July 4th is Independence Day in the United States. People will celebrate in many and various ways. Many will have a day off from work. There will be lots of outdoor grilling and homemade ice cream in the part of the country where I live. Fireworks are a big part of the celebration. Some people will reflect on what this day means in terms of being a citizen of this country.

Other countries also celebrate their Independence days. They, too, have unique ways to celebrate. They hope that their citizens will reflect on the political meaning of their independence. Of course, some have to change the meaning and date of their independence day as different regimes take charge of the country. There are countries that no longer exist, but I assume at one time celebrated their independence. It just did not last. I live in a state that celebrates its own independence day, but my state did not stay independent.

But there is an independence I celebrate every day. As a Christian, I am thankful and celebrate daily my freedom from sin that used to keep me a slave. In all fairness, my sin should have kept me away from God forever, but Jesus died on the cross so I could be free forever. When I chose to follow him, I became part of a kingdom that will celebrate our independence forever. This kingdom has no earthly borders because it is better than the countries and rulers of this world. And others are invited to join this kingdom. It does not matter what political country they reside in, or whether it is an old or new country. We have found real independence, real freedom.

So I do not know how long I will enjoy July 4th celebrations. But I know I will celebrate my real independence day forever.

If you would like to know more about real independence in a kingdom that lasts forever, write me at steve@hopeforlife.org or join the blog discussion at www.hopeforlife.org.

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