Americans love to celebrate our freedom, especially on July 4th.
The question becomes in what ways are we using our freedom to celebrate? Are we gathering together to serve, care, and build up others? Or are we gathering together to serve our inner desires that get us into trouble?
Paul reminds us about what it cost Jesus to give us the gift of freedom in his letter to the church in Galatia.
"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....
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Gal 5:1,13-14
What are the freedoms that we need to invest in to love and honor God and others?
What freedoms do we need to stop doing because we do them in order to please God and indirectly use it as a bargaining tool?
What freedoms do we need to stop that are feeding our flesh and old nature desires?
Let's evaluate our free time and see how we are using that time to honor and love Jesus and other people:
Are we loving our neighbor as we love ourselves? Who is it that is bugging you, getting on your nerves and easy to dislike?
I think the best word in the entire world and throughout history is the word... GRACE!
It is such a smooth easy word to say but it is a world-changing concept that when truly understood just a little bit, begins to blow our minds. When we give GRACE to those that don't deserve it -- but need it -- then we experience a new kind of freedom. We are no longer held captive to negative thoughts towards another person. We let go by giving them grace and letting God take over our hearts.
It is truly a blessing to live in the United States of America. And we can directly bless others when we choose to love and live like Jesus did.
Using our freedom to honor and love Jesus and others together,
Pastor Chris Reinertson enjoys all sports, especially those involving a ball. He loves to hang out with people and challenge them to be Jesus REVolutionizers.