Hello Everyone!  Hope and pray you have been getting out of your house and realizing that it’s not the end of the world, not yet anyway.  It is so good to be back at church for those who can come.  So encouraging to see freedom being practiced at a very comfortable level.  That is, for those who want to wear a mask at church, by all means do so.  For those who do not, by all means feel free to walk in that freedom.  If you are sick, stay home, please.  God is so good to us and as Americans we are double blessed.  We have freedoms that people in countries that are ruled by monarchies or dictators can only dream of.  That’s why we celebrate July 4th!  We need to realize what we have in this beloved land before it’s too late.  Freedom is not free, and the freedoms that we have had for the past 244 years are not guaranteed to the next generation.  They have to be protected, guarded as precious, because that’s what freedom is, a precious gift.  I’m not sure who said this but I read it several years ago and it has left a lasting impression as well as vivid imagery of the length people will go for the sake of freedom.  As the person said, “You don’t find people crawling through barbed wire and risking their lives to go live in North Korea.”  Can you imagine what it would be like to risk your life to escape, crawl through a mile of underground tunnel, to only come out and see that fat little dictator standing there waiting on you, maybe he’s with Denise Rodman, but who cares!  What a sad scenario that would be.

     Just think of the amazing freedom we have in Christ Jesus our Lord.  The thought of waving the white flag of surrender and going back under bondage is insanity according to the Apostle Paul.  But people do it all the time.  I guess they get bored, and when that happens, people are easily deceived.  That’s why we read in Galatians 5:1, “Standfast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.”  Ouch!  Couldn’t Paul have said it in a little more soft tone, maybe he should have offered a cup of tea with some Jewish rugelach (Pastry) instead of blistering their backsides with such harsh words.  Paul says in verse 7, “You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?”  Yes, freedom is a big deal and the thought of the Church throwing in the towel because of a better deal should cause every Born Again believer to get spiritual high blood pressure!  Maybe you and I need to join with Paul and get a little fired up?  Now I tread here carefully, but is it possible that people would be more upset about College Football being canceled this year than they would be over losing their freedom as an American?  Is there any care for the spiritual life? To quote Charlie Brown, “Good grief!” Well, we hope that neither of these things happen.  We would love to see UT take it into the End Zone, for Americans to celebrate our distinct freedoms, and above all, for God’s people to stand firm in the truth of the Gospel! Paul closes the letter to the Galatians by saying, “Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.”  As we cross over the half time of this year being over.  And what a year it has been so far.  May those very words be ours. “Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.”

Let us run well by fixing our eyes on Jesus.  The race will be over before you know it.

Free in Christ,

Pastor David