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Monday, we celebrate the 235th anniversary of American independence.  A nation was born on a solid truth—that all rights of men come from God and that God’s law is the basis for all that is moral and good.  And while our nation faces tremendous challenges these days, our hope is that our nation will repent of how we have strayed from God, and He will forgive and protect us.

As precious as our freedom as Americans is, we as Christians and disciples of Jesus Christ have even greater things to celebrate.  Jesus has set us free from the bondage and tyranny of sin, giving us a freedom that is precious and eternal.  But are we taking full advantage of the freedom He has given us?  Or do we return to our old bondage, where our sinful nature still dominates our thoughts, words and actions?

Imagine what life would be like for us as believers if we were to put away once and for all our sinful nature.  Imagine living without fear or worry, knowing God has laid out a life for us where the Holy Spirit directs our every thought, word and action.  A life where we truly believe and take to heart everything God’s Word teaches us about overcoming the world and attaining that peace that surpasses all human understanding.

Whether we talk about our freedom as Americans, or our freedom as Christians, there is one hard fact we must confront—freedom comes with a cost; with responsibilities.  As Christians, that responsibility is obedience to God.  When we stray from His written Word and commandments, we give up our freedom and return to bondage—the bondage of sin.  Life becomes full of worry and fear, instead of one of peace and freedom.

One of the reasons America seems to be in decline is the attitude of a growing number of Americans—an attitude of entitlement—that we have rights without responsibilities.  But isn’t the same thing happening with many Christians?  We want all the riches of salvation and a good life without the responsibilities that come with it.

So as we celebrate our freedom as Americans this weekend, take some time to reflect on our freedom and responsibilities as Christians.  God has given us so much, and He asks so little in return.  All He asks is that we love Him more than anything and obey His commandments.  Is that really too much to ask of us?