How much more true it is of the freedom that Christians have! Even though we’re still nagged every day by the effects of sin in our natures and bodies, we get to live every day with the knowledge that our destinies are bound for heavenly bliss, instead of the placement in hell that we’ve earned and deserve.
But do we take full advantage of our freedoms, both earthly and eternal? Do we Americans thank the Lord for the fate of being born in, or being able to emigrate to America, AND to be registered in the ledger of heaven’s citizenship too?
In Galatians 5:13 it says, “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.”
St. Paul wrote these words originally to believers who were being led astray by a teaching that one must remain obligated to the tradition of circumcision to be considered a true believer. The truth of these words bears application for so much more, though. Our freedom in Christ isn’t for us to place extra rules upon ourselves in fake piety, nor is it for us to focus on ourselves at all! Our call out of spiritual darkness and into the light and freedom of God is actually opportunity to unleash ourselves on this world to do good things. We are free to serve others, instead of being stuck with only serving ourselves, as we surely would around the clock if we weren’t saved.
So this year, let me encourage you to be appreciative of the freedom that others won for us as Americans, which is continually defended to this day. But even more so, let’s be appreciative of our spiritual freedom in Christ, and let’s unleash our gratitude for being captives no more, by going out and serving others. Let’s see how far our reach can get in this world of hurting, needful fellow human beings, now that we’re no longer tethered to ourselves in our sin. In Jesus we are free indeed! We have a message of hope for the life to come, and help for making it through this one. We have mouths, hearts, and hands that are equipped by the Lord to do good deeds and give others a hand up when in trouble, or to speak words of encouragement, such as the Pro-Life message. We have opportunity to let God use us to change the here-and-now situations, as well as the eternities, of everyone around us. Let us make the most of our freedoms!
Jeff is a husband, father, and graduate school student. He attends Hope Lutheran in Oconomowoc. Jeff’s background in ministry education and future in the counseling field reflect a heart that loves to serve others and make a difference. He shares his personal or spiritual reflections in his own time at www.missionpossiblejeffulrich.blogspot.com