Independence Day, July 4th. As I read many posts and talk to people, I here a lot of talk and thanks for our men and women in military service. The great sacrifices they make and have made so that we're able to enjoy our freedoms. And I also want to trumpet that call of praise and honor that they so deserve. But what are we free from or what are we now free to do? What was it that our warriors sacrificed their lives for? What is it that makes a person willing to give up his life for another? Cheap health insurance, equal rights(whatever that means), the chance to get drunk and watch a ballgame? Or maybe the lofty ideals of owning property, being able to self govern, to throw the scoundrels out if they don't do what we want...Really? This is worth my life? All great and noble things but they hardly make me want to fall on my sword.
Let's try this one; LOVE. Now I'm feeling sacrificial. Now it starts to make more sense to lay down my life for a cause, a spouse, for family, for friends, for country. And what is this love? In 1st John 4 it says that God is love. And that He showed it by sending his only son to die in our place. And in John 15:13 it says that greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. We are reminded again in Ephesians 5:25; "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her." Notice how these are all people, not just things? What soldier ever died for a piece of dirt, a city or a building? None.
So today as I celebrate our country's Independence Day, 4th of July, I'm reminded of the First Independence Day, the day Jesus gave his life for me on that cross. He proclaimed my freedom, gave me sight, healed my broken heart and released me from oppression. Jesus paved the road I now travel. This world may see it as a toll road, with rules and duties and sacrifices to be paid, but nothing is farther from the truth. Having traveled the worldly route for so long and nearly trashing my ride on all the empty promises that were made, I now enjoy the freedom of a straight and lighted path that was paved for me with such a costly price. A road available to anyone that will accept it.
I love our men and women that fight to defend our freedoms, but they are freedoms that where first given to us by God through His love for us. God-given unalienable rights if I remember correctly.