30/06/2021 by Rev Doug Walker 0 Comments
As seen in the Village Voice and HEARTbeat
Freedom takes on a lot of different meanings as we go through the year. But during this time of Summer, we begin to think about the meaning behind freedom relative to the founding of our country.
The foundations of America were set by the Pilgrims by way of religious freedom. They were seeking a place where they could worship God without persecution from others. They found it in a new land. But as more and more people began to come to the new world, the more England tightened its grip. Groups saw tyranny of oppression reaching across the ocean, and the same oppression which caused the early settlers to flee England. Thus began the movement to become a new nation and declare our freedom from England, which didn’t set well with them.
Many lives were lost in the effort to become free. Great Britain tried every way possible to maintain control of the colonies. In the end our new country won its freedom and the greatest country on earth was born.
There are some people who say there is a way to Heaven just by being kind to people. The Apostle Paul would call this faith by works. It doesn’t matter how much you work or how good a person you must be, there is only one way to eternal life, and that is through Jesus Christ.
A very wise and accomplished person approached Jesus and asked Him about entering the kingdom of Heaven. Jesus flatly told him you have to love God more than money, prestige, notoriety, or fame. Jesus also told him he must be born again, that is his spirit must be brought to life. Although somewhat confused, Nicodemus finally got it eventually.
There are a lot of people in our great nation who enjoy freedoms – freedom to slander, freedom to riot, and freedom to protest many things. Others may enjoy the freedoms offered them through notoriety or great wealth. Some exercise their freedom to just hate others who don’t look like them. Sad as these may be, we should not be seeking this kind of freedom only offered by this world.
Sin entered this world ages ago and has made us all prisoners to it. We cannot be freed from the sin of this world until we accept the One who paid a price so we can be free. I cannot think of a sadder occasion as to live according to the glamour and hatred of this world, and then eventually die in it.
Jesus paid the price so we can all be free from the sin of this world and be made new and have eternal life. This is the only way we can enter Heaven. Nicodemus heard Jesus say it, and it’s the same message today: You must be born again.
As we enjoy the hot dogs, homemade ice cream, and the freedoms to go and do as we please, remember they are only as short as our life. We must choose the freedom only Jesus offers for us to be truly free. When we do, we will be free indeed!