"So if the Son [Jesus, the Son of God] sets you free, you will be free indeed."1
Tomorrow in the U.S.A. is Independence Day, the day Americans celebrate the birthday of the United States of America. Founded July 4th, 1776, with the signing of the Declaration of Independence, America is celebrating its 233rd birthday this year (2009).
"The American Revolution ended a couple of centuries of British rule over most of the North American colonies and laid the foundation of the present United States of America. After the Revolution, the constitution of the United States of America was drafted and ratified. On the anniversary of that day, the new nation declared its citizens rights to 'Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.'"2
Sad to say, however, so many people worldwide don't enjoy the freedoms that many of us do, not only in the U.S.A., but also in other free lands around the world.
Today, let those of us who live in free lands especially remember our brothers and sisters who live in lands where there is no freedom and great persecution—especially for Christians and those who reject the religion of their state.
I am also reminded today of the words written on the wall of a Nazi prison during the Holocaust.
I believe in the sun
even when it isn't shining.
I believe in love
even when I am alone.
I believe in God
even when he is silent.
And let us thank God that, no matter where we live, while men may be able to control our external reality, they have no power to control our inner reality—our faith, our beliefs, nor the destiny of our soul. That alone is our choice. However, may we who have chosen to trust in God through Jesus Christ our Savior do all in our power to share God's great news of salvation to all people—everywhere. And let us pray that every person in the world will hear or read the gospel that, via the electronic media, can reach into many places where preaching the gospel and message of Jesus Christ is forbidden.
And in hearing the gospel, may God grant that every person in the world will at least have the opportunity to celebrate independence in their heart.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, today I especially pray for my brothers and sisters in lands that are not free, where they are being persecuted for their faith—or their lack of faith in the coerced religion of their land. Grant that they will know independence in their heart and the greatest freedom of all in knowing Jesus as their Lord and Savior. And thank You forever for the fact that somebody shared the gospel with me and that I thus had the opportunity to place my trust in You. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."
1. John 8:36 (NIV).