A reason to celebrate

Tomorrow, we celebrate Independence Day, better known as the Fourth of July! If you are like most, you have already planned cookouts, get-togethers and most importantly … where you are going to watch the fireworks!

I always look forward to the fireworks. All of the beautiful colors, exploding in the sky — the reds, greens, yellows, blues and the blazing whites lighting up the sky in all of their thundering glory. It’s an awesome thing to behold.

As much as I like the single, double and triple fireworks exploding in the air and the ground displays, I really like the grand finale. It’s like billions of explosions and millions of colors all at once. I look forward to that part of the show!

Certainly, America is the best place in the entire world in which to live. We can still enjoy our freedom, choose our own occupation, travel wherever we want to, vote for those we want to be elected, and meet for public worship. All of these things that we take for granted, in many parts of the world, people are not allowed to do. We are very fortunate indeed.

Thank God, thank those who have served their country and thank those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to pay for our freedom. They paid a great debt so that we can be free.

But did you know, there was Someone else who paid a great debt for our freedom too? That’s right, over 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, gave His life on Calvary’s cross to pay a debt He didn’t owe. It was our sin debt that He gave His life for, so that we could be free from the bondage of sin.

And you know what? When we ask Jesus to forgive us of our sins, and we ask Him into our lives to become the new Manager of our life, He saves us from our sins and gives us the gift of eternal life. Our name is then written in the Book of Life and we are sealed by the Holy Spirit until the day that Jesus calls us home to be with Him for all eternity.

Now, even though eternal life has been paid for by Jesus death on the cross, like a gift it has to be received. I know it sounds too simple, but just this week, I talked with a young couple in their home, explained to them that God loves us and He doesn’t want us to spend our eternity in hell, so He allowed His only Son to pay the sin debt so that we could be free!

They both believe in God, they believe that Jesus died for their sins and they did what many people have not done yet — they asked Jesus to come into their life, save them from their sins and they accepted the free gift of eternal life. What a great time we had talking about the things to come and that one day, we will spend our eternity in Heaven with God.

That is going to be the Ultimate Freedom that anyone can enjoy. What about you? As an American you are free. But to be truly free — free from the penalty of sin — you must accept Jesus as your Savior. And then, you will have another reason to celebrate this weekend.

And that is Something To Think About for this week.

Pastor Thad Gifford is the founding and lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church, 62 E. Second St., London. He can be reached at 740-852-7800, email him at m.thad.gifford@gmail.com, www.3C-Church.org or visit the church’s Facebook page at Crossroadslondon.