Sunday, May 25, 2014

Freedom Isn't Free

On Memorial Day, we take the time to pay respects to those who have fought for us and all of our freedoms. Those men and women who have lost their lives for our nation deserve the utmost respect for their sacrifices.

Our Lord said, “Greater love has no man than this, than to lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

Jesus understood this better than anyone. He did just what He stated in the verse above. He loved everyone in the world so much, that He was willing to die for us.

At the beginning of our nation, our founding fathers fought to be free from a government which sought to control everyone. Jesus fought spiritually for us to be free from Satan’s oppression of sin—if we choose to love and obey him. (Romans 6:7-9)

His sacrifice was so great that He claimed the ultimate victory over sin (Romans 6:8-10). While the victor has been declared, all humanity now has a choice which side they will choose: the winning side, or the losing side. There is no middle ground to stand on, or fence to straddle. These belong to Satan.

For us to be free, we must make a choice. The Christian life requires sacrificing those things that hurt God. Do we want God in our lives to the point that we’re willing to do whatever He asks? Because that is what it takes! (John 14:15, 21-24, Matthew 10:37-40)

The world so often pushes things that we deem important, but in view of eternity, mean very little: love (romantic), money, jobs, social status, and sex. Not to say that any of these things are necessarily bad in and of themselves, but are we using them in the way God intended us to have them?  Also, just because we want these things, doesn’t mean we should have them. That is what gets people in trouble spiritually-people think they are entitled to something and so therefore they do anything they can to get it.

On the warfront physically, and spiritually, you’re not entitled to anything. As a matter of fact, for soldiers to be victorious, they must remove all selfishness and realize that the cause is much bigger than them.

“Finally, my brethren, put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against principalities, against powers, but against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the Gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication for all the saints…” –Ephesians 6:10-18

It’s not about us. It’s about God, and sharing His message of salvation to mankind (Mark 16:15). Just as a soldier in a war, we as Christians must learn that God has given us a great task to fight for and to endure, no matter what happens (Revelation 2:10, 1st Timothy 6:12). There may be times when we may be afraid or be uncertain of what to do, but God will always fight with us and give us strength (Exodus 14:14, Philippians 4:13, 2nd Corinthians 12:9-10).

The truth is, freedom isn’t free. It isn’t free because to gain freedom, we must realize that we need to put away selfishness and pride to obtain it. Whether it is our freedom we have in our nation, or that we have in Christ, we must realize that freedom for both came with a price. We must never forget that.

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