Photo Courtesy by Zulmaury Saavedra of UNSPLASH
Every 12th of June Filipinos are celebrating to commemorate the day when Philippine independence from Spanish rule was officially declared in 1898 after being colonized for 333 long years. I wonder how joyous the Filipinos were when they heard the proclamation that they were already a free country. It must be a wonderful feeling just like of a bird that can finally fly free after being kept in a cage for so long. Few years passed the feeling of gratefulness was still there. But does it still holds true today? Or have some already forgotten the relevance of the independence we’re now enjoying?
Same goes for Christians. We too have been a captive before we have been called by our Lord JESUS CHRIST to walk to the newness of life with Him. 1 Peter 2:9 mentions the Lord has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. To live in darkness is to live in sin, away from God’s Holy presence. It is to live in misery, disappointment, discontentment, emptiness, and having no purpose and no direction in life. Ephesians 2:1-2 further elaborates what our condition was before we were born again. It says that we were spiritually dead because of our trespasses and sins. We lived a life opposite to the will of God, carelessly following the ways of the world and the enemy, giving in to the lusts of the flesh, lusts of the eyes, and the pride of life. We were indeed deserving of God’s wrath, that unless we repent of our sins, we will perish and be thrown to the lake of fire which is considered the second death (Luke 13:3,5; Romans 6:23; Revelation 21:8).
But because of God’s unfathomable love for His people, He has humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even to the death on the cross (Philippians 2:8). He bore our sins in His own body on the tree, so that those who are dead to sins will live in righteousness; and by His stripes we were healed (1 Peter 2:24). Until today no one could ever measure up to the extravagant show of God’s love to His people. John 15:13 says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down His life for His friends. Christians should never forget the day we had claimed our independence--- the day when we repented of our sins and had been baptized in water in the Name of JESUS. How valuable is it? Well, we were purchased by the blood of the Most High King (Acts 20:28). So how can we forget the day we were saved, the day when the gates of heaven are opened for us (John 3:5)?
But sad to say, there are some Christians who tend to forget what JESUS sacrificed for them in the Cross of Calvary. They have chosen to live like the prisoners. They have placed chains on their hands and shackles on their feet. They become lukewarm and have served God half-heartedly. They have given up on themselves and never tried standing up again, and just continue in sin. They locked themselves up in their past failures, became stagnant, and never have strived to move forward. Some never even tried to get out of the enemy’s trap despite knowing the danger they are in and even if they know very well how to escape out of the trap. And all of this displeases God. Revelation 2:4 says, “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.”
Now God is calling all of His children to humble themselves, to pray and to seek His face, and to turn from all of our wicked ways (2 Chronicles 7:14). He’s waking us up to seek Him while He may be found and to call upon Him while He’s still near. He wants us to return to His loving presence, and He promised that if we do so, He will show mercy and abundantly pardon us (Isaiah 55:6-7). God wants us once again to live in truth and to live in freedom. Undoubtedly, the time is at hand, at any moment the trumpet will sound, and they who are found faithful will meet Him up in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17) but they who are found lacking, they will be judged according to their works (Revelation 20:12). Now the decision is in our hands.
Happy Independence Day to all Filipinos and to all Christians who are saved by the Lamb!