Every year, we take time to honor our military, both fallen and living. What a tremendous work they do. They protect our country at all costs, both abroad and at home. They leave family and loved ones behind to take on the task of protecting the liberties we all enjoy; liberties like freedom of speech, freedom of religion and the ability to be whatever one wants to be. Sadly, some of these soldiers never return and some never get to see their children born while they were away; they pay the price for freedom with their very lives.
We need to express gratitude more often than once a year for the freedom we enjoy. Due to the freedom they have secured, we are able to gather freely whenever and wherever to worship God without fear of intimidation or persecution from government and unbelievers. Christians in other countries don’t have this kind of luxury. They are persecuted constantly and tortured for their faith. As we enjoy our freedom, let’s remember to pray for Christians in hostile environments that they will continue to stand firm, that they will be strengthened and encouraged and that through their testimonies their persecutors will come to know the living Savior.
Although we are a free nation, it cost something for us to be free and for us to remain free. There are people who cannot accept the fact that we are free; they are always looking for ways and means to sabotage our freedom. That is why our military is always on the defensive, always ready to fight to ensure that we remain free.
Likewise, Christians have been freed from sin, not by our own doing, but by grace to serve the living God. Our freedom cost God something! It cost Him the blood of His only begotten Son Jesus. To those who are freed, freedom is free, but to the One who paid the price, it is extremely expensive. Freedom therefore is not free at all.
So what have we been freed to do? We have been freed to live godly lives to the glory of God and to point others in the direction of the cross so they can be freed as well. We have been freed to worship and serve God. We have been freed to serve one another in love, not indulging our sinful nature (see Galatians 5:13).
Just as other nations can’t stand the freedom we enjoy, the devil cannot stand the Christian’s freedom in Christ. He does all he can to re-enslave us from the very things we’ve been freed from and a whole lot more. Even though we are free we need to fight to stay free; by resisting him through the word and prayer and not yielding when he tempts us. We need to be vigilant because, “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8 NIV).
Let’s keep our armor on 24/7. “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground” (Ephesians 6:13 NIV).
MEMORIZE: “Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God” (1 Peter 2:16 NIV).