Tomorrow we celebrate Independence Day in America. We wanted freedom from taxation without representation. A few years ago I was in Alaska and headed out to get some dinner. When it came time to pay I noticed the bill did not include any tax. The meal cost exactly the amount shown in the menu. It took me back. A few years ago, the county where I live added a four percent meals tax on top of our 5.3 % sales tax. Whenever we go out to eat we essentially have to add a tenth, a tithe if you will, to the cost of our meal.

But in Alaska there is no sales tax. I thought this might just apply to meals so the next day I bought a souvenir and sure enough no sales tax either. The following day we were leaving and I was trying to decide whether to buy something. It was expensive but would be a great memento of our trip. The tipping point for me to purchase it was – no sales tax! The wilderness of Alaska is beautiful, the wildlife of Alaska is unique and they make for an unforgettable adventure. But not paying sales tax made an impression as well.

This experience caused me to think about what it is like to be free of something. Galatians 5:1 says, “Christ has set us free! This means we are really free. Now hold on to your freedom and don’t ever become slaves of the Law again.” When we accept Jesus and receive forgiveness for our sins the power of sin is broken in our lives. We are now free to become who God created us to be. Freedom in Christ is a marvelous way to live.

But not everyone is free. Far too many people are in bondage, addicted to something. They have a life controlling problem. It may be alcohol, drugs, overspending, food, gossip, sex or any number of other issues. They do not know what it is like to be free. They live every day knowing there is something that enslaves them and keeps them from being who they could be.

If only they could experience what it is like to be free. I have been paying sales taxes for years and the moment I didn’t have to was thrilling. I was happy to save a little bit of money but what is truly exhilarating is to finally be free from an addiction that controls your life. The good news is that in Christ freedom is possible. And this freedom is not only located in one place but is available anytime, anywhere for the rest of your life.


About Rick McDaniel

Rick McDaniel is a noted author, international communicator and church leader. He is the founder/senior pastor of Richmond Community Church in Richmond, Virginia. The church is known for its contemporary and innovative services and has a worldwide reach through McDaniel has earned three degrees including an advanced degree from Duke University and is the author of​ six​​ books including his latest "Turn Your Setbacks Into Comebacks." He has traveled and spoken at conferences and churches worldwide spanning six continents.

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