A special note from Chris Shannon, U.S. Marine, on this July 4th week.
As a young boy, growing up in rural northern Illinois farm country, celebrating America’s independence on July 4th has always been my favorite national observance for two reasons. First, I am a red, white and blue American patriot who loves this land. And second, both of my grandfathers were born on this day. They lived in the same small town less than one mile from each other. Their town of Paw Paw, Illinois, celebrated this day like one big, patriotic, America-loving family.
America’s freedom came by those desiring autonomy and independence from a tyrannical king and his oppressive government. America, New England, as we know it, began as east coast, North American British colonial settlements, with populations controlled by King George III. But the colonists knew and believed in a better way, a way of life, freedom, and prosperity for all. We all enjoy the many fruits of our American independence, a freedom paid for by the lives and blood of loyal American patriots. And the freedom that we enjoy in America today came from those willing to lay down their lives.
Yet, there is a higher freedom; a more noble and eternal freedom that Jesus Christ imparts to those who place their faith in Him. Our Christian freedom, and rapidly approaching eternity in heaven, comes by a confessed dependence on our Savior, Jesus Christ. Many in this world worship an ill-contrived self-dependence, believing they are independent of all that God has created for mankind. But all things, all life, is possible only because of Almighty God. The air we breathe, with just the right ratio of oxygen to nitrogen, consumable water, not yet found on any other planet, and food sources ready for consumption, are all compelling facts that point to our physical dependence on the earthly systems that He created. And just as our physical needs depend on God, so must our eternal needs depend on Christ Jesus and His atoning work on the cross, which is God’s divine rescue plan to s save a sinful world incapable of meeting the requirements of the Mosaic Law. Because of Christ, we are saved.
Our founding fathers knew that our Creator had given to us certain inalienable rights. Most of them believed and knew that “He who the Son sets free, is free indeed.” Our salvation is founded upon the atonement Christ Jesus made for our sins through His death on the cross.
So, this July 4th, take a moment to celebrate our independence from sin through our dependence on Christ!