Happy Independence Day! How are you choosing to celebrate? A BBQ with family and friends? Packing up the kids and watching a parade? Or just lounging around because you have the “freedom” to do so? (*smile*)
As I sit here writing this, my daughter is with some family friends at a cabin for the weekend and I just sent my guys off to go crawdad fishin’ with some friends for a couple of hours. So I have the “freedom” to do whatever I want for the morning. Last night as I was thinking about what I would do, the concept of “freedom” kept rolling around in my mind. Although I consider myself patriotic and am so grateful for the “freedoms” we enjoy as Americans; whenever I think of “freedom” I can’t help but think of the “freedom” we have because of Christ…
“Freedom” is an antonym for the word “slavery”. You and I might not be able to relate to physical slavery, but I sure can relate to being a slave to certain things. How about you?
- A slave to sin.
- A slave to sickness.
- A slave to fear.
- A slave to addiction.
- A slave to worry.
- A slave to anxiety.
The moment Adam and Eve disobeyed God, slavery entered the world. Mankind has been subject to slavery ever since.
That’s why I love the promise of Galatians 5:1, one of my favorite verses of the Bible:
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” The moment you accepted Christ, the figurative yoke of sin that was harnessed around your soul was shattered and you were released from it. Yet, notice Paul’s warning . . . “Stand firm and do not let yourself be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
Because slavery is part of sin entering the world, it is easy to get caught back up in it. The original recipients of the book of Galatians were becoming enslaved to following old, religious laws. Even though God had given those original laws, the cross of Christ enacted a whole new way of doing things. Therefore, we are under the law no more, but under grace. Because slavery is a condition of our sin-sick society, our flesh desires to be enslaved to something, even if it is something good. Yet the message of the New Testament, in its entirety is “freedom” from slavery.
Why are we called to be free? Galatians 5:13 gives us the answer . . . “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature, rather, serve one another in love.” Christ made us free, so we could be like Him, to love and serve others.
Isn’t it interesting that one of the main jobs of a slave is to serve others? Christ freed us from bondage so that we could serve, not because we have to, but because we want to, out of a heart of love and compassion. Just like Jesus.
How will you celebrate your “freedom” today?
- To serve yourself?
- To indulge in your flesh?
- To love and serve others?
You have the freedom to choose. And the good news is, God will still love you the same no matter what you choose. His love for you doesn’t waver based on the choices you make. But to live a full, rich, rewarding, blessed life, let’s be people who choose to be like Jesus. Let’s walk about in “freedom” today as we love and serve whoever God places in our path.
It is for “freedom” that Christ has set us free!
Your Friend in Ministry,