Excellent or Praiseworthy is posted on Monday and Thursday nights.
Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. —John 8:36
I opened my email one morning and read a message from a sweet military wife whose husband was in Afghanistan. She had been reading postings on Excellent or Praiseworthy, and was grateful for the encouragement. Then she closed her comment with, “I’m so thankful for America, a free country that allows me to know what true freedom is in Christ!”
Afterwards, I picked-up the morning newspaper and saw a pastor’s column in the “Living” section which was entitled, “True Independence is with Jesus Christ.” Beautifully written, he shared, “My real independence day was July 5, 1993. It was the day that I truly invited Jesus Christ into my heart and pledged to live the rest of my life honoring him. I was raised in church, but wasn’t free. July 5, 1993, was the day my Lord took away the guilt of my past and encouraged me to look toward my future. . . .Since that day, I discovered that real freedom is not allowing sin to dominate my life any longer. Real freedom is knowing and pursuing my God-given purpose while I live on this Earth. . . . Today, I plan to celebrate the holiday with family and friends . . . . but I won’t just be celebrating our country’s freedom. I will also celebrate Jesus freeing me from my past, my sins, my own selfish ways, the opinions of others and so much more. There is nothing like freedom in Christ. That’s what true independence is all about.” Rev. Kevin Swann, The Daily Press, July 4, 2010, p. 5.
But that wasn’t all—I next opened “Facebook,” just to see what had happened overnight. There was a posting from a Guard chaplain which read, “Great message heard at church (must have been at the EARLY service!). Pastor said real FREEDOM is found in Jesus Christ. I say, AMEN! No matter what happens in the world, everlasting freedom is given to those who have trusted in Jesus Christ as Lord and Master.”
Yep, I got the message! Three timely reminders, lest I forget on this holiday celebrating our blessed nation’s birthday, that true freedom is found in Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ alone. What a gift of grace from our Heavenly Father who gave His Son, that we might be truly free:
“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.’” — John 8:32
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” — II Corinthians 3:17
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” —Galatians 5:1
“To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve His God and Father—to Him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.” —Revelation 1:5,6
Questions to Share:
1. What 4th of July celebrations do you remember from the past?
2. Share with your spouse your testimony of when you were set free from the bonds of sin by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. If you have not made that decision, join with Pastor Swann and make today your personal independence day. Go to How To Know God.