Freedom . . . A Living Word, Especially when Spoken with a Dying Breath

When the William Wallace character in the movie, Braveheart, was about to be executed, his heart reached out to once again gather all the love it had for his native land and its people. Then he filled his tortured lungs one last time, and everything that made him who he was emptied itself as he thundered out a single explosive word, “FREEDOM!” It was the most powerfully moving and unforgettable moment in the story and a scene that would live on well after the closing music died and the list of credits had ended.

“Freedom”.  It’s much more than a word we hear with our ears. It’s an idea that springs to Freedom.6life in our hearts. We feel its quickening pulse every time we contemplate that word and what it means. Freedom can become a vision that changes our view of the world, redefines our concept of who we are, and alters the course of our future. The possibility of freedom rises up to confront every form of oppression and bondage that depraved minds have ever conceived and offers hope. In a world filled with an endlessly expanding list of examples of cruelty, freedom is a force the tyrants of the world cannot long contain.

Whatever the definition of freedom happens to be for any of us at any given moment, our hearts long to embrace it. Sometimes the freedom we crave represents deliverance from conditions we find intolerable, and at others, it translates into liberty that allows access to things that may otherwise have been unattainable. Either way, its allure is powerful, but there’s something about its nature we often forget to consider, especially from a Christian perspective — that freedom is “conditional.”

A Quality Misapplied ~
Christians apparently love to adopt and promote the notion that some of the most profound, costly, and complex gifts that God ever offered us were offered unconditionally, which Freedom.2usually carries the connotation that they are also without limit. God did make it clear that His love for us is unconditional, but I’ve heard preachers, teachers, and singers extrapolate on that quality and expand it to include an array of things that aren’t unconditional at all. They make blithe remarks about unconditional forgiveness, unconditional acceptance, unconditional peace, unconditional approval, and of course, unconditional freedom.

All those concepts are profound and priceless expressions of God’s heart and reveal much about His nature. Exploring them promises rich and possibly eternal rewards, and we heartily encourage diving into such an endeavor. But since freedom is in the news and on our hearts this time of year, let’s focus our attention in that direction and begin with a familiar statement Jesus made about it.

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him,

“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will be made free’?” Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:31-36 (NKJV)

Before Jesus ever introduced the idea of truth or freedom, He established a preliminary condition upon which both of them would rest. Prior to promising anything, He inserted theFreedom.5 little word “if.” The meaning is simple, and its intention is clear and uncomplicated. The truth He referred to and the freedom that it would make possible were never random things tossed out like a handful of grain to a bunch of chickens. Freedom was not a gift to be claimed by anyone and applied to any set of circumstances, but that didn’t mean that it wasn’t available to everyone. Like the love that motivated all He did and the salvation He died to secure, the freedom He offered was intended for all of us . . . but would not be available until certain conditions were met.

An Invitation for Invasion ~
At this time in our history America is being subjected to an invasion. A massive and apparently endless wave of humanity is pouring over our southern border because they’ve been told that the freedom that America represents can be had by simply coming here and Freedom.4claiming it. They believe that they should be given food, clothing, housing, medical care, and education, all with no requirement from them beyond showing up. Unfortunately, multitudes of leftists who want the government to take over everything have forgotten that the freedom Americans enjoy was not just randomly handed out to those who founded this nation because they showed up. Every Fourth of July should be a reminder to all of us that the path to the freedom we enjoy began because a group of people were determined to either find or create a place where they could openly live out the principles taught by the Word of God.

The liberty that came to be the hallmark of our nation didn’t come cheap. It had to be purchased with the precious currency of human life. It was the lifeblood of patriots, the bitter tears of those who watched them die, and the passionate prayers of those who were ready to sacrifice everything for a cause greater than themselves that made this country, not a collection of career politicians passing out edicts from their paneled meeting houses.

Freedom is not unconditional. It only lives when the principles that define it are embraced in the hearts of those who desire it. When its dynamic and deeply personal conditions are met, freedom springs to life and what began as an idea becomes a way of life. But when the truth that undergirds it is rejected, the way of life that it demonstrates dies, and soon the freedom that depended on it dies along with it.

Inserting a Vital Term ~
Jesus used a very interesting term in laying out His offer of freedom. It’s the word “abide.” It means “to live,” and it’s a simple way of saying that if the principles He taught don’t find expression in our lives, then we’re really not His followers at all. If we fail to meet that condition, then neither the truth He embodied nor the unique kind of freedom He offered would be available.

I’ve met people in jails who rejoiced in the freedom Jesus gave them, and I’ve met people in executive suites with salaries I could only dream about who were in hopeless bondage to sins they couldn’t control. Freedom is dying in America in direct proportion to the number of people who begin to think liberty is just a political gimmick that can be handed out at the whim of Washington bureaucrats. May God grant us some patriots in America like William Wallace, men and women who are willing to gather every love they ever had for this country and thunder “Freedom!” once again — even if it takes our dying breath.

______________________________

“TWEETABLES” ~ Click to Tweet & Share from the pull quotes below. Each quote links directly back to this article through Twitter.

  • “Like the love that motivated all Jesus did and the salvation He died to secure, the freedom He offered was intended for all of us . . . but would not be available until certain conditions were met.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)     
  • “The path to the freedom we enjoy began because a group of people were determined to either find or create a place where they could openly live out the principles taught by the Word of God.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet) 
  • “Freedom is dying in America in direct proportion to the number of people who begin to think liberty is just a political gimmick that can be handed out at the whim of Washington bureaucrats.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet) 
  • “Freedom is not unconditional. It only lives when the principles that define it are embraced. When the truth that undergirds it is rejected, the way of life it demonstrates dies. Soon the freedom that depended on it dies along with it.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)

Check out Ron’s book, “Right Side Up Thinking in an Upside Down World ~ Looking at the World through the Lens of Biblical Truth” 

 The Kindle e-version  is just $1.99. No Kindle device is needed. E-book readers are included on most computers, tablets, and smartphones. If you don’t have one, the free Kindle app can be easily downloaded directly from the Amazon site on almost any device.
                    Click here for a “Look Inside” preview at Amazon.

 


© 2019 Gallagher’s Pen, Ronald L. Gallagher, Ed.S.  All rights reserved.

About Ron Gallagher, Ed.S

Author, Speaker, Bible Teacher, Humorist, Satirist, Blogger ... "Right Side Up Thinking ~ In an Upside Down World" For Ron's full bio, go to GallaghersPen.com/about/
This entry was posted in Insights, July 4 - Independence Day and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Freedom . . . A Living Word, Especially when Spoken with a Dying Breath

  1. No, freedom will never be free, and unless we have Jesus in our hearts, we are never truly free. I pray our nation will come to its senses and embrace the gifts God has given to this great country.
    Blessings, Ron!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t know what’s going on, Martha, but I replied to your gracious comment a couple of days ago and now I don’t see it and can’t find it. So, if this is a repeat, please forgive me. I do always love seeing how your faith in God’s Word and your love for the Lord comes through in the things you share, whether it’s in a post of your own or in response to someone else. God bless you for the way you hold the line in these days when opposition seems to be emerging everywhere we look.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. JD Wininger says:

    What so many have forgotten; or worse, were never taught, is that Freedom isn’t Free! There’s a cost for both freedom and liberty; and that cost is high! In some cases, we have to fight for both; and when there’s a fight, it comes at a high price. True freedom is worth dying for though. I’m most grateful to be a Christian-American (I loathe hyphenated classifications, but if the world insists we have to be Italian-American, Native-American, Black-American, Hispanic-American, etc., then I choose CHRISTIAN-American). Many young folks don’t understand the words “freedom” and “liberty”. They think it means they’re free to demand something for nothing; to be taken care of. Freedom, in its most simple form, is the ability to say and do what you believe is right and good-free from the bonds that constrain and hold you back. Liberty is the ability to exercise that freedom. Having fought for this nation, what I can assure you is that freedom isn’t free, and liberty is something you must pay dearly for. In my Christian life, God has given me freedom from the bonds of sin. I am no longer a slave to my sinful human nature, unless I choose to be! Jesus Christ paid the price for my Christian liberty. However, I must also pay a price to maintain it. Christ died for our sins. I must die to myself each day in repayment for the high cost of my Christian freedom and liberty. Will I one day have to pay the ultimate price for this freedom? Unless His return quickens, then I suspect so. If that be the case, be warned. I will gladly die a free Christian man, for my eternal liberty is guaranteed; and I hold dear to that promise. Much more so than the promise America once held.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, J.D.– I think this needs to be posted in place of the one you responded to. Your words are especially powerful given your service to this country combined with your service to the King of Kings. Thank you for adding a fresh dose of inspiration, and for stimulating the kind of courage that we’ve been praying for. May God continue to bless and direct your ministry and to maintain management of all the gifts He gave you and the life He died to redeem.

      Liked by 2 people

      • JD Wininger says:

        Your words inspire mine my friend. I’m just happy learning at the master’s feet. 🙂 Thank you so much for another inspiring post Mr. Ron.

        Liked by 1 person

Share your thoughts . . .

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s