This week's memory verse:
Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens." Psalm 68:19
I love when I learn something new that happened in our history. This morning I read about the history behind "Juneteenth." If I knew this before, I had forgotten it. It is amazing how applicable this story is today...even in this lightning fast information age.
On June 19, 1865, slaves in Texas learned that they were free. This is close to 2 years since President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, and the war was over. There are many explanations as to why the news took so long to reach the slaves of Texas, but whatever the reason...that day became a holiday to celebrate...and has been celebrated for years. They were free!
We can't even imagine today how news that big would not be heard...we have CNN, Facebook, Twitter, etc. that can spread news like that in seconds. But...the truth is...there are still people out there who don't know that they can be free. You might be reading this right now, and not realize that you can be free...free from the guilt and anguish caused by your own sins...free from the chains of an unhealthy habit, a toxic relationship, or of cultural worldviews that dictate how we should look, act, speak and spend our time and money.
Read Romans 6:15-23
We become slaves to whatever we obey...verse 18 says to experience true freedom, we need to become slaves to righteousness. God is the great emancipator! When you believe in God and believe that Jesus is God's plan for your salvation, and follow his commands (God's guidelines for living a better life) God frees you and makes you holy and gives you an eternal life.
God also knows that we can't do this alone...we were never meant to go on this freedom journey alone...we need friends...a community of people supporting each other. Hebrews 3:12-14 says we are to encourage one another, making sure none of us turns away from God to become hardened by sin. We are NOT to be judgmental, but supportive and loving to each other, holding each other accountable.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 reminds us that "a cord of three strands is not quickly broken." In order to be truly free...we NEED each other!
So, know that freedom is yours for the asking! Hold firmly to one another, and you will hold firmly to God. Be a faithful friend...send a note...give a hug...send a Facebook message...give a smile. We are free at last and that's news to share with others because there are MANY out there who still don't know they can be free too!