Thursday, July 4, 2013

4th of July~ Freedom

Eleven times in only four chapters, Paul used the words "rejoice" and "rejoicing." Obviously, he sensed that the Philippians were not enjoying the goodness and blessings of God. That is probably true about us, too. Our problems and difficulties weigh heavily on us, and we squander precious time being down-trodden, discouraged or depressed. We must deliberately focus our attention away from our problems, and toward God and His countless blessings. Stop wasting your life on negative cogitations. Start celebrating everything that God has done for you.

Our nation needs the light… and we as the church have a chance to shine it. Shine the light of Jesus into our dark world and many in our nation will turn to it and be redeemed!

The fireworks lit up the Independence Day night sky. Children watched wide-eyed, and parents exclaimed appropriately at each burst. The town echoed with the booming blasts of each rocket. The show was spectacular, and everyone had a good time. A few even remembered why the celebration took place. Some remembered that the fireworks represented all the bombs that had burst for freedom. A handful walked away from the celebration with a hope beating in their breasts. The hope was that there would come a time when no more bombs would burst, when no one would have to live in fear for their lives. Some hoped for a day when peace would rule the land.

Some fear is healthy. It brings us to our senses and forces us to look at things with a level head. War is a terrible thing. It breaks down and destroys. God wants us to consider well the consequences of war. What we do to one another, He will not undo. Perhaps a fear of the Lord would bring us to our senses. Maybe we would then realize wh ere we stand, and we would choose to stand closer to God.

When I look at our great nation today, I see a very similar phenomenon occurring. Moral depravity in our media and culture used to be a shock to us. But now, we’ve just grown accustomed to it, some even finding comfort in it.

But in the midst of this darkness, the people of God have a chance to shine brighter than ever. And while the light of Jesus is guaranteed to be rejected by some because of its brightness, others will be pulled out of the darkness and called to live in it.

Today, the walls of our culture are leaving our citizens defenseless. The gates of our culture are burnt and destroyed. Christians are being persecuted in our military. School curriculums are denigrating the Christian convictions of our Founders. Hollywood deliberately lies about or denies the Biblical foundation of our nation. Government policies denigrate and destroy marriage and family as the bedrock of society.

Technology was meant to be our servant, but it has become our master—robbing us of our freedom. On our money it says, “In God We Trust.” Now, in truth, it is in money we trust.

You may be asking, " where is the encouragement you promised?”

Here it is. Thankfully, with all of these broken walls and burned gates, it is a great time in history to be a Bible-believing Christian because we have an amazing opportunity to see the hand of God work more powerfully than ever before. We may have the chance of seeing God manifest His power once again.

Today in the United States we are celebrating a priceless gift. It’s a gift that many of us received when we were born, that some are receiving for the first time, and a gift that tragically, some will never experience. That gift is freedom. And much like the things that are most important in life -- the air we breathe, our lives, our homes, our families -- it’s easy to take for granted.

Ironically, many of the people who appreciate most the freedom we are celebrating are those who know the least about this iconic day. But their fresh perspective on the priceless gift we share can inspire us to remain grateful every day. All these things, acknowledgements, and observations, make me feel good about living in a land where I'm free and that most people I encounter just want to get along and live in harmony with one another. 4th of July has been truly a memorable day. It also reminds me of my late father's birthday. 

Finally, it is more than writing your name in the night sky with a sparkler, eating more relish in one day than you have in a year, or splashing in a pool with family and friends. To me, the Fourth of July will always be a symbol of the freedom men and woman who have strove to retain over the years of this country's history.

God Bless America!

Raj Kosaraju

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