The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, 2006.

"In Christ, there is freedom from bondage. Believers are no longer slaves; they are free-not through their own merit but through God's redeeming grace." Rhonda H. Kelley

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Tired, weary and heart-broken and with a lot on my mind before going to bed one evening, I said a prayer to God asking Him to get me through all that was before me. There were things that had happened in recent days that even I was questioning God and asking Him a lot of why questions.  I continued to mumble and talk to God as I drifted off to sleep.

During the night, I heard a hymn being sung. This song being sung was so audible that I would have thought Jim was singing right in my ear but it was not him singing nor was this beautiful serenade outside my head. This song was being sung inside my head. It was the most beautiful sounding voice I have ever heard to the point I simply cannot describe this voice singing to me. I don’t even remember dreaming anything before hearing this voice but as I laid there a sense of peace came over me.  My questioning of “why” to God seemed no longer necessary. The song being sung to me was one of my favorite songs by Chris Tomlin, Amazing Grace My Chains Are Gone.’ A song representing freedom from bondage.

As I had gone to bed that evening, one of my questions to God was why my son’s best friend was taken so soon. I had told God it was not fair. Josh was young and had so much before him. But, when I awoke from this serenade,  I knew Josh was set free from all the earthly bandages.  Josh was in his eternal home where he had received the ultimate prize  and freedom.

This Monday, we will celebrate the Fourth of July. It is a day set aside to celebrate our freedom. In July, 1776, the people of what is now called the United States of America, declared their freedom from England. After a long hard battle of fighting, America was set free and became its own independent country. But, not everyone was free. Slavery was a very big issue in our country which eventually divided our country. Civil War broke out between the North and the South but, eventually an agreement came to be and the slaves were set free.

Along with becoming an independent country, freeing those in the bandages of slavery, a brave man named Martin Luther King made his mark in history. He pursued equal rights and opportunities for everyone. In his famous speech, he says ‘free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty we are free at last.” Sadly, he did not live to see his dream become a reality.

Men and women have signed up for military duty to protect our freedom. They sacrifice time away from their families, and their lives so that we may remain free and so that each person has opportunity in life. Not only do they sacrifice their lives and time, but their families also sacrifice for their loved ones to be gone to serve and protect our freedom and the freedom and rights of others.

Then, there is the ultimate sacrifice of freedom where ALL of our chains of earthly bondage are broken. This ultimate sacrifice is our Lord, Jesus Christ being nailed on a cross so that we may be set free from all our sin and things that put us in bondage. It is difficult to be in true relationship with God when we are bound by sin and with the worldly things that enslave us.  Yet, when we invest in a relationship with Christ, we experience our chains being broken and God’s ultimate grace.

Freedom is what we will celebrate on the Fourth of July. As you celebrate this freedom with picnics, fireworks and special time with friends and family, celebrate your freedom in Christ. For, there will be a day when each one of us, will receive the ultimate freedom and all earthly chains will fall off of us. May each one of us enter the gates of heaven saying “free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, I am free at last.”  Until then, carry these words in your mind and heart:

Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)

Amazing grace

How sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me

I once was lost but now I’m found

Was blind, but now I see

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear

And grace my fears relieved

How precious did that grace appear

The hour I first believed

My chains are gone

I’ve been set free

My God, my Savior has ransomed me

And like a flood His mercy rains

Unending love, Amazing grace

The Lord has promised good to me

His word my hope secures

He will my shield and portion by

As long as life endures

My chains are gone

I’ve been set free

My God, my Savior has ransomed me

And like a flood His mercy rains

Unending love, Amazing grace

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow

The forbear to shine

But God, Who called me here below

Will be forever mine

Will be forever mine

YOU are forever mine

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1

I encourage you to give God what has you bond from enjoying the life He has given you. Then, experience His grace and freedom.

Blessings

 

 

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