It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
All throughout the month of June and in the beginning of July, we are talking about a subject near and dear to many people's hearts: freedom. For many in the United States and in many other parts of the world, individual freedom is as precious a thing as there is in life. But it will shock many people to know that the person who said, "Give me liberty or give me death," didn't think that our individual freedoms, as important as they are, were the most important thing in life, by far.
In his Last Will & Testament, filed in the Brookneal County Courthouse in Virginia, Patrick Henry noted something especially interesting.
He wrote, "I have now given everything I own to my children. There is one more thing I wish I could give them and that is Christ. Because if they have everything I gave them and don't have Christ, they have nothing." I would say that Patrick Henry understood what Paul was talking about in our verse for today. He knew that there is one thing in life that is the key to all of life: Jesus Christ. Indeed, faith in Jesus Christ alone is that key.
In fact, throughout the Gospels, Jesus Himself is pretty clear about this whole matter of Him needing to be your Savior: the key to your life and salvation. He says things like "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father except by Me" (John 14:6). He also says, "I am the Resurrection and the Life" (John 11:25a). And about this thing we cherish, freedom, Jesus says, "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8:36).
There are indeed so many things in this life that demand our attention, but as we get older, we begin to realize that many of them aren't really that important at all. In fact, when it comes right down to it, it's knowing God in Christ as our Creator, Redeemer, and Life-Giver alone that gives meaning and purpose, even power to live life to its fullest, now and forever.
So as you go about your tasks this week, take some time to think about the ways that knowing Jesus Christ by faith, knowing Him through His Word, think how that might impact everything you are, everything you say, everything you do. For when you begin to realize that Jesus is not only the key to life, He's the key to your life -- that makes your life worth living no matter the challenges. That makes people worth loving no matter the struggles, and that makes work worth doing no matter the obstacles, and even leisure worth taking because God is in control of all things, even the very life you get to live by grace through faith in Him.
There are many things that claim to be the key to life, test them and then compare them to Jesus Christ. I know you'll be blessed if you do. Patrick Henry, a great champion of freedom, knew that even something as vital as personal liberty and freedom needed to be resourced and empowered by faith in Jesus Christ for it to have real, lasting value. Let that key open the door for you for a graced life of faith in Jesus Christ, full of His abundant promises and full of His grace this week and always.
THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus, give us clarity of thinking to see that the things of this life -- no matter how valuable they might seem -- they are nothing compared to knowing and believing in You by grace through faith. Amen!
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz
Speaker of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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