Message from Olive Chapel

On April 19, 1775, our brave forefathers engaged in the Revolutionary War to give us freedom.

Let’s take a moment to think about the courage these men had to have, since unlike us, they didn’t know how the war would end. They just knew they were tired of being taken advantage of by the king and they decided they would push back against the oppression. Truly this is a story of the little guy winning an apparent hopeless battle against the big guy.

Though the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, the king didn’t agree with our Declaration until September 3, 1783 when the war officially ended. This means that the determination was there long before the vision was within reach. These men were willing to risk everything in hopes that their efforts would pay off, but the odds seemed stacked against them.

In the end, as we all know all their work paid off and their biggest dreams were realized. Freedom was not easy, and it came at a high price. Of course we know the famous heroes in this story like John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, but think about the un-named common man who left his wife and children to fight so you could have your life today. He was never individually honored, but he made the sacrifice anyway.

Freedom is never free, and freedom is never fully freeing. We are all still bound to the rules and obligations of our society. We are all still bound to some form of moral manners and moral rules.

For example, we still have to pay taxes, we still have laws to follow, and no one is free to commit murder. We are, however, free to choose our religion, free to express ourselves, free to start our own business and pursue our own money. It is hard for us to imagine when we have grown up in our culture but there are many people who live in countries where they do not have those freedoms.

It is easy to take for granted how we are able to live our lives, all because brave men shed blood a long time ago for people they would never meet. They were willing to lay down their lives because they believed in what they were shedding their blood for.

For those who choose it, there is also freedom in living a life in Christ. We are all going to serve something. Some of us serve our jobs, some of so serve the desire for status, we may serve money, our own self-cravings, and some of us serve our desire to feel loved. Many things that we choose to serve are oppressive to be bound to; there is no freedom in putting those things first in our lives. But Jesus shed his blood so we can be free if we choose to serve Him.

In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus invites us to come to Him if we are weary because His yoke is easy. This may be a hard concept to grasp for those who have not experienced it, so let me try to explain. Because of the resurrection, we are free to be authentic. We don’t have to cover our flaws. We don’t have to find acceptance in things that won’t fix us. The very Creator of the universe has determined that you are worth everything, and He longs for you to decide the same about Him. The honesty and authenticity in itself is freeing and with authenticity comes relief, but that is not the end of it. You are free to approach God at any time to say anything, and He promises to listen, and He promises to move on what you ask. Maybe you can’t see His moving immediately or the way you want it to, but keep praying. Galatians 4:8 & 5:1 says, “Formerly when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved to them all over again?... It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

I will be talking more about this topic at Olive Chapel on Sunday, July 7. I invite you to come join us.

We also would like to invite you to come hear Bob Kenney guest-speak on June 30. Service begins 10:00 A.M. EST.

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