by: Marty Paluch
According to the 1989 edition of the Oxford English Dictionary the one English word that holds the most definitions is…
Did you really think I was going to give you the answer that easily? Nope. I will tell you it is not ‘freedom’, though I do believe ‘freedom’ means a lot of different things to a lot of different people.
I think it’s wonderful we’re celebrating the concept of freedom with hot dogs, watermelon and fireworks this weekend. For Christ followers, I think the celebration is more meaningful when we recognize our civil freedoms extended to us through our country’s constitution are rooted in the freedoms God grants us through His Word.
Summarized best in the “Big Ten,” God has always and only been concerned with His people living freely under His authority, provision and protection. His desire is to bless and be blessed. He’s much more about milk and honey than He is spit and vinegar. He proved that in Jesus.
When we examine His Word to us we want to read it and hear it from a posture of a child eager and willing to obey a loving Father rather than a grumpy old man. Under God’s liberating authority we are free to:
- Love and serve the one true God. All we do can be focused on reflecting His character in this world.
- Use God’s name to praise Him and bless others. Prayer and praise wield great power.
- Take rest in relationship with God and others. We worship and find true refreshment in godly fellowship.
- Live under and exercise godly rule. Starting with parents, we can honor and respect and even respectfully disagree with those in authority.
- Live fully and free from fear and respect and protect human life as the most precious of gifts from our Creator.
- Honor and enjoy marriage as God ordained it to experience physical and spiritual intimacy and participate in the process of creation.
- Exercise stewardship over our earthly blessings and protect the blessings of others
- Speak only truth and protect our neighbor’s name.
- Live in grateful appreciation for all the blessings given us
Our God is not a God of the ‘Don’t’ but the ‘Do’. He desires us to live freely as citizens in this world in joyful expression of our citizenship in the world to come.
Oh, I almost forgot. According to the 1989 edition of the Oxford English Dictionary the one English word that holds the most definitions is… ‘run.’ You are free to use that word in about 380 different ways.
May your celebration of Independence Day be an expression of the freedom won for us by Jesus!