Hamburgers, hotdogs, watermelon, blueberry pie, ice cream, baseball, family gatherings, swimming, flags, and fireworks . . . all sights and sounds of a Fourth of July celebration. All countries have a Fourth of July, but in America – the Fourth of July – means celebrating our Nation’s independence – Independence Day!
But what about a personal Independence Day – a “Fourth of July” celebrating the freedom we have in Christ. How often do we partake of the “Food,” spend time with the “Family,” raise the “Flag,” and send up “Fireworks” of Praise? How often do we take for granted that Christ died for us so that we would have freedom? Freedom to Follow? Freedom to Serve?
Last night, upon arriving at church, this was the message on the sign out front:
“Freedom to Serve One Another in Love”
Perfect for this Fourth of July! Because of Christ, we have the Freedom to Serve one another in Love – (Galatians 5:13) only because we have the Freedom to Follow. The soldiers did not fight for our independence selfishly nor did Christ. He followed God’s Will to serve His “Country.”
“It was for freedom that Christ set us free” (Galatians 5:1a). Christ came, died, and rose from the grave to bring good news to the afflicted, bind up the broken-hearted, proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners (Isaiah 61:1, Luke 4:18). In that freedom – we are free to serve!
So, what exactly does that freedom to serve look like this Fourth of July?
It looks like bringing my sons to be with their father for a week. It looks like cooking a meal to bring to someone who does not have a family. It looks like visiting the zoo with the neighbor’s kids so mom can have some quiet time to herself. It looks like showing that kid who does not have a father how to hit a baseball. It looks like taking time out of the busy schedule we all seem to have to watch the fireworks with friends. It looks like praying for that loved one or friend who is sick and is not able to go to the party. It looks like praying for America’s government officials and leaders. It looks like praying for America.
Since “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17); as a result, whatever-however serving looks like for you and me, the freedom to Serve comes because of the freedom to Follow. So, as we celebrate this Fourth of July, America’s Independence Day, let us Rejoice in the Freedom we have in Christ and in the freedom of being an American that allows us to Worship and Follow Him who Served – freely. Also, let us not forget the men and women of our Military who fight to protect that freedom.
This Fourth of July I say Thank You to the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces – Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines – for following your heart and serving my country protecting my freedom to Follow 2 Serve. This video and post is for you.