The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest
The Price of Freedom

In the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, VA, there’s a special display for a rickety, home-made aluminum kayak. This tiny, makeshift boat seems oddly out of place in the midst of displays for impressive Navy vessels and artifacts from significant battles on the sea. But a bronze plaque tells museum visitors the story behind this kayak’s heroic makers. In 1966, an auto mechanic named Laureano and his wife, Consuelo, decided that they could no longer live under the oppression of Cuba’s totalitarian regime. After spending months collecting scrap metal, they pieced together a boat just barely big enough for two small people. Then Laureano jury-rigged a small lawn mower engine on the back of the kayak. After months of planning and on a moonless night, they set out into the treacherous straits of Florida with only their swimsuits on. They had enough food and water for two days. After 70 hours, the U.S. Coast Guard rescued the couple just south of the Florida Keys. Was it worth the risk? Laureano said, “When one has grown up in liberty, you realize how important it is to have freedom. We live in the enormous prison, which is Cuba, where one’s life is not worth one crumb. Where one goes out into the street and does not know whether or not one will return because the political police can arrest you without any warning and put you in prison. Before this could happen to us, we thought that going into the ocean and risking death or being eaten by sharks, is a million times better than to stay suffering under political oppression.”

The members of the American Continental Congress, Continental Army and other folks in American Revolution of the 1770’s could relate to the passion of these escapees who risked everything to breathe the oxygen of freedom.

Some people don’t crave freedom so much. They would much rather live in comfort and breath the stale air of slavery. Without freedom there is no creativity, no joy, no true happiness. Freedom cannot be obtained without risk and sacrifice. A person who craves to be free will never be satisfied with the status quo. In fact, the status quo is the enemy of freedom.

Jesus Christ understood this need. He understood that people were living in the captivity of sin and sin’s consequences. Like any slaves, they were living in a hopeless situation. This is why he made the sacrifice required to set them free.

In John 8:35-36 Jesus put it this way, “Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

The Apostle Paul said it this way in Galatians 5:1
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.

God is a fan of freedom. Thomas Jefferson understood this and espoused it in his amazing document, The Declaration of Independence, We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness—-

He understood that liberty is not invoked by governments, but by the Almighty God. God has placed within our hearts the desire and passion to be free.

I love the fireworks, the parades, the cookouts and all the ways people celebrate the 4th of July, but we must remember the actual name of the holiday is “Independence Day.” It is a celebration of freedom. Let us not forget the price of national freedom was the blood of our national hero’s and the price of our freedom from sin and it’s consequences (i.e. eternal death) is the blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God.\

This Sunday we will celebrate freedom through Christ and our nation. The sermon will be National Healing, based on 2 Chronicles 7:13-15. Come and celebrate God and Country with the family at THE LOVE ZONE, First Christian Church.

Your fellow Free Man,

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