What Is True Freedom?

Read This: “Then Jesus said to those Judeans who had believed him, ‘If you continue to follow my teaching, you are really my disciples and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” (John 8:31-32)

Think: As Americans, we have the awesome privilege of living in a free country. We are free to openly disagree with our political leaders. Men and women alike are able to receive an education through high school, whereas in many developing countries basic skills like reading and writing aren’t taught in public schools. We are free to feel safe in most neighborhoods because laws are enforced to keep crime at bay. And of course, we are free to build churches and temples to worship according to our own convictions.

Our country was founded by a group of people who risked everything for the integrity and freedom of the Gospel. The powerful testimony of the pilgrims and their journey sometimes gets lost in the history books. These were God fearing families who refused to compromise the truth of God’s word and decided to set themselves apart so they could study and practice the Bible. They left their material possessions, their friends, and their country in search of a place they could worship God freely. Their plans for escape were thwarted several times before they ever left Europe. For many, the journey to freedom cost them their lives and their children’s lives, but they persevered through years of hardship because God had given them a dream of freedom.

We reap the blessings of their unwavering obedience and enjoy freedom and prosperity foreign to much of the world. But the truth is that living in a free country doesn’t make us free in God’s eyes. Christ is the only one who has the power to set our hearts free from “every weight and the sin that clings so closely” (Heb. 12:1). Through Christ we have freedom from guilt, shame, bitterness, hate, selfishness, and anger. Instead we are free to forgive, love unconditionally, and live peacefully in the midst of chaos. The truth of God is the most precious freedom there is.

Ask: As we celebrate America’s freedom, ask what you are willing to risk to bring freedom to someone enslaved in spiritual darkness?

Pray: The pilgrims had a vision for America. Spend time thanking God for the remnants of what they began, and praying for the church as a whole to continue to strive to be a people set apart for the Lord.