Freedom Devotional (July 1)

Happy Canada Day!

What a country we live in - the envy of many people around the world. A land of freedom and opportunities is ours to enjoy today in large part by the sacrifices made by hundreds of thousands of men and women who paid a tremendous price for us. Let’s honour their memory and service by valuing and protecting our privileges because of them.

Will we do that? What do you think? Will our nation stand together and guard our legacy or will we succumb to adversarial forces seeking to break us apart? I am thinking about the obvious threats to our society like the attacks of militant Islamic extremists that are wreaking havoc in many parts of the world. Canadians can no longer assume that we are safe from acts of terrorism on our own soil. We have to be vigilant and ready for hostile actions of any kind.

But I think there’s an even greater risk to our country. It’s the slow and suffocating destruction of who we are as people, a weakening of our character and the moral foundations which have supported us up to now. Throughout history, many world empires that appeared to be powerful and indestructible on the outside were decaying on the inside and that ultimately led to their downfall. When people degenerate spiritually and morally the eventual outcome is predictably dire.

Canada, like the United States and other developed countries, has been slowly and consistently turning away from living according to a higher standard rooted in godly principles revealed in God’s word. We have become masters of our own lives with everyone doing what’s right in our own eyes. Without the guidance of godly values, parameters and restraints, we will see just how bad things can get. What might be considered unimaginable today can become reality sooner than we think. One day our nation will wake up and wonder how we got in the immoral mess that we’re in. As bad as some of us think societal conduct is today, I don’t think we’ve seen anything yet.

I’ve done a lot of thinking and praying about this reality and I’ve come to a simple conclusion. I realize and accept that I have no control over the decisions that politicians, school boards, judges and supreme court justices make. They are driven for the most part by an agenda that does not consider God’s view. I will therefore pray that somehow their hearts will change and they will turn to God for their own lives and for wisdom to lead others.

At the same time, as a follower of Jesus I have the freedom to live my life God’s way and to do everything I can to encourage and support my family and church family to do the same. For that I am grateful and will commit myself daily to that purpose. I urge you to do the same. Together we will be a spiritual beacon of light to a world overcome by darkness, so that many may see what we have in Christ and turn their lives over to him.

This Sunday I am continuing our series from the book of John we are calling ‘Encountering Jesus’. We will be looking closer at John the Baptist to discover the underlying principle that he lived by that kept him true to his calling and gave him great joy. In preparation, read John 1:19-34 and John 3:22-36 and see what you notice about John’s attitude towards himself and Jesus that made all the difference.

Again, have a happy Canada Day. Enjoy the blessings that we still have as Canadians and especially celebrate the favour that we enjoy by following Christ.

Pastor Del