Today, as those of us in the United States celebrate the birth of our nation, there will be an exuberant air. Backyard picnics will bear witness to plates piled high with fried chicken or barbecue, corn on the cob and potato salad, while homemade ice cream or strawberry shortcake will be spooned from bowls. Families will gather from near—perhaps even far—and kids will run barefoot atop green grass. In the heart of cities and across the country, flags will billow and concerts will sound the songs of patriotism, all beneath the banner of freedom.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? And man it is. Because freedom … freedom is always worth celebrating!
But there are some who will be celebrating today for whom true freedom is elusive. There are hurts that bind; addictions that enslave; circumstances that imprison. Perhaps those people are standing among you; perhaps it’s you. Perhaps you wave the banner of patriotism and paint a smile upon your face, but the deep-down honest truth is that there are chains binding your soul.
These and so much more put chains on the soul that can enslave in the most suffocating way, choking out oxygen and masking the light until freedom becomes nothing more than an elusive hope.
But on this day that we celebrate national freedom, I have good news of eternal freedom!
“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.”
– Galatians 5:1
Galatians has been called “The Manifesto of Christian Liberty,” but this isn’t the only book where you’ll hear chains dropping off. Because beginning to end, the Bible tells of captives being set free by the God who created freedom. Noah set adrift upon the waters, Isaac spared from the altar, the nation of Israel freed from Egypt, Daniel saved from the lion’s den, Paul and Silas liberated from prison, the leper released from illness, the blind man rescued from darkness, and sinners everywhere—you and me—washed and saved by the blood of Christ on the cross.
Christ came so that we might have restoration, liberation, salvation. It was his stretched-wide, blood-stained hands that paid the price for our freedom. His sacrifice, sufficient for all who believe, releases chains, washes stains and covers our sin with amazing, unfathomable grace. When we’re washed by the blood, we emerge a new creation, no longer bound by the old trappings of the flesh.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
– 2 Corinthians 5:17
So today, as we wave the banner of freedom over this country, know that there’s also a banner over your heart: it’s a banner of rescue, redemption, freedom, purchased for you by the blood of Christ.
If you’re bound by the chains of addiction, loss or regrets, if mistakes haunt you and habits enslave you, this message is for you. It’s for you and for me; it’s for today and for always.
Chains release, slaves are free, bonds break … all at the foot of the cross.
Christ has put it all to death; it’s done. So leave it there! Drop the yoke from your shoulders, surrender the burden, unload the baggage. And pick up instead His banner of redemption, salvation, liberation.
That’s a freedom worth celebrating, friends, not just for today, but for an eternity!
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
– John 8:36
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