Today across America banks are closed, the mail is not delivered, there are a few who work in an office that is closed for this national holiday. We take this day once a year to give honor to those who have served, or are serving in our armed forces. Men and women who lay their lives on the line daily to provide freedom for our nation. How thankful I am for those soldiers. Some time back my wife and I were in Washington, D.C on a whirlwind trip and had the opportunity to walk through Arlington cemetery. While there we stood at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier and watched with others the changing of the guard. Impressive it was yet sobering because the price for freedom is costly. I salute those brave men and women and say a loud THANK YOU!!!!!
When I think of the freedom you and I have my mind races to a verse in which Paul told a group of believers in the city of Galatia to enjoy the freedom they have in Jesus Christ.I love The Message translation of Galatians 5:1 where the scripture states this, “Christ has set us free to livea free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you”.As a nation we will never allow anyone to harness us. We will never submit to another nation to puts its yoke of bondage in our lives. Yet, why do we allow the very thing we would not permit as a nation, in the body of Christ?
I am shocked at the many joyless believers in the church world. It is not a crime, honestly. Hang on, I’m not getting critical, just observant. Our hearts may be right, but our countenance is a completely different story. Following our morning worship service on Sunday my wife and decided to go to a restaurant for lunch instead of cooking at home. Walking in behind us was a group of people who you knew were “church” folk. Honestly, they had the saddest looking faces I think I have ever seen. No joy. Just that outward sign that they were not “worldly”, whatever that means.I can assure you that whatever it was they had, I did not want any part of it. And most of the world does not either. I am afraid for years we have sold a false bill of goods to the world that if you come to Jesus he takes all the fun out of your life.
Read John chapter two if you will before the day is out or the week is over, especially the first eleven verses. Contrary to popular belief Jesus liked parties. He attended one and even His disciples. I think Jewish people know how to throw a party better than anyone. Their parties are a time of celebration. They are filled with laughter, excitement, joy, happiness. Pardon me if you have a tough time with my theology, but I think at the party in Cana of Galilee Jesus is most likely the one who is cutting up. He knows the joy and freedom of the Holy Spirit that is resident within him and he does not hold back from having the time of his life. Honestly, religious folks would have had a tough time with the laughter coming forth from the Son of God.
Where did we miss it by placing so many rules on people’s lives that we cannot experience the joy of the Lord inside?Am I saying that there should not be a standard we hold up as a body of believers? Not at all. But, what I am declaring is that we ought not to confine people in such tight boxes of man-made ideas and philosophies that we dry up on the inside of our life and become sour, mean people. And believe me, religion will do just that to you.
Thank you soldiers for providing me the freedoms I have as a citizen of this country. I take my freedom seriously as an American. But, I also take my freedom as a believer serious as well. If not, Jesus died in vain. I will use my freedoms wisely in both arenas. I will walk with a spring in my step, my head held high, my shoulders square and a smile on my face, because “So if the Son liberates you [makes you free men], then you are really and unquestionably free”. (John 8:36 Amplified Version)