In two days we celebrate the many freedoms that we have in this country. Having just read in the news yesterday, about gunmen entering two churches in Garissa, Kenya, killing 15 and wounding 40, I am more aware of the freedoms and protections that we so often take for granted here. While we are so grateful that our own missionaries in the same town are OK, our hearts grieve for those who lost their lives, just because they were worshipping the Lord on a Sunday morning. When was the last time we feared gathering together to worship Jesus? 

Obviously the enemy of the Lord is very disturbed about the powerful things that are taking place in Garissa and resorted to using violence to try and stop the growth of the church. He has tried this strategy many times before, but his plan will not work! The Kingdom of God will advance!! 

While I praise the Lord for the freedoms that we have in this nation, I am even more grateful for the inner freedom that I have in Jesus. Paul writes in Rom 8:2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. (NLT) and in Gal 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. NASU 

As you celebrate July 4th this week, be reminded of those who have given their very lives for the many freedoms that we so often don’t even think about. But even more importantly, be reminded of the freedom that you have in Christ. Remember Jesus Christ has set you free from many things and for many reasons, but I believe the primary reason He has set us free, is to be free to respond to Him. Respond to His leading this week and use the freedoms that He has made available to you for His purposes and His Kingdom advances. Maybe a practical way to better facilitate this in your praise to the Lord is this; He has set me free from __________ so that I am free to ___________!