Let Freedom Ring in 2023

As we celebrated America’s 247th Independence Day, many of us looked forward to spending time with family and friends. There were cookouts, camping, days at the beach, or fishing along quiet riverbanks. At some point, I hope your thoughts turned to our freedom. I encourage my fellow Americans to take just a few moments and consider what that seven-letter word means to you.

For me, the word freedom has several meanings. Foremost, I remind myself we founded our nation upon our desire for freedom of religion. This freedom enables Americans to worship our holy, triune God and live according to His word, without fear of reprisal or confinement.

Second, I think of our veterans, some of whom over the past two centuries laid down their lives—sacrificing themselves for our freedom.

Last, I think of and praise God for the many freedoms I have as a Christian.

As a Christian, I have cherished freedom in Christ. Upon my salvation, I was set free from my past sins. In Christ’s freedom, I can choose to be free from fear and worry; and I am free from death because God promises eternal life in heaven. I recognize though, all freedoms come at a cost. We must all die to ourselves and our selfish desires to find true freedom in Christ. I think often of the words of the Apostle Paul in Galatians.

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;
and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
(Galatians 2:20 NKJV)

I love my country, having served it both in the military and as a responsible citizen. As I’ve grown older, I’ve seen lots of changes in our nation. Much of our American technological and medical advancements came from our freedom to explore and challenge preconceived notions of the world. These capitalist-funded advancements benefit all mankind. I’ve also seen the Christian values, morality, and principles our great nation was founded upon eroded during my lifetime.

I have watched with great sadness as the secular world has worked to take what was once deplorable, immoral, and ungodly (e.g., homosexuality, abortion, removal of God from the public eye) and turn it into acceptable behavior by society. Don’t think so? Planned Parenthood® didn’t exist to promote abortion until October 1916. The U.S. Supreme Court removed prayer from public schools in 1962. In 2015, the government enacted laws to force legalization of gay marriage in the U.S. These laws can never usurp God’s law, written on my heart.

In his speech at Western Michigan University in December 1963, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. stated, “Morality cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated. Judicial decrees may not change the heart, but they can restrain the heartless.” His statement was correct, albeit used in a different context. He was leading the civil rights movement in our nation. He later stated that we must change our hearts for us to become a moral nation again.

Sadly, legislation has moved in the opposite direction of his plea. Reverend King wanted our nation to move closer to its founding tenets. A large portion of society wants us to move away from our Judeo-Christian foundation. We see this in the divisiveness across the church today. Denominations are splitting apart and apostasy within the church is rampant. A recent survey by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University found that a mere 37% of Christian pastors in the United States hold a biblical worldview.

If nearly two-thirds of Christian pastors fail to adhere to a biblical worldview, what then are their congregants learning? #ChristianAmerican #StandUpForChrist Click To Tweet

This is not “church-bashing” as become en vogue by many, but a clarion call to wake up and return to being Christ’s church rather than the world’s church. If true believers are to withstand the coming trials, we must take back our churches by repenting of our worldliness and letting the Holy Spirit guide the body of Christ. We must put aside our differences and focus solely on God’s precepts for godly living.

Once the church returns to being the church, we can, and must, protect the weakest among us. In doing so, we can restore true religious liberty and freedom.

God made man with freedom of choice. Let no man ever remove that choice from another. I pray no one suffers eternal damnation, but I’m realist enough to know many will, by their choices.

President Ronald Reagan was one of my Commanders-in-Chief during my time in the military. In the graphic above are his two most memorable quotes for me. He reminded us how our country was blessed by the grace of God. He stated that should we continue down the secular path many in our country seem to be driving towards, we risk losing God’s favor. We risk this because we will no longer honor God by following His commandments and examples of Christian living found in the Bible.

As a Christian, I will always endeavor to earn God’s blessing on my country. Should I ever have to make a choice between being an American and being a Christian, know I made that choice many years ago. I made it when through faith in Jesus Christ, with God’s immeasurable grace, I gave my life to Him.

While I humbly pledge my allegiance to our flag for the sacrifice of so many for our freedom, my first allegiance is to God. I will stand and defend my Christian faith at all costs, against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. Of these enemies, the greatest is Satan.

I stand in the shadow of the cross, girded in the Armor of God, ready to defend my faith. Click To Tweet

Freedom in Christ is true freedom; for God meets our every need. He will never leave or forsake us. Until you understand and accept Him as Lord and Savior, you remain in bondage to sin, shackled by many chains. If you have not done so already, give your life to Jesus today and break those chains.

Tomorrow is not promised, so please do so today. Find real freedom through Christ’s salvation. For those of us who are truly free, stay strong and finish your race.

May God bless you all, and may God bless America!

62 thoughts on “Let Freedom Ring in 2023”

  1. Edwina E Cowgill

    Amen! Amen! Amen! Excellent post. I agree 100%
    Thank you for your service to our country and for standing up for what you believe!

    1. Thank you Ms. Edwina. While I have loved this country my entire life, and still do, I love my Lord and Savior more. I pray I never have be forced to choose one over the other, although that decision was made many years ago. God’s blessings ma’am, and know you remain in my daily prayers.

  2. J.D., well said. I especially love how you wrote, “As a Christian, I will always endeavor to earn God’s blessing on my country. Should I ever have to make a choice between being an American and being a Christian, know I made that choice many years ago.”

    1. Thank you Ms. Debbie. Am so glad you appreciate the post ma’am. Am so excited to learn of the impending release of your next book. Can’t wait to get my hands on it.

    1. You are too kind Ms. Ann. Thank you ma’am. Have learned that if I open my heart and let God speak, my words are much sweeter. What goes in determines what comes out my nutrition-minded friend.

  3. “Freedom in Christ is true freedom.” Yes, J.D., that is the reason our country was birthed. Our founding fathers knew basing our government on biblical principles was the way for citizens to be free to worship God. We can still do our part to stand for these tenets and pray for change. Thanks for sharing and God bless America!

    1. Exactly Ms. Barbara. I fear too many may have forgotten these truths, but it doesn’t make them any less true. Am so proud to stand beside you as we pray for America.

  4. Your writing reminds me of another patriot in America who was Martyred for his stance on freedom. His name was Levoy Finicum and he died by the hands of the FBI and State Police in Oregon while he and a car load of people were driving to a sheriff’s office.

    Levoy said, “It matters how you stand.”

    You have mirrored Levoy and I’m glad to know you, Mr J.D. May America truly go to its knees and repent through the blood of Jesus. Amen.

  5. Kathy Collard Miller

    I do wish this earth would one day offer true freedom but it never will. Christians are the most blest with a freed heart from sin. And Americans are truly blest to enjoy the best country on earth, though imperfect. Thank you, JD, for your pithy thoughts–as usual.

    1. Amen Ms. Kathy. We are all imperfect and will remain so until called home. In the meantime, we must do our best to help keep America that bastion of freedom that invites God’s blessings upon us. I truly believed He allowed our nation to become the most powerful nation on earth so that we could be that beacon of hope, truth, morality, and love that points the rest of the world to Him.

  6. Excellent, moving, patriotic post, brother JD. I am in complete agreement with you. May we proclaim the gospel far and wide, and may we always defend our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May we also proudly support our nation, repent, and ask God to once again bless America.

  7. A most excellent review, J.R., of our American history, its stellar leaders, and achievements. But as you note, how far and sadly we have fallen, morally—such powerful and touching words of truth. Honestly, however, I don’t believe God will bless America again or any other nation that blatantly sins. If we think we are at the end of the end times, then we are right on God’s schedule. Still, He waits! “For God so loved the world, that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him . . .” (John 3:16) God will bless the ones who will bow down at the foot of the Cross in surrender. Jesus, our Savior, and soon-coming King, is waiting so that none “shall perish but have eternal life.” Thank you, J.D. Truly inspiring!

    1. Thank you Ms. Kathleen. I tend to agree with you ma’am, that the fountain of blessings has been shut off for this nation because so much of this nation has turned its back on God. This does not mean that He will not continue to bless His people, but to do so, we have to continue staying true to His Word and living in His will. We don’t do that when we apostate His church by embracing the world more than His Word. Great points ma’am.

  8. Thank you for your service, J.D., and for your faith and courage to stand up for Jesus. Like you, I pray our churches will return to the roots of their faith and be strong and courageous in adhering to Biblical teaching. Only through Christ can we find true freedom. May God continue to guide you in your service to Him. Blessings!

  9. Excellent commentary, J.D. It’s funny how people always think becoming a Christian will be restrictive of their freedom. Little do they know the glorious freedom we enjoy in Christ. Thank you for your service to our country and your commitment to Christ.

  10. Amen to every word of wisdom in this, JD! Thanks for reminding us that as blessed as we are to have freedom here in America, our best freedom — and most important allegiance — is through and to God.

    1. Yes ma’am; it was this freedom in Christ that allows us to worship and walk in close relationship with God that formed this nation. It remains today, a freedom worth fighting for. Just wish we weren’t having to fight among ourselves. God’s blessings ma’am.

    1. Thank you Ms. Vera. My prayer daily ma’am, but I’m convinced that America’s churches won’t “wake up” until America’s people “wake up.” Revival starts with His people after all. So appreciate your comments ma’am.

  11. True freedom is found in the Lord, J. D. He enables us to do all the good works He has prepared for us to walk in. May we love and defend our country because we’ve put Christ first.

  12. Such a stirring and inspiring post. Reading it made my heart beat faster. I appreciate the love you have for your country, and even more, the love you have for our God. Thank you.

    1. Thank you Ms. Candyce. Want to get this old farmer riled up, get me talking about two of my greatest loves. God and country. I pray you had a wonderful Independence Day with all your loved ones ma’am.

  13. We both wrote on freedom this week, J.D. First, thank you for your service. It’s such an honor to recognize those who served. I, too, am saddened by the moral state of our nation. I believe whether it’s a nation or an individual person, we can lose the freedom we once held dear to our heart. I pray to maintain my freedom in Christ and be yoked to Him alone. God bless.

    1. We sure did Ms. Karen. I’m grateful that I could even be mentioned in the same breath as you my friend. Your thoughts, both here and in your amazing blog post, are right on. Let us not surrender our freedoms. Thank you ma’am.

  14. Paul wrote that “our struggles are not with flesh & blood,” but the agency of evil often appears before us in the eyes of another human being. I doubt they even know what they’re doing. Oh, wait! Jesus said that on the cross. In any case the battles are real. But Jesus is still Lord and will finally make it all complete and whole one great day. Until then, we pray and faithfully follow.

    1. AMEN Ms. Dottie. Those who are portraying darkness are not the infection, but the delivery vehicle used ma’am. We know from where the darkness comes and that is exactly who and what we must battle against my friend. Well said!

  15. What’s sad is the world thinks they are free without the constraints of Christianity and morality. But they don’t know how tightly they are bound. May God open eyes and hearts.

    1. How true Ms. Barbara. It seems people are becoming more and more deceived and blinded to truth with each passing day. Alas though, perhaps this is why the Victor’s Crown will be worn by so few.

  16. As Mrs. Diane and I wrap up a hectic week filled with unexpected travel and situations that not only trashed our normal routines and schedules, but also confronted us with challenges that rearranged our priorities for several days. As we sit here in the quiet Saturday morning “shalom,” and reflect on your inspirational words and your personal testimony about freedom, I am awash in gratitude. I praise God for all those things you pointed out that freedom, true freedom, means. The boldness you always demonstrate when you talk about God’s Word and the moral and spiritual status of our country comes through loud and clear, and as God intended courage to be, its contagious quality is unmistakeable.
    As you know, I didn’t get to serve the country I love as a soldier or sailor, but I have strived for many decades to serve America as a follower of Jesus and a “soldier of the cross.” Only God knows whether that service made any lasting impact or not, but that’s OK. I had a grandfather who fought in WWI and two uncles who fought in WWII. If I asked them how much their contribution made in the victories we achieved in those conflicts, I’m sure they would have laughed and said something like, “probably none.” But the question we must ask ourselves is not “How much difference have I made or can I make?” It’s “Am I willing to give all I have to ensure that the enemy doesn’t win?”
    And regarding the state of the church these days, like you, I don’t want to engage in random “church bashing,” but I shout a loud “Amen!” regarding your comments about the devastating implications of so many people purporting to be teachers of a Bible they don’t really believe. It’s worse than disturbing. It’s disgusting and outrageous–but so like the enemy. Of the many crises facing our nation right now, the absence of faith, and the corresponding lack of courage, in church leadership concerns me most. If we wait for spiritual awakening and revival to be initiated from the pulpits and seminary lecture halls, I think we’ll be waiting in vain. Revivals begin with guys in the trenches like you, whose love for Jesus and allegiance to God and His Word stokes the fire in others, like Mrs. Diane and me, that give birth to revivals. So, once again, please forgive me for not getting back to you sooner, and God bless you, my treasured friend and Brother, for the hope and inspiration your words have brought to us this morning.

    1. When I think of the many lives you and your Ms. Diane have touched my friend, many more than you can even imagine I think, I recognize your service was far greater than any I might tout. I love your point about revival having to start with those of us who aren’t afraid to get into the trenches and get dirty as we work to further the kingdom of God. I am so emboldened by knowing I’m standing beside such stellar “Soldiers of Christ” as you and Ms. Diane. Onward Christian soldier. God’s blessings my friend.


    Yikes! I think my mind blanked out after reading that only 37% of Christian pastors have a biblical worldview! Please tell me it isn’t so, that somehow the survey was skewed. I’d like to know the answer to your Twitter question, though. I am reposting it on my Twitter. At times it feels so defeating to see our nation in such unrestraint and disrespect. The thing that enters my mind is “come quickly, Lord Jesus.” But then the compassion kicks in, and I think of the many who aren’t like the rebellious ones; they are just uninformed or brainwashed. Thank you for saying the things I feel.

    1. Thank you Ms. Karen. I wish I could tell you it was skewed, but I suspect it’s more accurate than many of us want to believe. Perhaps that’s what makes it so shocking. Thank you for sharing my friend; much appreciated. And yes, it can feel defeating at times, but let us remember that we are living in victory. It has already been won, we just have to keep living in it to finish our race.

  18. Oh, what dire straits we are in when so few pastors hold to a Biblical worldview. I pray our Lord will extend His mercy and the Church will repent and return to Him. Beautifully written, friend.

    1. Praying with you Ms. Tammy. All is not lost my friend, but we can see the wave of darkness building higher, which is why we must make sure our foundation is strong. God’s blessing little lady.

  19. Amen, amen, and AMEN!
    This message is loaded with truth that need to be heralded throughout our land!
    I’m sharing it more than once.
    Thank you, my God-fearing, America-loving, truth-telling friend and brother.

    1. Aww… thanks Ms. Cathy. We have to speak what’s on our hearts sometime. Many would prefer that if we can’t agree with their viewpoint, we should shut up and go away. I’ll always stand to call what goes against God’s Word sin and I pray I live in a free nation founded on those godly principles that enable us to do so. God’s blessings ma’am.

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