On this national holiday, I’m reflecting more on the meaning of freedom. With political unrest around the world, ISIS attacks on Christians, and increased attention on the evil in the world, it would be easy to become worried and anxious. On the contrary, Scripture declares, “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36 NASB).
The question is, do we believe it? And if so, do we act like we believe it?
In God’s economy the way up is down, always. If we want to fully live, we must be willing to die. Die to our own thoughts and desires, and if necessary, die for our beliefs.
“Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it” (Luke 17:33).
The brave men and women who have fought to preserve our country’s freedom willingly placed their lives on the line so that we could live. Now more than ever, I’m so grateful for their sacrifice. They have selflessly served me, my family, and my country to ensure our freedom.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, Freedom means:
- The quality or state of being free: as
- The absence of necessity, coercion, or constrain in choice or action
- Liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another: independence
- The quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous
- A political right
While Service means:
- the occupation or function of serving
- employment as a servant
- the work performed by the one that serves
- help, use, benefit
- contribution to the welfare of others
While our daily routines have kept the status quo, our military’s service comes at a great cost to themselves and their families. Today as I thankfully reflect on the selfless sacrifice of our country’s military personnel, I hold even greater gratitude in my heart for the selfless sacrifice of my Savior, Jesus Christ, on the cross to ensure my freedom.
Just like our servicemen’s service comes at a price, so too does Jesus’s service, sacrifice, and offer of freedom come at a price:
–His service cost Jesus His reputation with man – the very men and women He came to save laughed and scoffed at Him.
“The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him” (Luke 22:63 NIV.)
–His service cost Jesus His own life on a cross – He was not treated as the king and Lord He was, but as a criminal who was murdered.
“Now when morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people conferred together against Jesus to put Him to death” (Matthew 27:1 NASB).
–His sacrifice cost God the right to hold my wrongs against me. Because of Jesus’s sacrifice for me, my wrongs have been cancelled and forgotten, never to be held against me again.
“Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins” (Romans 3:24 NLT).
–His sacrifice costs me the ability to do my own thing. In gratitude, I owe Him my obedience to His word.
“Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God” (1 Peter 2:16 ESV).
–His sacrifice costs me the right to discriminate. He loved me enough to sacrifice His life for mine, so too must I love myself and love others.
“You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Galatians 5:13-14 NIV).
–His sacrifice costs me the freedom of succumbing to my own thoughts, habits, and desires. Because He set me free, I must respond by not only believing what He has said, but living as if I believe it.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1 KJV).
–His sacrifice costs me the freedom of keeping this information to myself. It is now my responsibility to share it with others so that they can also live in the freedom Christ provided.
“The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free” (Luke 4:18 NLT).
Just as our military personnel sacrifice for our country’s freedom, and Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, we too must consider what price we are willing to pay for others to experience the same freedoms we enjoy.
What price are you willing to pay for freedom?
(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)
A short brief about Hope Prevails.
Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression
Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Speaking from personal and professional experience, a neuropsychologist unpacks what depression is, shows how it affects us spiritually, and offers hope for living the abundant life.
Neuropsychologist Offers Hope to Those Struggling with Depression
-By 2020, depression will be our greatest epidemic worldwide
- An estimated 350 million people worldwide suffer from some form of depression
- As with the bestselling My Stroke of Insight, the author experienced the same condition she treats
- Helpful features include personal stories, biblical truths, prayers, and music recommendations
In Hope Prevails, Dr. Bengtson writes with deep compassion and empathy, blending her extensive training and faith, to offer readers a hope that is grounded in God’s love and grace. She helps readers understand what depression is, how it affects them spiritually, and what, by God’s grace, it cannot do. The result is a treatment plan that addresses the whole person—not just chemical imbalances in the brain.
For those who struggle with depression and those that want to help them, Hope Prevails offers real hope for the future.
Hope Prevails is available now wherever books are sold. To find out more, see: https://drmichellebengtson.com/hope-prevails-book/.