Sometimes it seems like an old, worn-out cliche', but it's so true: freedom isn't free. We live in a sinful, broken, and fallen world. Throughout history there have been many people who have sought to enslave others based on many factors such as race, religion, nationality, political views, or simply because they lusted for the power that came from oppressing people. Some have even twisted God's Word to try to justify their own hateful ways of suppressing the freedoms of others. The simple fact is that this is an outright rejection of how God says we should love each other. This is the kind of freedom that our brave soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines have valiantly fought to preserve for our nation.
Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you,
whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.
And a slave does not abide in the house forever,
but a son abides forever.
Therefore if the Son makes you free,
you shall be free indeed."
- John 8:34-36
Freedom is more than just the rights of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to vote and such as guaranteed by the Constitution. Even our Declaration of Independence acknowledges that our rights and freedoms are bestowed on us by God, Himself. Often we, ourselves, forfeit our freedom and make ourselves slaves. When we stop putting God first, when we willfully live sinful lives, when we let the desires of our flesh run our lives, we have given up the freedom that can only be found in Christ. Along with freedom comes responsibilities, and all too often we take our freedom for granted. This Veterans Day, take the opportunity to reflect honestly on your life and your choices. Ask yourself the hard questions and see if you truly are free. Ouch! I'm stepping on my own toes already! To all of my fellow veterans (Navy 1986-1994), I thank you for your loyal service to keep us free in the natural world, and I pray that you have found the spiritual freedom that can only come from the Greatest Soldier, who conquered death, the greatest enemy.