Thursday, July 4, 2024




Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.  Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.

Romans 13:7-8 NJKV

Once again, we celebrate a day of independence here in the USA. It is a time to recognize the brave who have fought for lives and freedom available inside our borders. We pause to celebrate the lives previously or currently defending our liberties. We too recognize the defensive and offensive forces for their sacrifices and are thankful for what they have done and are doing. Battles have been fought to overcome tyranny, preserve freedoms, and defend the weak and oppressed on and off our soil - for God’s justice. The cost has been great because evil continues in this world. Yet, we have benefited by experiencing freedom of ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ in the face of its chaos.  For men and women who stand in love with conviction defending family, friends, and strangers alike – thank you.

Long ago the great defender, God, fought for our freedom and continues to do so. The original intention of God for this world was to bring glory (praise, honor, and thanksgiving) to himself in our relationship with Him. Then with just one bite of a forbidden fruit things changed. Small skirmishes and large wars have been part of our world since that one rejection of God’s directive and His design to keep us from sin. In exchange for that freedom God’s requirement of us has not changed.

God instructs us to love Him first with heart, soul, mind, and strength and then others (Mark 12:29-30).  As followers of Christ, in some sense we are all soldiers armed with His love. Loving God we serve others defending, providing, and caring for and about those who are in need. This 4th of July thank God for those who deserve honor for defending you. But also consider – in the year ahead - who you will defend in love. Make your home and heart one that resonates bravery and freedom in Christ. 

by Joy Pedersen

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