Dead Week

John 8:32
Interesting title for the beginning of the week of July 4th, don’t you think? Let me explain. The North Carolina High School Athletic Association annually declares the week of July 4th as a dead period for high school football practice. That means that no high schools in the state are allowed to practice football this week. All football activities are dead. To those of us around high school football, it is a welcomed respite from the heat and day-to-day rigors of practice.

In this country, this is the week that we celebrate everyone’s “inalienable right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness.” Our country was founded on the premise that everyone has the opportunity to seek life to the fullest. Everyone can freely choose to go after that which they feel will bring them ultimate happiness,as long as their pursuit doesn’t infringe on the right of someone else to pursue it as well.

There has been a lot of bloodshed over the past 247 years to protect that right. A lot of people have died defending the opportunities this country affords. It is a week to remember death in the midst of seeking life. It is an interesting dichotomy. Death has to occur for life to spring forward. In agriculture, the new life of Spring is preceded by the death of Winter. I have to put away old habits so that I can discipline myself to new and healthier habits.

Jesus said to those who would follow Him, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32, NIV) Jesus was and is the Truth. He is the one who sets us free. Our culture may not want to admit it, but it was the life and teachings of Jesus that set this country on the path to pursue life and liberty. He is the Truth that set in motion what we celebrate this week.

As the Truth, Jesus died to set us free. He set us free from sin and bondage. He set us free to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. In John 10:10, we read that He came to offer the fullness of life, and He had to die to make it happen. He had to die so the chains of sin and oppression could be broken. He had to die so that the fullness of life could be born in us.

So, it is a dead week. It is a week to remember the dead who gave their lives so that we could be free in America. It is a week to remember the sacrifice of Jesus that we might have life as God intended it to be. There is no place on Earth where a person has a better opportunity to live out that life than in this Country. God forgive Americans of our shortcomings and sin. God bless America.

JOURNAL: What sacrifices do you make to help others find happiness? What needs to die so that you can have an abundant life?

PRAYER: Our Father, we thank You for our freedom. We thank You for our Country. Forgive us for our abuse of freedom. Thank You for Your sacrifice that we might have life to its fullest. Amen.
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