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Defining Freedom

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Freedom Sermon

            A few days ago I was riding in the car with Jodie and Lexie. We heard on the radio somebody make a comment about how freedom is not free. Lexie did not understand and asked how this could be. I began to explain to her that the speaker was referring to the freedom in our beautiful country and how many courageous men and women have given their lives for this freedom. This freedom allows us, with few limitations, to do and say just about anything, no matter how absurd. We can burn our country’s flag and even say that God does not exist. Many people have tried to say that God has had nothing to do with the governing of this country. However, God has been on the minds of leaders of our country since our founding fathers. George Washington said that “It is impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible.” And Benjamin Franklin said “I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs the affairs of men.”

We cannot forget that this wonderful nation was built on the cornerstone of being under the control of God. As Patrick Henry said, “It is when people forget God that tyrants form their chains.” It is for this reason that so many men and women have given up their lives for the freedom that we celebrate this time every year.

            President Lincoln, whose address at Gettysburg helped to free the slaves, spoke of our nation being under God. It is from this speech that eventually led to the addition of the phrase, “One nation, under God” being added to our pledge of allegiance.

            But we cannot stop our discussion about freedom there. As children of God, we also need to look at the origins of our freedom. The Apostle Paul reminds us in Galatians 5:1, “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery.”  This yoke is referring to the attempts man has been trying to do on his own to receive righteousness; by following in the ways of man. But as Christ puts it in Matthew 11:28-30,

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

            So, as we continue on in this service and throughout the rest of our week, let us not forget the many sacrifices that have been given for the freedom that we enjoy.  The men and women that have died in service for our country; the martyrs that have died for our faith; and most importantly, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as He came down from Heaven, lived as one of us, and eventually gave up His life so that we could have eternal freedom with our Lord in Heaven.

            Billy Graham once said that “We’ve always needed God from the beginning of this nation. But today we need Him especially. We’re facing a new kind of enemy, we’re involved in a new kind of warfare, and we need the help of the Spirit of God.”

            For it is the love of God and the indwelling of His Spirit that Paul wrote Romans 8:31-39, "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

            May we truly live as one nation, under God and as children of His that are only temporarily here to spread the message of His freedom.

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