Freedom – Hard but Worth It

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James 1:2-4 (MSG)

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. 

Its Hard:

Our values are worth fighting for.  What we value is worth going through the hard things for.  Any success or significance that occurs in our lives wont just happen, but require doing the hard things.

Its worth it:

When we face difficult circumstances.  When we go through the tests and challenges of life, it can seem arbitrary and uncesseccary, but if we have the right perspective and the let the hardships be our teacher instead of our enemy it will be worth it.  

We must look at the obstacles as opportunities and the problems as possabilities.

We will find that the results of the hardships are developed faith, strong resolve, determination and patient perserverence.

Its hard but its worth it.

Freedom has a Cost:

Freedom is a powerful word.  To be free is to be unencumbered by external control.  To not be enslaved.  It sounds so easy.  It sounds just like a decision and mostly, it sounds free.  Although freedom is a gift, and it is a powerful force in life, and may make us free, its not free.

Being a person who travels the world and has seen the difference between the USA and so many other nations, I am truly thankful to live in this great nation.  A Nation that was founded on the idea that all men are created equal and are free to Pursue life, liberty, and happiness.  

But Freedom is not Free

We are free to Believe and express our religeous beliefs freely.  We are free to speak our mind. We are free to assemble.  We are free to do so many things.  We are free from so many things.

Thank God today in America although not perfect, it is a beacon of freedom around the world.

But Freedom is not free.

There has always been and will always be tyrannical power hungry, corrupt people and systems who desire to enslave and control others.  Whether they be nations, terrorist, abusers, traffickers, perpertrators of poverty, or individual control and fear mongers there will never be a shortage of freedom thieves.

However as long as there are those, there will also be others who have a deep God given desire for freedom in the depths of their soul, and will stand their ground, and speak up for those who have no voice and speak out for the down and out, and fight the good fight, to win freedom for themselves and for others.  There will always be freedom fighters.

Because freedom is not free.  Freedom is Hard but its worth it.

It’s easy for us to take freedom for granted, because we know nothing else. 

This generation and many before it in the USA don’t know the bondage of tyranny, or slavery. We don’t understand what it’s like to be confined in our speech, or beliefs or, mobility. We don’t know what it’s like to be controlled by an external power telling us every move to make. 

Rather, we know the privelege of freedom. Freedom of speech, freedom to decide, freedom to believe, freedom to take the opportunities afforded us, freedom to be educated, freedom to live where we want, so many freedoms that we are immersed in and don’t even understand or realize them as freedoms. 

Although we live everyday in these freedoms we don’t have to pay the price for them. 

But Freedom is not Free

I think we would respect and appreciate freedom a lot more if we aknowleged that even though we don’t have to pay for the freedoms we enjoy, someone did have to pay for them and someone still has to pay to maintain them.

Condalisa Rice Said…

   

Now, to be sure, the burdens of leadership have been heavy.
I know, as you do, the sacrifice of Americans, especially the
sacrifice of many of our bravest in the ultimate sacrifice, but
our armed forces are the surest shield and foundation of
liberty, and we are so fortunate that we have men and women in
uniform who volunteer, they volunteer to defend us at the front
lines of freedom, and we owe them our eternal gratitude. 

I am grateful for the men and women and families who sacrifice so much to protect and defend this great nation and its freedoms.  Men and women who are cut from a different cloth. They have an incredible sense of duty.  A deep seated bravary.  A root of responsabiity for the protection and advancement of freedoms way of life.  A root that runs deep and grows into an enormous tree of freedom that extends its branches to provide shade for all those who would gather under it, and produces fruit of opportunity, education, and empowerment for a nation.  

These men and women put themselves in a place of vulnerabiliity for the sake of our security.  These men and women and their families make sacrifices that few understand for the sake of the freedoms of all of us who enjoy them.  These beautiful, faithful, loyal men and women of all of our miliatry branches are owed a debt of grattitude, by every single individual who reaps the benifits of their labor.  

The bible tells us in Romans that we shoud give honor where it is due.  We honor these men and women because freedom isn’t free, and they have and are paying the price for it.

Whether they are fallen in battle, or served in the past, or currently serve or are newly inlisted we honor them because they honor this nation and what it stands for by their service to it.  
Freedom isn’t freee…Its hard but its worth it.  

Our founding fathers in founding this nation of free people did so at the risk of their very own lives. 

In reference to the occupation of the founding of our nation and the resulting response of the british government Benjamin franklin said to his partners…

“We must all hang together, or we will all hang seperately”  meaning if we are not all in, and unified we will surely die for what they consider a treasonous act.

From then until now many have put their very life on the line for our freedom.  

They were able to do this because they had a mind to fight for freedom.  

They understood freedom isn’t free and although its hard, its worth it.

Benjamin Franklin said…

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Patrick Henry Said…

“Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death! 

They were so completely given to the cause of freedom it empowered their every thought and was the filter through which they saw every thing.  To the degree that they wanted every child to know, embrace and live out freedoms cause.

John Adams Said…

“Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom.”

An Incredible Gift:  

As we can see freedom is an incredible gift to us.  A gift that has made our way of life possible.  A gift that has given us opportunities that others are not afforded.  A gift that causes our great nation, our young nation, to take its place in a very short time as nations go, atop of the list of nations of influence.

Not the Best Gift:

External freedom is a great blessing but not the greates gift.  There is a freedom that is greater.  A freedom that is eternal and not temporal.  A freedom that far supercedes any type of earthly freedom…

Ronald Reagen said…

Democracy is less a system of government than it is a system to keep government limited, unintrusive; a system of constraints on power to keep politics and government secondary to the important things in life, the true sources of value found only in family and faith.”  

A Greater Freedom:

I submit to you today that there is a greater freedom than external freedom.  It is Internal freedom, spiritual freedom.  There are many who enjoy the gift of external freedom but don’t understand or live in internal freedom, spiritual freedom.

The bible calls this freedom Salvation.  Many use the terminolgy being saved.  The greek word is Sozo – to save, make safe, make whole, to heal, or be whole.  The theological term is regeneration, which means spiritual rebirth.  It is what Jesus talked about in John 3 when He told a man by the name of nicodemus, how to be saved (be in true relationship with God) “You must be born again.”  Nicodemus asked him, “How can I, an old man go back into my mothers womb” Jesus explained that to be in relatiobnship with God we had to know christ and in knowing him, believing him, we would have a spiritual encounter that results in being born spiritually.  Saved, made whole, changed, reborn.  

This is the beginning of true internal freedom.  Its not religion or religeous ideas that make us free.  Its faith in Christ alone that makes us free.  It saves us from the enslavement of sin, and destruction.  It sets us free from the perils of life without God.  It releases us from the chains of shame and guilt and binds us to Jesus with cords of love.

Freedom however isn’t free.  Its hard but its worth it.

We can’t earn salvation, spiritual freedom.  We can’t do good things to get it.  We can’t be good enough to earn it.  It is free to us.  All we have to do is believe it and receive it.  

But freedom isn’t free.

Someone had to pay.  Someone had to stand on the front lines of spiritual battle for us.  Someone had to pay the penalty for the sinful things we have done, and the sin nature that we are born with.  Freedom was available but not free.

There was a cost

Jesus, was perfect, and sinless.  He is the Son of God, and as a result the only one qualified to pay for the freedom we all need.
So He willingly went to that cross, but before doing so, he went to the garden to pray.  In that Garden, he talked to his father, and came to this conclusion, that the price for spiritual freedom was steep, expensive, and personally costly for Him, but  It was worth it!

So He went to that cross, gave his life in place of us, then was buried in a tomb, and three days later, on his own volition decided He would not be a slave to sin, death, hell or the grave, and he rose again to personal freedom and as a result gave all of mankind the opportunity for true, real, internal, spiritual freedom!

This is the inspiration for the words free at last, and the only real fulfillment of them.  Free at last, free at last, Thank God almighty I’m free at last.  While external and national freedom are great blessings, they aren’t real freedom.

Real freedom is to know Christ.  To be covered in His righteousness.  To know that the chains that used to bind you no longer have a hold on you.  To be free of sin, and to have hope in spite of death, and to know that your eternity will not be in the eternal jail called hell, but in the presence of your liberator, your king, your friend and father.  

You are free.  Free from the traps set to you bind you.  Free from the enemy that’s out to get you. Free from the wrong thinking that enslaved your mind.  Free from the petty survival mode of this life and free to live out the purpose and destiney that God has planted as a seed deep inside your spirit that flourishes and grows and rejoices, in Freedom!

What do we do with this real freedom?

We Know it, live it, and never retreat from it.

Galatians 5:13-15 MSG

It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom. If you bite and ravage each other, watch out—in no time at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your precious freedom be then? 

I thank God for a free nation, and for the people who have paid the price for it, and I thank God for spiritual freedom and for Jesus who paid the price for it.  The question is are you really free today?  Do you know him?

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