Take a minute today, amid the hot dogs and fireworks and flag-waving, and ask yourself (no matter what country you're in) this question: Are you really free?
I'm not talking about the "freedoms" doled out by government authorities, I'm talking about the freedom that comes from within, the kind of freedom Jesus came to give us.
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
They answered Him,"We are Abraham's descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, 'You will be made free'?"
Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.John 8:31-36 NKJV
You can be a card-carrying, flag-flying, voting citizen in good standing, and still be completely enslaved and in bondage. Whatever controls you outside of Christ is your master. Whatever you bow to and obey — whether it's fear, or anger, or hatred, or judgement, or greed, or unforgiveness, or doubt — those things are keeping you from being really, truly free.
So take a few moments today amid the sparklers and the barbecues to make some declarations of your own independence from the things that have kept you in captivity.
Niki Turner is a writer, former pastor's wife, mother of four, and grandmother of two. She has thus far been unsuccessful at coming up with catchy taglines for her writing, her purpose in life, or what she hopes to achieve in the future. Suggestions are welcome.