Thankful for our freedoms
Wed, 07/07/2021 - 8:00am mfodness
Built on a Rock
Rev. Andrew Palmquist, Bethany Lutheran Church, Luverne
On the Fourth of July we celebrate Independence Day, the birth of our nation —“the land of the free and the home of the brave!” For many Americans, the Fourth of July provides an opportunity to watch parades and fireworks, hear “The The Star Spangled Banner,” and enjoy grilling out and spending fun times with friends and family.
While it’s great to enjoy these wonderful traditions, it is also important to remember the reason behind why we celebrate this holiday.
Samuel Adams, one of our founding fathers and an important leader of the American Revolution, was bold in proclaiming his faith. To Adams and many others, signing the Declaration of Independence meant no longer submitting to Great Britain, but rather, submitting to God. As a result, America would be free from the power of secular tyranny and able to serve Christ and share the Gospel in true freedom. This is an amazing day in history!
Independence Day is certainly a fitting time to thank our gracious God for the many blessings he has showered upon our nation, our state, our community, and us as individuals. James 1:17 reminds us, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights …”
Think of some of the earthly blessings God has given you: plenty of food to eat, clothes to wear, a home to live in, Christian parents and grandparents, children and grandchildren who know and love the Lord, a job and means of making a living, our abundant possessions, fair leaders, good government, good weather, peace, honor, true friends, good neighbors, health, and recovery from a pandemic (items included in the fourth petition of the Lord’s Prayer).
Ponder also the great spiritual blessings God has shared with you: Faith in Jesus created in our heart by the Holy Spirit working through the Word and waters of Baptism. Forgiveness of sins and deliverance from slavery to sin, death, and the devil. Peace with God during this earthly life and the ability to live in harmony with our neighbors and friends. Strength to fight temptations and endure trials. Eternal life with believers in paradise in the presence of our loving Savior — a life free from sin, suffering and sadness.
Yes, American liberty truly is a blessing from God. Because of our freedom, you and I can freely express our faith in Jesus Christ and boldly share the life-saving Gospel with others.
On the Fourth of July we also take time to remember the service and sacrifice of those who fought and died to establish our nation and to protect the freedoms that God has bestowed. John 15:13 tells us: “No one has greater love than this: that someone lays down his life for his friends.”
Thank God that there are men and women in the past and present who were and are willing to sacrifice everything so that we can live free. Because of their sacrifice we can enjoy the freedom to worship the true God and our Savior Jesus. Because of their service we can fearlessly proclaim the great sacrifice that God made when he gave us his Son. That he gave Jesus over to death for us so that through him our sins are forgiven, we have peace with God, and everlasting life in heaven is
ours. Because of Jesus we are free of Satan’s tyranny, free of the guilt of sin, free even of death.
Please don’t take this liberty for granted. Practice your religion and pray for our nation, our leaders, and our servicemen/women. Pray that peace and harmony may prevail. Gather together with fellow Christians and hear God’s word. Hear him proclaim to you that in Jesus your sins are forgiven. Use that freedom also to tell others of Christ’s amazing life
and his blessings so that they too can enjoy this ultimate freedom.
Adapted from: Good News for You! 2020 Peace Devotions