What Does Freedom Mean to You?

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The Fourth of July is right around the corner, a holiday that is dedicated to, in a word, FREEDOM. Freedom from tyranny. Freedom from taxation without representation. Freedom from government intrusion in our religion. Freedom of expression. Freedom of speech. Freedom to be stupid when we want to.

Over 200 years ago, our forefathers wrote, presented, accepted, and signed the Declaration of Independence, effectively setting the stage for the greatest Nation on earth to rise. But that freedom came at a high cost during the Revolutionary War. In fact, all freedom comes at a cost.

For example, as Christians, we have been given freedom through Christ – a freedom that came at the cost of the cross. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice so that that you and I could be restored to a right relationship with God. And when we say yes to this incredible freedom from the power of sin, freedom from death through Christ Jesus our Lord – it comes at the cost of no longer serving ourselves and our sinful desires.

“We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin… When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the obligation to do right. And what was the result? You are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6: 6-7, 20-23

Our country, a nation built on the value of freedom, is a mess… but not for the reason you think. It’s largely a mess because many of those who call themselves “Christians” have chosen to live in freedom from the obligation to do right and freedom to pursue self-interest under the guise of the “American Dream,” rather than in Jesus’ freedom. They have chosen to live encumbered by debt, burdened by massive amounts of stuff, and enslaved to the pursuit of promotions and status symbols.

But here’s the thing, when we live in the freedom of the “America Dream” instead of the freedom that Christ provides, everyone suffers because we choose to be free from righteousness and goodness. But when we live in the freedom that Christ provides, choosing to be free from the power of sin, everyone around us benefits.

Unfortunately, the reality is that our communities and our culture are suffering because Christ-followers are not living in the freedom and abundance of Jesus. So, ask yourself this Fourth of July weekend: What kind of freedom are you choosing? The Freedom of the American Dream? Or the Freedom of Christ? Is everybody around you benefiting from your faith in Jesus whether they believe in him or not?

If you are looking for ideas on how to live out your freedom in a way that honors God and is a powerful cultural influence both at work and at home, I encourage you to check out our new book iWork4Him. And remember, Jesus has a calling on your life – right where you are!



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