Today is the day I commemorate the independence of my country, Malaysia.
But what does the word, ‘independence’ mean to you? What is true freedom? Do you long for it?
By Joanne Liaw Sook Ling (16 June 2016)
“Merdeka! Merdeka!” was freedom’s cry
Triumphant shouts were raised high to the sky
This momentous day, no one could deny
An enacted freedom, none could defy
We live in a world that longs for freedom
Freedom from crooked and corrupt systems
Freedom from ruthless, repressive kingdoms
Freedom from oppressive despotism
We are citizens who long to be free
Free from the fetters of authority
Free from the shackles of society
Free from the burdens of uncertainty
True freedom seems like an elusive dream
We see evil men escape with their schemes
In anguish, we let out a silent scream
Nothing can mend the big tear at the seams
Since creation, men sought independence
They sought independence from Providence
They waved their puny fists in insolence
They rejected God’s rule in defiance
So God gave to them the freedom they craved
Instead of finding joy, they were enslaved
Their pathway to spiritual death they paved
But God paved a way for them to be saved
Jesus came as a ransom for sinners
On the cross, He saved us from sin’s fetters
His death reconciled us to the Father
Freedom from sin – the joy of believers
Have you found the freedom you’re looking for?
Has rejecting God left you wanting more?
Jesus says, “Trust me, for I am the door”
In Christ is where true freedom is in store
Points for Reflection:
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”
(John 18:36 ESV)
· Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world. His kingdom is one that lasts for eternity, unlike the other fleeting kingdoms of this world.
· Jesus is the King of this eternal kingdom. Unlike rulers of the world who are imperfect (even the noblest of rulers are not perfect) and who disappoint us, Jesus is the perfect Ruler. He is One who humbled Himself and laid down His life to save His people. Never in this world will we ever find a King more loving, more sacrificial and perfectly divine.
· Those who trust in Christ are given an everlasting citizenship in heaven. It is a citizenship that costs us nothing but cost Jesus Christ everything. We have been ushered into God’s wonderful kingdom with Christ as our loving, divine and perfect King.
· Although the Bible tells us to respect and submit to human authorities, we must always remember that our ultimate allegiance should be given to God alone (Romans 13:1-7). It is God who has placed those authorities over us and no matter how powerful they may appear to be, it is comforting to know that they are ultimately under the divine authority of God. Ruthless and repressive rulers will not escape God’s judgment although they may escape earthly judicial judgments.
· Are you putting your hope on human rulers or Jesus Christ? Have you been disappointed by earthly rulers? Are you placing your trust in kingdoms and ambitions you have built with your own hands? Is your focus on the kingdoms of this world or God’s eternal kingdom in heaven?
· True independence and freedom are found in Jesus Christ. The very Ruler we have rejected is the One who has set us free from our sins. Have you pledged allegiance to Christ and celebrated your independence in Him?