The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Jan Knicely
Associate In Ministry Emeritus Holy Trinity Lutheran Sidney 

Faith and Freedom


I am sure most all of you have seen the poster or tee shirt that proclaims “Freedom isn’t Free!”. These words drive home an important message,  whether it pertains to the freedom we enjoy as an American or to our being set free as a Christian. Someone paid the price!

As free Americans, we owe so much to so many. Past generations of brave men and women gave the ultimate sacrifice and a new generation is now giving of themselves to protect our country. Our prayer is for God to protect them as they protect us.  We must not take our freedom for granted and be forever grateful!

As Christians, we have the blessing of another kind of freedom. This freedom could only be achieved by the Son of God, Jesus Christ. We owe so much to our Lord and Savior for dying on the cross to set us free from sin. Jesus’ death has allowed a holy God to freely give us forgiveness and eternal life. We have that gift through faith. By the power of God’s Spirit through Word and Sacrament, we grow in faith and live a more Christ- centered life, thankful for what He has done in and for us. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast!” Ephesians 2:8-9

Yes, it is true, indeed....“Freedom is not Free”! Sons and daughters of broken hearted parents gave their lives to give us the opportunity to live in a free land. Jesus, the Son of a loving God, gave his life on the cross to free us from sin and give us eternal life.

As we celebrate Independence Day this year, let us remember to also celebrate the blessed assurance that throughout the ages, brave soldiers who have died in Christ, are forever with Him who won the final victory....eternal life!

As we prepare to celebrate Independence Day, I would like to share excerpts from a prayer taken from “My Prayer Book”, published  by Concordia Publishing Co.  May this prayer be in our hearts always!

“O God, our help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, I give You grateful thanks on this anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence for the priceless blessings of liberty that, with Your help, were won for me by my ancestors. Stir up within me, I pray You, a new appreciation of the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness I enjoy in this land of the free, and a greater readiness to serve my nation with my talents. TEACH ME, ABOVE ALL, TO TREASURE THAT PRECIOUS FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE AND WORSHIP, WITHOUT WHICH OTHER LIBERTIES WOULD NOT LONG SURVIVE. May I never contribute to the loss of these dearly won blessings by my own selfishness, ambition or indifference..............

Bless all those in authority. Give wisdom and faithfulness to those in positions of leadership. Preserve them from becoming the prey of selfish pressure groups , and give them willingness to serve the interests of the public.

Grant enduring peace to our country and its institutions, so that Your Gospel may be able, without hindrance, to turn the hearts of all from the bondage of sin to the freedom won by the blood of our precious Redeemer, in whose name and for whose sake we ask this. Amen!


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