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7/4/2021 Freedom ~Rev. Benjamin Chung

Today is Independence Day. As an American citizen, born and raised, I

have grown up celebrating this national holiday of ours for many years. I am

thankful for not only the opportunity to celebrate Independence Day, but also

the freedoms declared and granted to us through the Bill of Rights, the latter

Amendments and the constitution. It is no wonder that many who come to

America and only plan to stay temporarily, end up staying indefinitely and

often for the rest of their lives. Then, when asked why they chose to stay, the

answers are typically because of prosperity, opportunity, and the freedoms

that they did not get to experience back in their country of origin. That said,

the ability to be free and to do whatever one chooses is not applicable only to

America. One is capable of freely engaging in many activities in many different

countries.


In fact, as believers, we also know that God has given us the free will

to do and think as we please. But as believers, we also know that not all actions

are beneficial. 1 Corinthians 10:23-24, 26 (ESV), says, “‘All things are lawful,’

but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things build up.

24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor… 26 For ‘the earth

is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof.’” Not only can our actions affect others

negatively (or positively), they could be sinful! And if they are, we must be

ready to flee from these actions and strive for godliness. After all, we have the

freedom to choose sin and we have the freedom to strive for godliness and

holiness. Let us seek the latter instead!


1 Timothy 4:7-8 says, “Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths.

Rather train yourself for godliness; 8 for while bodily training is of some value,

godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and

also for the life to come.” Thus, physical health is important, but more

important still, is our spiritual life and walk with the Lord, which has eternal

benefit. Let us therefore see that seeking God and attaining godliness is a

wonderfully good endeavor to have! I pray that you freely choose and continue

to choose to strive after holiness and godliness and not begrudgingly. After all,

God’s laws are “holy and righteous and good” (Romans 7:12). They are good!

Therefore, do not think that God’s laws a restricting or constraining your own

freedom, when they are really restricting the fleshly desires. Or to think of it

another way, the fleshly desires that lead to sin are really what restricts us

from the fuller experience of God’s goodness, faithfulness and love. I therefore

ask, as Hebrews 12:1 expounds on, for our Lord Jesus to help free us from the

sins that so easily entangle us so that we can freely “run with endurance the

race set before us.” Grant us this freedom, O God!


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