The Fourth of July is always a great day to reflect upon the freedom we have in our country and the incredible cost it has required and continues to require to maintain it. All the normal things I get to do every day by virtue of my free will are truly wonderful privileges. The freedom I have to drive where I want, visit where I want, worship where I want, do what I want, and share what I want is a priceless thing.
In a sense we are all like Private James Ryan from the movie ‘Saving Private Ryan.’ As you probably know, the movie is about a World War II Captain, Captain Miller, and his men who are trying to locate and bring home a young private who is the last surviving son of his mother’s. The story follows these men through the bloody invasion of Normandy, through battle after battle and hardship after hardship. They eventually get Private Ryan home but Captian Miller loses his own life in the process. In his dying words, Captain Miller looks up at Ryan and challenges him with the words, ‘earn this.’ That scene challenges me to not waste this life of freedom that has been purchased by courageous men and women. I should not treat my life as cheap because it is not.
Steve mentioned the following Scripture verse a couple of weeks ago from Philippians that says, ‘Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.’ – Philippians 1:27 This verse relates to Captain Miller’s challenge to Private Ryan. Private Ryan was rescued and saved as a free gift. He didn’t have to prove his worthiness in order to be rescued. Captain Miller was calling him to live a life worthy of his rescue. In the same way, we are to live lives worthy of our rescue. Jesus came for you and me. He fought his way through criticism, loneliness, sleepless nights, persecution, name-calling, mockery, torture, unimaginable physical pain, and humiliation to come and rescue us.
Through the giving of His own life He purchased for us 100% full forgiveness of our sins. All of our sins, past, present and future are totally forgiven. Wow that’s incredible. He also completed our adoption and says to us ‘welcome, child of God’ to your new family. He has prepared a place for us to be with Him forever. He gives us joy (the same joy He had), peace (not like the world gives), love, purpose and abundant (overflowing) life. This is what King Jesus Christ has purchased for us. Does my life reflect this reality? Does my worship indicate that I get this? I have been given such an amazing gift! How can I hold it in? I must tell the world about my Savior and what He has done for me! It’s just too amazing and too incredible. Let’s live worthy lives of the gospel today!