“…where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2nd Cor. 3:17 ESV)
In a few days, on July 4, we will celebrate Independence Day, a day set aside to commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 by the Continental Congress, whereby the thirteen colonial states declared themselves a new nation. They called the new nation The United States of America, and avowed they would no longer be a part of the British Empire.
The cost of freedom from Britain was not small. One in 20 able-bodied, white, free males died during the war: 6,800 were killed in action, 6,100 wounded, 17,000 died of disease, 20,000 were taken prisoner, and this is just a count of white American soldiers. I couldn’t find a source that quoted how many black soldiers or Native American soldiers who fought on the revolutionary side died. In addition, almost every one of the founding fathers lost most, or all, of their personal wealth funding the war.
Because of the actions of these brave men, today you and I live in a country that is free. We are not under the tyranny of a dictator. We are not under the thumb of Communism or Fascism. We are not under the dictates of kings or despots who answer to no one. We are free to elect the men and women we want to represent us in this great country of ours, and we have a say in how our country is run.
And because we live in a free country, we are able worship as we choose. Here in America we often take freedom of worship for granted. In other parts of the world Christians are not as lucky. They are forbidden by civil laws to worship, persecuted for their beliefs, and even killed for their faith.
As Christians we also have a liberty others don’t. Ours is not a liberty granted by our founding fathers or other men. But liberty only God could provide us. We have liberty from sin. This doesn’t mean we’re perfect. Far from it. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3: 23) Liberty from sin means that the Lord, Jesus Christ, has paid a price for our freedom from the punishment of sin. He has given his life to ensure we may one day live in a new world, free from the tyranny of sin and Satan’s grip.
So this July, and every day, remember to celebrate all the freedoms we have in America. Freedoms that were so dearly bought with American lives. And thank the Father above for the freedom Jesus bought us on the cross. For there is no greater sacrifice than to lay down your life for another.
May God Bless America, and you, with liberty and freedom. And I pray that you may be part of his eternal freedom in Christ Jesus, the Lord.
No Greater Sacrifice (© Catherine Hershberger 7/4/16)
About the Author:
Catherine is a member of Greendale First Church of Christ. She is also an award-winning author of sweet and inspirational romance under the pen name of Catherine Castle. Many of her devotions have appeared on various places on the internet. You can find her books on her Amazon Author page or at Barnes and Noble.