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A Devotion for the Fourth of July

Jesus, our hearts explode with gratitude. 

fourth of july devotion
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[Jesus,] who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. Colossians 1:14 (NLT)

The annual fireworks display was rained out. So much for Independence Day. All that money the Firefighters Auxiliary paid for the planned fireworks—wasted. Now, there was nothing to see but storm clouds, and sheets of rain.

Families packed up picnic baskets and lawn chairs and high-tailed it for their vehicles, scanning weather channels to see if the storm and winds would pass so they could resume celebrating America’s freedom. Is it possible that the thunder and lightning, the rain and misery, the spoiled plans and disappointments were a more fitting tribute? Our country’s independence came at a high price. Lives were upended. Courage was tested. Battles were won and lost.

We’ve made Independence Day a celebration of excess with lavish displays in the sky and fun. It’s so easy to forget the price paid when a party is on our minds.

What about our soul’s freedom? We say we’re conscious of the price Jesus paid to set us free. But do we celebrate only with flashy experiences and fun stories about how Jesus freed a parking space for us just when we needed it? Or do we give the honor and reverence He deserves for what it cost Jesus emotionally, physically, and spiritually to win our freedom? Do we pause to imagine the moment when midday turned to the blackest night, when the air chilled as if all warmth had been sucked from earth’s atmosphere, when tremors unlike any a human has known coursed through Christ’s dying form? Do we ponder the torment of both body and soul that the King of glory endured so we could live free? Fireworks? Or sober silence?

Jesus, our hearts explode with gratitude. 

Faith Step: Sit in silence today and consider the high price tag of your freedom.

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