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    July brings one thought to all of us living in America, independence. Old movies showcasing the struggle of our forefathers fill the television and streets are lined with American flags and temporary tents selling fireworks. Lawn chairs, hotdogs and ice cream sold at high volume as families plan their outdoor get togethers to celebrate with family and friends.

   Three things become a focal point of our celebration, freedom, fireworks and food. As we think of these it is easy to find a biblical connection in the independence found by knowing Jesus Christ as Savior.

   Freedom is not given but is earned by great sacrifice. Great men died to secure freedom for our nation and liberate it from the tyranny of England. It started with a firm belief that freedom was attainable and then demanded a willingness on their hearts to stand up and fight for that freedom. Signing the declaration of independence documented their personal devotion to the cause and labeled them leaders in the fight as much as George Washington on the battlefield. Jesus knew freedom for us was not possible unless He died for our sin. We could die a thousand deaths and not phase the penalty of sin. He paid the cost and set us free from the bondage of sin if we only trust and believe in Him for salvation.

   Fireworks blast for hours on end in almost every neighborhood as a celebration of the independence we hold dear. The variety of colors and sounds is unmistakable. No need to wonder a few days before the fourth and even a few days what is happening when muffled popping sounds repeat in the evenings. It’s a great way to enjoy this privilege to watch fireworks burst and fill the sky with an array of red, white and blue. As Christians we should celebrate salvation and share the joy in our hearts with the lost world. Troubles are common to all men but having eternal life should drive us to spread the love of God as an explosion in the sky.

   Finally, we touch on food, my favorite. Food is part of almost every celebration because it gives us time to not only nourish our bodies but spend time communicating with those we care about. In the bible breaking bread is important to the fellowship of believers.

   This year as we celebrate our independence don’t forget to praise the Savior who set us free from all sin!