On July 4th: True and Lasting Freedom(s)

     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 slavery. Gal. 5:1 

Lord Jesus, it’s the Fourth of July—a holiday set aside to remember and revel in the freedom we enjoy as citizens of America. As broken as she is, we’re still thankful for our country and for the privileges we enjoy.

But the gratitude we feel for our USA citizenship pales in comparison with 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 and eternal liberty.

Indeed, Jesus, only those you set free are really free (John 8:36). You took our guilt and gave us your righteousness. We’re no longer condemned for our sin or in fear of death. Hallelujah! Sin’s dominion has been broken in our lives; never again will it be our master (Rom. 6:14). We obey you because we love you—not because of pride, pressure, or pragmatics. Holiness is beautiful, and no longer a burden.

We get to run freely and boldly to the throne of grace—into your holy presence, where we only experience your welcome and joy. We’re free to own our sin and brokenness, and to repent with joy, for you bore our shame and we don’t have to pose or pretend anymore. Three Hallelujahs, for that!

You’ve set us free from seeking fool’s gold and a fool’s reward, by making us characters in, and carriers of, your story. Our tiny fiefdoms of self have been crushed under the grace of your all-things-new kingdom. We’re now free to love others as you love us—forgiving and forbearing, encouraging and hoping. Take us WAY deeper into this particular freedom, Jesus.

By the power of the gospel, we will seek to stand firm in these and the many more freedoms you’ve won for us, until the Day you return to usher in the new heaven and new earth. So very Amen we pray, in your liberating and loving name.