Written By: Ryan Walters
As a Christian, I am so grateful for the religious freedom I have in this country that was made possible by forefathers of this nation and hundreds of thousands of American soldiers who gave their lives: the ultimate sacrifice. I’d hope that my fellow brothers and sisters in faith would recognize we face nothing of the sort of persecution and execution that is occurring outside the borders of the United States especially in light of the times we’re now living in as each day we’re enlightened of a new strike by ISIS & other terrorist or radical organizations.
I also must acknowledge both sides of the coin on this day. I remember that my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, provided my spiritual freedom- my access to the God in heaven– 2015 years ago when He paid the ultimate penalty for my transgressions on a cross. I cannot fail to recognize the utmost, desperate need of my polluted and blackened heart to be cleansed of all iniquity; to be made right in the sight of God.
More compelling than the story of being offered freedom of religious speech and practice is the story of being offered the free gift of salvation. The opportunity to play a role in the grandest story mankind will ever know. The metanarrative of the Son of God, told throughout scripture, who is restoring and redeeming this world while sitting on His rightful throne. The Shepherd who never blinks an eye, missing a single detail of our lives. He’s gathering His herd by seeking out the lost, the devastated, the incomplete, the impoverished, the rejected and the proud. He does this out of an unconditional love. A love that MLK knew was the only solution to ever drive out the hatred of this bitter world.
Love, the definition of our Creator-this too, I am grateful for on this day remembering our independence and freedom.
Galatians 5:1: “For freedom Christ has set us free.”
2 Corinthians 3:17: “…where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
Romans 8:2: “For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”
Galatians 5:13: “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
Romans 6:6-7: “We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin.”