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Monday, July 1, 2024 (Mary Ann)

Posted on by Josh Heppner 0 comments
Flags, Fireworks and Faith

Isn’t what’s coming later this week about the only holiday we identify solely by a number? Got plans for the Fourth? What’s the weather forecast for the Fourth? Bought any fireworks for the Fourth?

Do we say the The Fourteenth of February for Valentine’s Day? No. Do we say the Twenty-fifth of December for Christmas? No. Don’t know where I’m going with this. Probably nowhere, but I thought it interesting. Moving on ….

A United States federal holiday since 1941, the Fourth of July commemorates the Declaration of Independence, ratified by the Second Continental Congress on July 4,1776. And it only took us 165 years to make it a holiday?!? Did we wait to see how it would work out or what? Actually, in light of the last few years, we might wonder ….

Politics aside, freedom and liberty are God’s idea for his Creation. Like it says in the Declaration of Independence, people “are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

History tells us the founders of our country were Believers, and their guiding principles borne out throughout history has made the United States a symbol of freedom for the world. So let’s look at what God’s offer of freedom or liberty means for us as Believers.

No longer slaves. Anyone who chooses to lead a life of sin is actually a slave of sin! Those without faith in Christ are subject not only to slavery but to spiritual death. But we have a choice. Through faith in Christ, our slave days are over. John 8:36 says, “So if the Son [Jesus] sets you free, you are truly free.”

A relationship with God now and for all eternity. God’s grace changes everything. Romans 5:21 reads, “So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

We owe a lot to our forefathers. We can meet and worship freely. We can have a shelf full of Bibles in our homes. Radio, TV, the internet — all full of more Christian teaching than anyone can possibly digest in a lifetime. And, best yet, we have the freedom to tell others about God’s incredible plan of salvation. Just uttering these worlds out loud is illegal and invites persecution — or death — in far too many parts of the world.

We take so much for granted.

So how about on the Fourth, we stop for a bit, thank God for this country and pray for its future, which seems precarious right now. Because we can hold tight to God’s promise in 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Then maybe on the Fourth we should sing at least the fourth verse of My Country ’Tis of Thee:

Our fathers’ God, to Thee,

Author of liberty,

To Thee we sing:

Long may our land be bright

With freedom’s holy light;

Protect us by Thy might,

Great God, our King!

Amen and amen! Happy Fourth, y'all!

Mary Ann


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