Week 1: Freedom

On July 4th, we will celebrate the 244th birthday of the United States of America. Before we begin socially distant family gatherings, fireworks, and food let’s pause to give honor to those who have made this nation what it is today. We have a long history of courageous men and women who were willing to stand against forces of evil and oppression both domestic and worldwide. The pages of our history are full of courage, strength, tenacity, and sacrifice demonstrated in the face of overwhelming odds and incredible challenges. It is with great honor and respect that we say, thank you.

Thank you for taking up the fight when it might have been easier to stand by and watch.  
Thank you for being willing to sacrifice your life for the sake of freedom and opportunity for all. Thank you for standing in the gap for those who needed a voice and a defender.  
Thank you for being the shoulders we can all stand on today.

To all of our military veterans and active duty service members, we salute you and give you honor this week. To those who have lost family members in the service of freedom, we honor you and thank you. With the utmost humility and gratitude, we recognize that the freedom we have would not be possible without those who served and gave their lives. We stand today in freedom because of your sacrifices.

Isaac Newton, the great visionary and inventor, said, “If I have seen further, it is because I stand on the shoulders of giants.” As we show our appreciation, we also show honor by carrying on the fight for freedom into the future. We are able to have vision for freedom for all because we also stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. Those who have fought and battled for freedom and equality for all people have paved the way for us to continue the fight. And fight on we shall, but we don’t fight alone! 

Just as those we honor this week stood shoulder to shoulder with each other and carried the light of freedom to the world, we stand with our Savior and fight for freedom for all who are lost and hurting! We take up the fight for freedom from oppression, freedom from patterns of sin, freedom from addictions, freedom from violence and hatred, and freedom from generational cycles of self-defeating behaviors. We have freedom in Jesus! The price was paid once and for all for us to live in freedom.  

Jesus said in John 10, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Our savior sacrificed and paid the ultimate price for us to live in freedom. May our lives bear His light and His truth to and for all people! Jesus gave us the promise of freedom in Him, and we must carry His light of freedom into the world. 

To the broken and hurting, Jesus is freedom! To the outcast and rejected, Jesus is freedom! To the marginalized and cast-down, Jesus is freedom! To all who are bound, Jesus is freedom!  

As we declare freedom for all, may we recognize and honor the foundation we’ve been given, and may we stand tall and fight with courage until the whole world knows!

Video devotions

What does freedom mean to you? Today, Pastor Gentry poses that question to POA’s veterans. Their answers are challenging, moving, and unforgettable. Click on the video below to hear their thoughts and Pastor Gentry’s reminder of our freedom in Christ.

MUSIC DEVOTIONS

God Bless America. As Madonna Massey sings this anthem, give thanks for the freedoms we have been given and pray for God to help, heal, and bless America.