Freedom is costly, but never free. It always comes at a great price. Richard Pisha served in the US armed forces during World War II. He enlisted in the Army and fought in Patton’s 3rd Army, the 387th Medium Tank Battalion, and the 80th Infantry Division. The 80th Infantry Division engaged in combat in the Normandy Invasion on Omaha Beach and the Battle of the Bulge. Wounded in action, Richard received a Purple Heart. His courage in the face of danger demonstrated his commitment to the just cause of freedom.

For many years, Richard and his wife, Mary Ann, had financially supported the ministry of Victory In Grace. In April, Richard passed away at the age of 87. Today as we consider the freedom we enjoy on account of the sacrifices made by our armed forces, I would like to dedicate this Daily Reflection to Richard. His faithful service to our country captures the patriotic spirit of every soldier who has fought in our armed forces. Thanks to him and the millions of servicemen and women who preceded and followed him, we are a free nation today.

We also owe our freedom to someone else — Jesus Christ. He made us free through His sacrificial payment on the cross. He died and shed His blood, effectively canceling our sin debt. Three days later, He rose again, proving His payment had been accepted. We receive eternal life — along with freedom from sin and eternal death — by faith in Christ alone. This is good news, but this gift didn’t come cheap. Jesus had to pay the ultimate price to obtain it for us.

What should we do in view of the sacrifices which have purchased our spiritual and national freedom? We can start by saying “thank you:” Thank God for salvation through Jesus Christ. Thank Jesus for willingly offering Himself to die in our place. Thank the veterans who have risked life and limb to keep America free. He who is most grateful for freedom will work most diligently to preserve it — because freedom is never free.

It is only with gratitude that life becomes rich. It is very easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements in comparison with what we owe others. — Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.