But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Galatians 6:14
Yesterday was Independence Day for the United States.
For that reason it's not inappropriate to consider two signers of the Declaration. Samuel Chase and Elbridge Gerry were among the original signers of that Country-starting document.
Gerry asked Chase, a huge man of 250 pounds, why he was willing to risk his significant fortune in signing the Declaration. Chase turned to the lightweight Gerry and laughingly replied, "It's you who will have the far more difficult time. With your slight build, you're likely to keep dangling on the gallows while I will only but suffer for a moment."
Both men realized there was a personal danger in putting their names on such a radical document. Nevertheless, they were willing to run the risk of losing all they had so this country could be born. I wonder when Americans saw the fireworks and listened to the bands, whether they would be willing to do the same.
Sacrifice and commitment are easy words to say, hard words to live. Still there are those who have been willing to embrace both for freedom.
No one, of course, has done more to win freedom for others than the Savior. While Chase and Gerry ran the risk of death, Jesus knew His mission on earth was guaranteed to lead Him to the cross. Yet, so we could be freed of sin, death, and devil, Jesus sacrificed Himself.
Now, by God's grace, may we make use of our liberty to worship Him who has given us forgiveness, faith, and freedom for all eternity.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear God, I am willing to risk suffering and make sacrifices in order to serve You. Give me the strength to follow Your will for my life as a Christian citizen. In Your Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries