Today we celebrate the free air we breathe in these United States of America as on July 4, 1776 the Continental Congress approved the famed Declaration of Independence. But this "secular" holiday was firmly tied to the strong faith of our Founding Fathers, some of which had a deep and abiding trust in God. I remind you of the wording of their second paragraph of that document, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men were created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." There was no mistaking that these original framers of the nation held the firm conviction that there was a sovereign Creator who both initiates and mitigates the affairs of humanity.
But as Christians, our freedom is even more significant that national freedom only because it is the kind of freedom that transcends any culture, free or tyrannical in nature of governance. "If the Son makes you free you shall be free indeed" (John 8:36). Freedom from sin by the salvation of Christ and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit is best all!
On Wednesday night at Calvary in Albuquerque over 5000 believers gathered outside on our campus to celebrate that freedom. What a night it was! I think it was one of the greatest gatherings I have ever been at--anywhere! (And I heard that same sentiment from numerous other people as well). The worship music that saturated our outdoor plaza and amphitheater by Evan Wickham was simply outstanding. His dad, John, even played guitar alongside him. John was one of the band members of the early Jesus Movement groups, "The Way" and later on "Parable" in the 1970s. So great to see his sons carrying on for Jesus and dad backing them up! The message was from the book of Daniel, chapters 7-12, as we continued our "Bible From 30,000 Feet," and were able to demonstrate the omniscience and omnipotence of God in forecasting and arranging the events of history. At the end, around 150 people walked forward to receive Christ's forgiveness and step into eternal life. It was a palpably powerful evening. Most everyone stayed for fellowship, worship and the fireworks show which started at 9:15-
-25 minutes of some of the best fireworks I've seen--WOW! The best part was seeing and experiencing the sincere love of the body of Christ, being joined together in family affection and building community with one another. It was so very cool!