“Fireworks and Freedom”, by Timothy and Stephanie Burdick

//“Fireworks and Freedom”, by Timothy and Stephanie Burdick

“Fireworks and Freedom”, by Timothy and Stephanie Burdick

“For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.”
–Galatians 5:13 (NLT)
Unless I miss my guess, I don’t think we make the connection between fireworks and freedom as often as we once did. On the 4th of July, we see a rainbow of colors in the sky, and then we go home. But the beauty of those colors represents the beauty of our freedom, and the booming sounds we hear as the colors flash should remind us of the battles which men have fought.
All in all, I am distressed because none of us really give the 4th of July its proper due. Instead of recognizing this holiday as the birthday of America’s independence from England, we celebrate it for celebration’s sake alone. We tend to see this day as an excuse to take some time off work and fire up the barbecue, before watching the fireworks in the evening. Don’t get me wrong–I love a good burger, and if you’re barbecuing I’d love to come over. But seriously, our freedoms are a precious gift from God, which need to be cherished and protected. They are gradually fading like the fireworks we mentioned above. Despite this, our political freedom and our freedom in Christ are not just related. They are intertwined.
Unfortunately, many Americans are doing everything in their power to stamp out our freedom to worship Christ. Speaking out in the name of God was once a common occurrence. The Pledge of Allegiance and the Declaration of Independence both make references to God, and many people during the Civil War and both World Wars included fervent prayers to God for peace and the safe return of loved ones. However, in these modern times, prayer is being kept out of public schools and sporting events. Christians are often being criticized for pushing their faith on others, instead of being complimented for coming alongside others in love.
Additionally, some of our religious freedoms have been curtailed by supreme court justices, who use separation of church and state as their excuse. This separation has been a part of our heritage ever since people came to find refuge from the state church of England, and its insertion was meant to protect us. However, the courts should not use this separation to prevent us from practicing freedom of religion.
Because of this anti-Christian trend, God has entrusted us to keep the loving words of Jesus alive in our minds and hearts. If you’re already a believer in Christ, try to spend some time in prayer and the reading of His Word each day. You’ll find new ways to draw close to God, and cultivate your relationship with Him.
If you haven’t already, I encourage you to read about all the persecution of Christians that is occurring in countries like Africa and China. Far too many people are being imprisoned, tortured and killed because of their faith in Jesus Christ and His loving promises. Instead of remaining complacent, as we often are in this country, please take the time to remember these persecuted Christians. As you do, you will find a new appreciation for our own religious freedom.
Better yet, send some letters to persecuted Christians online, and encourage them to keep up their faith, even during their darkest moments. You might make a pivotal difference, helping them hang on, when they were about to give up.
If you know and love someone who doesn’t yet know Christ, do what you can to introduce them to Him. If that proves to be a daunting task for whatever reason, continue to be in fervent prayer for them often, even if you think they’re completely deaf to God’s Word. All things are possible with God, and He can easily move on your loved one’s heart in His own time.
Most importantly, if you don’t know Christ yourself, I encourage you to experience true freedom by joining God’s family. Study the Gospel of John, as it tells you all about Jesus, and it is the easiest gospel to read. Once you’re ready to know Christ better, prayerfully repent of your sins, agreeing that you are lost without Him. Then simply ask Jesus into your heart, and God’s Word says you will become new creation.
Finally, always remember that the battles in life belong to the Lord, and all of the trials in life are just fireworks in comparison to His power and might. These trials may seem impossible to overcome at the time, but if you ask God to help your relationship with Him grow each day, you’ll enjoy a sense of independence, freedom and joy that is new every morning. And that’s definitely something to celebrate!
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870.
Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Tuesday night Bible study. These studies are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 5:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 712-432-6498. When prompted, press 1 for live chat rooms, and we’ll be waiting in room 31. You can press pound to bypass our friend Sharon’s intro message once you’ve entered room 31. We hope to talk with you soon!
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.

By | 2019-07-07T00:51:26+00:00 July 7th, 2019|Faith and Inspiration|0 Comments

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