“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free,[a] and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1
What is your favorite Independence Day tradition?
My personal favorite used to be spending time with family and eating delicious barbequed food.
This week the freedom bells rang in ears and hearts in America, as Independence Day was celebrated. Here in Uganda, it was just another Tuesday. But it caused me to pause and thank God for everything He has blessed me with, including the heritage of freedom that was afforded to me simply because of my citizenship.
For example, I grew up in a country that was not a war zone. Because of those who bravely traveled across the seas centuries ago, those who fought to purchase my freedom, the ones who created one nation under God to allow for religious and personal freedom - I could sleep soundly. I could go to school and get an education. I could go to church and read my Bible without fear of being thrown into prison. I didn’t realize how blessed I was growing up, until I came to Kitgum. When I saw the terror brought by war, poverty, displacement and disease, I realized how truly rich I was to have been given this freedom. The simple ability to know how to read was something that seemed like a basic human right, until I met women three times my age who never even held a pencil in their hands. I am so blessed! I took it for granted until I saw what life is like without it.
Today, across the world, there are thousands of Christians facing persecution and martyrdom. That could be right around the corner for America, but for the last two hundred plus years we have been free. For now, there still remains a window of opportunity.
I miss the days of barbeques, fireworks, going to the beach, and spending time with family to celebrate July 4th. But now more than ever I appreciate what it is all about - and it is much more than that. I urge you who are free, not to take your freedom for granted. We don’t know how much longer we have it.
You are free to speak, so speak. You are free to live, so live well. You are free to worship God, so worship Him unabashedly. Please don’t do what I did most of my life and take your freedom for granted. While we the church have slept, the enemies of freedom have risen up and are at the door waiting to destroy a way of life founded upon the Word of God.
Our hope is not in America, and it’s not in this life. Our true freedom is found in being set free from the bondage of sin and death. This is a freedom that no one can steal away. Whether we are American, Ugandan, Australian, or from somewhere else - we are part of a greater way of life that unites us and sets us free. Above all, let us celebrate our citizenship in Heaven and the freedom that Jesus bought and paid for with His life.
Don’t take another moment for granted.
Thank God for the freedom that we have in Christ!