What does the 4th of July mean to you? Is it hotdogs, hamburgers, watermelon, corn on the cob and fireworks? It is all that and much more! I have fond memories of fireworks on the 4th with my family growing up and then later with my own kids. One of my favorite memories is of a 4th spent in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. There was a huge parade with local bands, clowns, floats, popcorn and plenty of fireworks after dark. Another year we were in Bay City, Michigan where they had a gigantic fireworks program that lasted at least 45 minutes!! But, the most memorable 4th was one I spent with my kids on Maui, Hawaii. We had to wait a long time for our dinner reservations and thought we’d miss the fireworks. Little did we know that the display that evening was right off the harbor adjacent to our table in the restaurant. It was spectacular. I am smiling as I write just thinking about these fun times.
But the 4th is about a lot more than fun! Men and women gave their lives for our freedom. The founding fathers were wise and turned to God for guidance as they drafted our Constitution. They knew that a nation based on faith in God and his protection is the strongest you can have. What happened to those ideals? Why have we allowed ourselves to wander so far from His foundation? I would say that the drifting is caused by people turning away from His truth and ideals. As people seek their own gain and put on hold or ignore their own spiritual growth- the person and then the nation drifts away from God. John 8:31-32 says, “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'” and 8:36 “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” If you seek true freedom this 4th, look to Jesus. As he frees us from the power of sin, we are able to live for Him and can boldly effect our nation.
Happy 4th May you find true freedom in Christ.