The 4th of July, and Our True and Lasting Freedom(s)

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     It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slaveryGal. 5:1 

Lord Jesus, it’s the Fourth of July—a holiday set aside in the USA to remember the freedom we enjoy as citizens. As broken, divided, and conflicted as she is, we remain grateful for the privileges we enjoy.

But the gratitude we feel for our citizenship here pales in comparison to the joy generated by our citizenship in heaven (Phil 3:20). We praise you today for making us members of the “chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession“(1 Pet. 2:9). This is our true and lasting identity—our consummate passport, lasting City, and eternal liberty. Continue to free us from all nationalism, tribalism, racism, and other “ism’s” that contradict the gospel.

Only those you set free are really free (John 8:36), Lord Jesus. You took our guilt and gave us your righteousness. We’re free from all condemnation (Rom. 8:1) and the fear of death (Heb. 2:15). Sin’s dominion has been broken in our lives (Rom. 6:14) and one Day will be eradicated from our lives (1Jn.3:1-13). We now obey you because we love you (Jn. 14:15-17)—not because of pride, fear, or pragmatics.

We can run freely and boldly to the throne of grace anytime we want, where we always experience your welcome and joy. We’re free from our posing and pretending—free to own our sin and brokenness, and free to repent with joy and grow with hope.

Our tiny fiefdoms of self-preoccupation and personal glory have been crushed under the grace of your all-things-new Kingdom. We now live as characters in and carriers of your story of redemption and restoration. We’re getting freer to love others as you love us—forgiving and forbearing, encouraging and serving.

By the truth and power of the gospel, free us even more, Lord Jesus. For surely, none of us are as free as you joyfully and fully intend. So very Amen we pray, in your liberating and loving name.

 

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