Set the Captives Free

My Country, Tis’ of Thee

America the Beautiful

God Bless America

The Star Spangled Banner

Patriotic songs are one thing our country does well.

This week while eating lunch, my girls and I watched a children’s DVD titled, Songs of America by Cedarmont Kids. Included in this collection of songs was the Battle Hymn of the Republic (Glory, Glory Hallelujah!)

I know I’ve heard this song a hundred times, but this time, as we watched, the fifth stanza of this classic American song caught my attention.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,

With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me.

As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,

While God is marching on.

When I heard these lyrics my heart swelled with pride not just for my country but for my God, for the way He transfigures, for the way He makes us holy.

Our God is marching on. And while this is a perilous time in our nation’s history, our God is still Lord of all. He still transfigures. He still makes us holy. And there are men and women still fighting for this country, for us, and for freedom.

And I wonder, as an American and a follower of Christ what am I willing to lie down, to die to, so that my fellow man can be free? My pride? My fear? My sense of comfort?

Because we are at war and there are people all over our neighborhoods, our communities, our schools,  our churches,  our workplaces, our country, our world, who are living in bondage, who are desperate to be free.

Your neighbor. Your hairstylist. Your daughter’s teacher. Your son’s coach. Your boss. Your co-worker. Your sister. Your brother. Your best friend.

Everywhere; Young, old, rich, poor, our nation, our world is teeming with people who need to be rescued by soldiers of Christ and the truth of His saving grace.

Perhaps the best way to celebrate this Fourth of July isn’t in eating hot dogs or watching fireworks. Perhaps it’s in making a sacrifice, be it big or small, so that someone in your world can experience the love of Christ.

We all know that freedom isn’t free. It was bought for us with the precious blood of Jesus Christ, and in terms of our nation, with the precious blood of countless American heroes. It is a gift from our past, a privilege for the present, and a responsibility for our future.

On this Fourth of July, what are you willing to die for? What are you willing to sacrifice so that others can know the love, the saving grace, of Jesus? What are you willing to do to set the captives can be free?