“On journey to becoming whole-hearted followers of Jesus”
“So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”
Tony Evans has written concerning the following illustration: In New York harbor, there is a lady who stands tall. She holds a torch in her hand, giving light. Inscribed on the pedestal upon which the lady stands are these famous words:
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses
yearning to be free,
The wretched refuse of
your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless,
tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside
the golden door.
We know this lovely lady as Lady Liberty, and she stands there in New York Harbor with a crown on her head that has seven spikes. The spikes speak of seven seas and seven continents. In other words, no matter where you are in the world, you can come to America. You can come with all your mess. You can come with all your problems. You can come with all your burdens. You can come with all your needs. You can come because Lady Liberty is holding a torch to show you the way.
At the bottom of Lady Liberty’s feet is a chain that has been broken. She is inviting the broken and bruised people who have been held hostage in one situation or another. No matter where they are in the world, they are welcome to come to America to find freedom.
Of greater significance is the promise of God: in and through Jesus Christ a greater promise of freedom is given to those who are looking for and longing to escape bondage. He invites and welcomes any and all to come and bring their mess, their problems, their brokenness, their burdens, or their bondage to Him. He is all the more faithful to show us the way.
This passage in the Gospel of John is so encouraging! Jesus is describing for us a freedom that goes beyond anything political or economic. It is greater by far than any pursuit of happiness, knowing that any happiness outside of Himself is temporary and fleeting. Instead, Jesus provides and offers to us a freedom that is freedom indeed! Freedom from sin. Freedom from shame. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from pain of consequences of my errant behavior. Freedom of this nature is epic—it saturates every part of my being, soaking all the way into the depths of my soul to release me from all chains and bondage that my sin nature and enemy of the cross could muster.
July 4th reminds us of freedom—escape from the tyranny of a foreign throne. I am grateful to have been born in this place and experience the opportunities that God has blessed in this place. But it also serves as a reminder that freedom in America is severely limited, and that genuine freedom, authentic freedom, real freedom is found only in our Lord Jesus Christ. So when you offer prayers of gratitude for being born and/or raised in this beloved country, remember to be grateful for the full freedom you have received in Christ.
Growing with you on the Journey, Pastor Dewayne