Devotional: July 2, 2020
Christ has set us free to live a free life. So, take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.
It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom.
Galatians 5: 1, 13,14 The Message
This year, more than many other years, we all are aware of the gift of freedom. Slavery has been around from almost the beginning of time, and slavery to sin has also been present since the beginning of time. Wanting to be physically and spiritually free is at the core of most people’s hearts.
The Fourth of July is just around the corner, and America will be celebrating Independence Day. On that day, America declared itself free from the British rule.
Today, I am going to focus on spiritual slavery.
As we think about freedom, it may be useful to consider what the scriptures say about freedom.
While the theme of freedom is found throughout scripture (think of Moses’ plea to Pharoah: Set my people free!), perhaps no book in the entire bible is more centered on the theme of freedom than Paul’s letter to the Galatians.
Paul was particularly disturbed and bothered by what he saw there. The Galatians were giving up their true Christian freedom for false doctrines, and errant beliefs.
Throughout history, many things have enslaved people, both physically and emotionally. One of the reasons why so many people have been helped by Alcoholics Anonymous and other twelve-step programs is because they have found freedom from their addictions through these organizations. One of the key counter-intuitive teachings of twelve step programs is the admission that we are powerless over our compulsions (sin), and that we all need a higher power (God.)
The truth is that if our spiritual success were only up to us, and our own willpower, we would all fail. None of us would end up free from sin! However, the good news is that we do not have to pursue this spiritual freedom alone. Christ has freed us, once and for all, from slavery to sin. Yet Paul also emphasizes what we are to do with this freedom. We are to use it to serve one another. We are to help build others up by loving them, treating them as we want to be loved and treated. Our freedom comes from Christ, and His power! As we near our country's Independence day, let us also celebrate the freedom Christ offers us. Give thanks to Jesus, for freeing us from our sins. That is true freedom, Hallelujah!
Thank you that we can be free from our sin through the death and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Help us to honor that gift, by our actions and words. Help our world, Lord, as we grapple with the pain and suffering that lack of physical freedom has caused many throughout history. We pray that others will see Your hand outstretched in love, wanting to lead everyone to the path of spiritual freedom. We ask these things in the name of Your Son, whom You gave to all of us.