? Is the Spirit of the Lord dwelling in you? If not, then list your grievances about your own sin and about the devil, declare yourself independent from death's reign, and rise up in the mighty name of Jesus! He's made the greatest sacrifice of all: Himself. And He didn't do it so Mel Gibson could make a movie about it; He did it for you! He did it for you to live and live at the power of God!

Take a look at the title of my blog (not this entry, the blog itself). And then look over at the explanation on the right. Find a Bible or a Bible website and look up 2 Corinthians 13:4 to find out what God has said is possible! But it's only possible His way. Jesus said of Himself that He is "the way, the truth, and the life," that "no one comes to the Father except through" Him (John 14:6). Those three-letter words are called definite articles. Jesus is not a way. He is the only way to a life independent of sin. Here's more irony for you today: in order to be independent of sin, sickness, poverty, death, and the devil, you must be dependent on the blood of Jesus. And nothing else. Confess Jesus as your Lord. Believe God raised Him from the dead for you.

If this entry has touched you in any way, even anger or resentment, please email me. I won't spam you I promise. I will pray for you. But seriously, let me know. I have been on the receiving end of the Gospel message before. I know what it's like to be conflicted about what to do. But the Bible has answers. It says that today is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). I can't think of a more fitting thing to do to celebrate on this day than to give your life to Jesus! I urge you, make today your own Independence Day.

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