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A Fourth of July Reminder that Nothing Compares to Knowing Christ

The day we celebrate Freedom. We as a nation here in the USA, will spend our day grilling hamburgers, hanging out with friends, exploding fireworks, and enjoying the long dog days of Summer.

At church this weekend, or perhaps at church in the coming weekend, you will watch a video about how “Freedom is a Gift” and we should be thankful for it.  We will love the reminders of how blessed we are to live in such a great country, how fortunate we are for others willing to lay down their lives for our everyday freedoms, and how good it feels to live in a country founded by men willing to stand up for what they believed.  I’m right there with you waving my red, white, and blue. I love this country.

It’s also on this great day of freedom that I’m reminded of the words of Paul.

Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you. Galatians 5:1

This is a great verse (albiet completely out-of-context as it applies to the 4th of July), but I’m also reminded that nothing we celebrate today compares to knowing Christ.

Philippians 3 (MSG)

7-9  The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s righteousness.

10-11  I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself. If there was any way to get in on the resurrection from the dead, I wanted to do it.

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.