“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32
How privileged we are to live as free citizens in the United States of America! Sure, many other countries around the world enjoy freedoms (including those inspired by America’s example to adopt a culture of liberty). But we Americans especially relish personal freedoms that our founding fathers had the foresight to establish and protect for our generation today.
Yet even today, there are dark corners of our globe where people live under tyranny. Communist régimes still oppress and deny free speech, free expression of faith, prosperity, and other choices. I’ve seen it…I’ve witnessed firsthand the dismal after-effects of Soviet socialism up close in Siberia.
Every time I travel abroad and set foot again on American soil, I remember the blessing and privilege of living here. Every time I put the Stars and Stripes out on our porch, I remember the privilege of flying our flag and honor the people who sacrificed their lives so I could live in freedom. What we have here is a precious and delicate privilege that must be carefully cultivated and preserved, as author Eric Metaxas outlines in his book, “If You Can Keep It.”
“So it is genuinely urgent that we understand where we are and that we do all we can to make sure that we do not let this flame of ordered liberty given to us by the founders go out,” Metaxas writes. “We must do it not just for our own sake but also for the sake of all those waiting for us to light their candles, so to speak.”*
This Fourth of July, celebrate your freedom humbly before God on your knees in gratitude and then boldly in displaying the American flag. Ask God to keep America strong and free. And thank Him for the privilege you have in Jesus Christ, whose truth will set you free indeed!
Thank You, O God, for the people—our forefathers, our government leaders, our armed forces—who established, maintain, and protect the freedoms we enjoy every day. Please continue to bless our nation with peace and strength. Set free from bondage those who live in captivity–as slaves, in sexual trafficking, as prisoners due to their faith–that they may live in Your freedom. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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*Eric Metaxas, If You Can Keep It: The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty (New York: Viking, 2016), p. 15.