Freedom and Gratitude
"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends."1
Today is a day of celebration for U.S. citizens—the day when each year they celebrate their independence as a nation. For those who live in the U.S.A. let us not forget that our independence was bought with a price—the price of blood on the battlefields. Thousands of men, supported by wives, mothers and sisters, fathers and brothers, fought for our freedom, multiplied thousands of whom gave their lives in the process.
No nation in world history has experienced more freedoms, privileges, and opportunities. This nation was founded and built on a solid foundation of liberty and justice for all with a firm belief and trust in God.
Today, however, too many of us are taking our freedom for granted and have forgotten that the "price of freedom is still eternal vigilance;"2 not only militarily, but perhaps even more important, morally. Too many are confusing liberty with license and are wanting personal freedom without personal responsibility and accountability—not realizing that they are being enslaved by their own passions and selfish desires which will erode the very foundation upon which this nation was built quicker than anything else.
For all of us who live in a free country may we ever be thankful to those who gave their lives to give us our freedom and independence and may we guard these freedoms with our lives. And may we also be ever thankful to God for the gift of his Son who died so we could be eternally free and for the wonderful privilege that we can serve him with our lives. And may we never ever forget that "blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord."3
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, for those of us who live in a free country we give you our never-ending thanks. May we never take our freedom for granted but guard it zealously. And we pray for those people who are enslaved by despot leaders, who are imprisoned and tortured for their Christian faith, and for all who know nothing of freedom—and we especially pray that the gospel will go forth in spite of their situation. And grant that those who belong to you will have peace in the midst of their circumstances and be kept from all harm and danger. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."
1. John 15:13 (NIV).
2. Thomas Jefferson.
3. Psalm 33:12 (NIV).