Why are we celebrating this July 4th?
Many of us get together because we like to party and enjoy fireworks. Nevertheless, there is more about the 4th of July that we often forget. This day marked the point in time when our nation declared itself free from bondage to another nation. We the people of the United States stood up to those who were oppressing us and won our freedom.
...but are we really free?
Bondage or Freedom?
Today moral corruption threatens our freedom and ability to enjoy life. It is dividing our nation, friendships, families, and even our own minds. This enemy is hidden and lies within each of our hearts. A wise man once wrote, “Within us dwells no good thing.” We the people are corrupt and enjoy many things that God hates. We have stopped trusting God and started plugging our ears with countless things: Hollywood, Sports, American Idol, Facebook, UFC, Wall Street, ESPN, Drugs, Drunkenness, Anti Depressants, Jobs, Porn, Money, Strip Clubs, Endless Concerts, Dance Clubs, Fox News, Blockbuster, Dish Network, Texting, Nascar, Politics, Religion, YouTube, and so on... As a result, this corruption within us is dominating our lives and causing us to get impatient, fight with those we love, and slide into depression. This bondage to corruption is evidence that we don’t really trust in God or believe what He said.
Is there a way out?
Many among us have accepted this corruption as a way of life and have not understood its devastation. Nevertheless, Jesus (the Son of God) says, “I tell you the solemn truth, everyone who practices sin is a slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the family forever, but the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:34-36). Jesus can set us free from the corruption of sin within our hearts, but we must obediently follow Him. Jesus explains this when He said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his soul will lose it, but whoever loses his soul for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits his soul?” (Luke 9:23-25) If we don’t turn from our selfish sinful lifestyle to obedience in following Jesus, it will cause us devastation not only in this life, but also when our soul is eternally locked in the lake of fire.
There is Hope!
We need not live in bondage, constantly sinning because of our corruption, nor must we burn in the lake of fire when we die. God deeply cares about us (and our nation) and has provided a way out of our mess. He did this by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for our sins by having Him die in our place. Nevertheless, God also raised His Son back to life so that He can lead us to victory over the corruption within our hearts. By believing what Jesus did for us and obediently following His leading we can be completely saved from sin (Matthew 1:21).
Don’t settle for any bondage this 4th of July, but count the cost of exchanging your life of self indulgence for a life of joy, peace, and freedom. Turn from sin and God will forgive you. He will change your desires so that you will enjoy pleasing Him and He will put His Spirit within you. You can walk in the freedom from sin which God has provided for you!