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Beautiful Words Blog | Life, Liberty, and Real Happiness By Pastor John Moropoulos | Gateway Christian Fellowship

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

Thesis: Jesus’ brings true independence

It’s July 4th . It’s a great day. It is a day to celebrate.

It’s really important, I believe, to always remember exactly what we celebrate when we

celebrate. The Bible certainly makes the case. It’s full of celebration. The Jewish calendar is literally defined by three feasts. The word shamah, the instruction to rejoice, occurs more than one hundred and fifty times. And when the people were celebrating they told the stories that were the cause for celebration. The telling of the story and the celebration itself were completely linked.

So we should take time to remember what “Independence Day” is all about.

It’s simple at its core. A choice was made to seek self-rule rather than rule by a despot, or a despotic parliament. The choice was predicated on a simple, self-evident truth, that all men were created equal and that they were endowed by their Creator with the inalienable right to seek “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

The truth is, as we know experientially, is that they were only partially successful. They

effectively showed the door to the British King, parliament, aristocrats and army. Where there had been a government that paid them no heed there would be a government elected by the people and therefore completely answerable to the people. And a high price was paid for it.

That price has been paid over and over again many times.

But that only partially satisfied the desired goal. Real equity in the search for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness remains elusive. It remains an elusive goal because human means alone simply won’t get us there. I think the founders knew that, and that’s why they put the word “pursuit” there. In our own strength we can only chase it. Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

The word “abundantly” is perisssos. It means “beyond.” Jesus’ gift to us is life “beyond.” It is life beyond what we can create, labor for, achieve. It is life beyond what we can imagine. It is life beyond this life and therefore life beyond the reach of those who would take it from us, spoil or ruin it.

There’s nothing wrong with seeking freedom, and the blessings that come with it, in this world. It is a very fine thing. Working and even fighting to bring the blessings of freedom to others is as fine a thing as any human endeavor. It is a sacred trust that we do this. But in the end it is essential to remember that the gifts we celebrate on the 4th are limited. The gift we were given at the Cross is limitless and eternal. Real life, real liberty, and real happiness.

Happy 4th of July!


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