It is that time of year to pause and remember and be thankful for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice to maintain my freedom. This reminds me that freedom isn’t free.

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13 NIV).

Our military, police and firefighters put their lives on the line for people they have never met not just friends. They do this because all life matters. They understand that “friends” is all of us.

We say the same about grace. We say that grace is free. Is is really free? Christ’s life was given as a great tangible example of unconditional love and grace. He paid the ultimate sacrifice as an expression of grace. I love Philip Yancy’s definition of grace. There is nothing we can do to make God love us more and there is nothing we can do to make him love us less.

We are invited to join Christ and the heroes we remember on Memorial Day.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.  (1 John 3:16 NIV).

Most of us won’t be called on to lay down our lives for someone else. It is even easy to speculate and say I would if the opportunity arose. It occurs to me that there are other aspects of my life I can lay down for others. I can give of myself for someone else to be free or enhance their wellbeing. I can lay down my time, money and voice to name a few. If I am truly living in the freedom of this country and the freedom of Christ, I am called directly to lay down my life for others. I am called to sacrifice for others. I am called to be apart of a collective voice for those who have no voice. I am called to give financially so others can have health. I am called to give my time for others to know about a God whose love is unending.

What is God calling you to lay down for the freedom of someone else? What are you being asked to do for a “friend?” As you reflect on the sacrifices of others, what are you willing to sacrifice?

How have you experienced freedom? Has someone sacrificed for you? Share your story here and breathe life and bring hope to others.

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