Author: Beth
•Monday, July 04, 2011


It was on the mind of the fathers who founded this country on “reliance of divine Providence” and pledged their “lives, fortunes, and sacred honor” for the cause of free and independent states. It was the whispered word of every slave who broke free from their iron shackles and followed the North Star. It is the rallying cry for every soldier who wears the flag as they fight to end terror for the love of God and country.

Today, on this 4th of July, my fellow Americans and I are welling up with patriotism and thanking God for freedom. Even as broken and needy as she is, we still enjoy liberty and privileges as citizens of the United States that are unparalleled by anywhere else in the world.

Today, my heart is also thinking about what it means to be REALLY free… in a way so much deeper than political or national sentiments.

This past year, I’ve seen dear loved ones taken home from this earth and from their battles with cancer to live with Jesus. I’ve seen new countries go through birth pangs, and thought of the dear friends left there who have the light of Jesus Christ in their eyes. I’ve seen struggles with sin that have been overwhelming and victories through Jesus that have been glorious. I’ve come to grips with some of the deepest places of my own heart and am learning to cling more closely to the light of the gospel.

So, today, I’m thanking Jesus even more so for this kind of freedom, and echoing the following words from the depths of my own heart:

Indeed, to be set free by you, Jesus, is to be really free (John 8:36). We praise you for freedom from the demands of the law and the paralyzing guilt of our sin, for you took our place on the cross, exhausting the judgment we deserve. We praise you for freedom over the insidious power of sin, for you’ve broken its dehumanizing dominion in our lives. We praise you for freedom from the ever-present fear of death, for you domesticated its sting and pillaged the grave of its victory.

We praise you for freedom to obey God from our hearts, no longer out of pride, pragmatics, or pretense. We praise you for the freedom to come boldly to the throne of grace—into the eternal Holy of Holies, for you’ve secured this “new and living way” for us. We praise you for the freedom of repentance, for you’ve borne our shame and we don’t have to pretend or pose anymore. We praise you for the freedom to take gospel-risks, instead of rusting away the rest of our lives in self-protection and self-indulgence. For life is no longer about our performance, but your praise; not about our security, but your glory; not about saving face, but saving grace.

Jesus, by the power of the gospel, we’ll seek to stand firm in these and many more freedoms you’ve won for us. And in those moments (regretfully, sometimes longer) when we’re seduced back under the joy-robbing yoke of legalism or other demeaning slaveries, restore us quickly to gospel-sanity. Hallelujah, what a Savior you are! Hallelujah, what a salvation you freely give us! So very Amen we pray, your liberating and loving name.

- "A Prayer for Standing Firm in Gospel Freedom" by Pastor Scotty Smith

Let true freedom ring in the hearts of every blood-bought child of the living God and in every corner of His Kingdom throughout this world.