Sunday, July 2, 2017

Sunday's Thought


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Independence Day is just a few days away, as you have undoubtedly heard with all the barrage of sales going on at all the local stores. Seems it's a great way to push those summer items and maybe a few fall season ones too- while forgetting why we have a celebration every 4th of July.

The 4th of July, also known as Independence Day, is the day which Americans celebrate the birth of the United States, and commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 on July 4 by the Continental Congress.

The day brings many family and community celebrations across the country which feature fireworks, picnics, music, and almost everything you can imagine.  When I was growing up, the day was celebrated by going to a family reunion picnic in the woods and mountains of West Virginia. While it was awesome to see relatives every year, I was one of those curious and adventurous boys who wanted to spend time exploring rather than eating food and talking with family.  However, I did take the time for family and enjoy their company. Later in life, I realize how important those times really were. People are most important and spending time away from hectic schedules to break bread with them is truly important.

Most of my family has passed away, gone onto other things in this life or are having celebrations of their own. As we start a new tradition in my family of a party to celebrate the day, I am reminded of all the sacrifices made over the years to allow us the freedoms which we have in this country. Not only by those who diligently worked to write the Declaration of Indepence but so many people who fought in battles and wars to protect our rights and freedoms. I cannot thank these people enough.

A more important freedom though was given by God to mankind many years ago. A freedom unlike any other, one family or friends cannot give you nor can any government program or military role get it for you.  Only you can accept it.

What am I talking about? God gave His only Son for your freedom.  He died on a cross so you and I can be free from the burdens of our sins. He forgives us for all we have done. A true gift to man, as you cannot buy it or work for it.  You just have to ask for His Gift by following these steps:

Admit
Admit that you are a sinner, just like everyone else born into this world, until we confess to Jesus Christ and ask His forgiveness:

"(23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 
(24) and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

-Romans 3:23-24, ESV

"(23) For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
 -Romans 6:23, ESV

Believe
Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ:

(16) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, 
that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."
 -John 3:16, ESV 

Confess
Confess your sins in a prayer to the Lord Jesus Christ:

(9) "because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord
 and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, 
you will be saved."

- Romans 10:9, ESV

(13) For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” -Romans 10:13, ESV

Pray

"Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and do not deserve eternal life. 

I believe You died and rose from the grave to make me a new creation
and to prepare me to dwell in your presence forever. 
Jesus, come into my life and take control, 

forgive my sins and save me. I place my trust in You alone
for my salvation and I accept your free gift of eternal life."


Amen

What Next?
Questions? Do these-
"On a Hill Far Away"
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