Some fifty years ago, a mid-west university began a project to teach a female chimpanzee to talk by combining sign language with simple recognition. Over a fifteen year period, this particular chimp learned 140 signs of communication. Finally, the project directors decided to allow the chimp to conceptualize and express thoughts on her own. From a laboratory where she was well fed, cared for, loved, and safe from all harm, she put three words together to form a phrase. Those three words were repeated over and over, “Let me out.”
The desire for freedom runs deep within all of creation, but especially with humanity. The Pilgrims came to America seeking freedom to worship God in clear conscious. Our military stands ready at a moment’s notice to guard and protect the freedom we enjoy as well as freedom around the world. As we celebrate our nation’s birthday, we are to be reminded of the cost involved for the freedoms we enjoy and celebrate. I think it is safe to say that freedom does not come cheap. It comes to us by way of great sacrifice.
Yet, no greater freedom was purchased than that which Jesus purchased on Calvary – a freedom from sin’s guilt and shame, a freedom from sin’s penalty and judgment, and a freedom from sin’s bondage and grip on our lives. Jesus declared that when he sets someone free that they are free indeed (John 8:36); free to pursue a relationship with him, free to worship in spirit and in truth, and free to live with peace and assurance.
In his sovereignty, God gave each of us the freedom to choose. We can choose to believe God’s Word or not. We can choose to follow his precepts or not. We can choose to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior or not – the choice is ultimately ours. But choices do have consequences. A person who chooses to break the law faces the penalty of the law. A person who chooses to be unfriendly faces the consequences of loneliness. And a person who chooses to refuse God’s gift of salvation ultimately faces eternity separated from him. Paul said it best in Galatians 5:1, “it is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”
Don’t let your freedom of choices cost you the greatest freedom of all. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2Cor.3:17)
To His Glory,