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Hello Great Family,

Whether your family will be going out to watch spectacular fireworks or simply enjoying a backyard barbecue this 4th of July, you are in the ranks of countless other Americans celebrating our country’s independence. When the Declaration of Independence was approved by Congress on July 4, 1776, America became “the land of the free.” We still enjoy that freedom today because of the sacrifices of brave men and women.

For Jesus followers, freedom comes from being a follower of Jesus. “Freedom” takes on new meaning for believers. When Jesus Christ died on the cross, He took our sin with Him. We are no longer held captive by sin. If we are a disciple of Christ, we are under his authority.

Paul explains in Romans 6:14, “For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.”  That makes us twice as free (free X’s 2)!

While we celebrate America’s Independence Day only one day a year, we get to celebrate our freedom in Christ every day for eternity! Our freedom in Christ is not a “get out of jail free” card. Instead, we should view our freedom as a unique expression allowing us to love God and others – not an excuse to sin. Paul writes in Galatians 5:13, “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.”

As you celebrate America’s Independence Day, take time to reflect on your independence in Christ and look for opportunities to share this freedom with others. As you spend time enjoying the national holiday, spend time thanking God for the freedom he gave you. Find ways to express your love for God while serving others this Independence Day. Help others see how they can be free from whatever sins hold them captive.

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners” – Isaiah 61:1

This Sunday we will be singing worship songs all about the greater freedom we as believers have through Jesus.  We truly are free X’s 2!!! The topic this week in our “Elephant In The Room” series will be “God’s Design For Human Sexuality”.  We live in a fallen world enslaved in sexual addiction and perversion.  Come hear God’s plan for our freedom!

I have a personal request.  The Elders have approved for me to let you know about a financial need.  I will be traveling July 11-13 to speak at the National Youth Ministries Conference in Pennsylvania.  I could use some help with the expense of travel, transportation, and accommodations.  Any gift amount would help.  To be clear…this is not for Oakwood but myself personally.  These donations are not tax deductible and can’t be given to the church.  Trusting God to provide.

God Bless,
P.D. (Psalm 139)