“Freedom” by Rich Pollock

“Freedom” by Rich Pollock

Come this Fourth of July, we will observe our National Day of Freedom. Many of us will have cookouts, street parties, and fireworks to commemorate our independence from England which occurred on September 3, 1783. That is the day the Treaty of Paris was signed, and the United States of America was first officially recognized by the western world. But since 1870, we have celebrated July 4th as our nations National Day of Freedom. Why? Because on this day in 1776 delegates from the thirteen colonies met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to declare their independence from King George III of England. It would take a bloody war lasting seven years to secure it. Freedom always comes with a cost.

During the Continental Congress, a document was created and signed by these delegates known as The Declaration of Independence. In that document are these words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

“Freedom”, “Liberty” and “Independence”; these words are used a lot these days in our public sector but what do they really mean? Are there any limits or restrictions for these concepts to work in any given society?

When Moses led the enslaved Hebrew people out of bondage in Egypt and into the wilderness these people experienced a freedom that they had not known for generations. But before they could become the free nation of Israel, they had to receive a set of laws, what we now call the Ten Commandments. This meant their freedom had to be limited for them to live in harmony and peace with each other and with their God.

Generations later a man from Nazareth by the name of Jesus appears and preaches in the synagogue from the prophet Isaiah and says, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19).

This freedom that Jesus offered came with a cost, His own death upon a cross. But if Jesus sets you free, you will be free indeed. For He said, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So, if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:34-36).

Are you a part of God’s forever family? Have you acknowledged Jesus as your Savior? Jesus says, “Behold I stand at the door (of your heart) and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me” (Rev. 3:20). If you have not invited Jesus into your life, I invite you to do so now and experience the true freedom found only in Christ. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Gal. 5:1).

Happy Holiday in your newfound freedom!