Today is "Independence Day" in America. The day we celebrate our freedom from a tyrannical English government. Amid all the celebration, we some times forget to be grateful for the freedoms we have and let God know that we are grateful to have been born in a country where freedom is prized and fought for.

I love living in a country where we are free to worship, free to speak our minds, free to own property, work hard, and make a better life for ourselves. If you take a glance around the globe and the governments that so many people live under, you quickly realize that most of the people in the world do not share the same freedoms that we do. Imagine needing to fear arrest because you dared to speak against actions that your government was taking. Or imagine living in a place where it didn't matter how hard you worked, you would always be in the same economic level because the government owned all the property and you were just at their mercy. 

The civic freedom I appreciate the most is the freedom to worship freely. We attend religious gatherings at will without any concern of repercussions. It is good to know that we have local law enforcement who would literally fight their own government to protect this freedom. As disconcerting as it is when people worship false religions or take their Christian faith to some bizarre extremes and practices; I appreciate living in a society where it is legal to be wrong and wrestle through the issues of worship and faith freely. The gospel impact in global missions from this country has been unprecedented in world history and that is could not have happened without our civic freedoms. 

The parallels between civic freedom and spiritual freedom are somewhat obvious and I'd like to talk about our spiritual freedom on another day. Today though, I just want to stop and thank God for allowing us to live in this particular spot of the world. I know that it's just a temporal kingdom, but the freedoms we enjoy here actually make an eternal difference. I'm also grateful for the men and women who have risked life and limb to guard these freedoms. There are those who continue to protect us from evil running rampant and destroying our freedoms, so I appreciate those in law enforcement and the work they do. 

Here's my prayer for today: "Lord thank you for allowing me to live in a country where I enjoy freedom. Thank you for putting this burning passion to be a free in our founding fathers. Thank you for the work that you have done in the world; advancing your kingdom with people who are free. Thank you for the men and women who have filled their role in history and have struggled to protect these freedoms. Forgive us for being so ungrateful and taking these things for granted. I ask that you would put the love of freedom in the generations to come so that they to will prize it and guard it with their lives. Help us to use the temporal freedoms we enjoy here and lead people into a spiritual freedom that lasts for all eternity!"

Floyd Yutzy