|Posted on July 4, 2019 at 10:20 AM|
For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. 1 Peter 2:16
As I celebrate this day being born in a place known for freedom I am also reminded that though I have lived here all 40 something years of my life I have only been free from the evil things I did for the last decade give or take a year.
So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. John 8:36
The word free or some form of it appears in the Word about 160 times I dare you to find them. Hint it is repeated the most in the book of Psalms, Romans, 1 Corinthians and Galatians. When I think of the word free for me it isn’t just free to do what I want when I want but free to live a life of the Spirit. Free to love others as I love myself, to experience the joy of the LORD’s presence with me, to live in peace with my neighbors, free to be patient as God has been so patient with me. Free to do good works and be kind to others through my words and actions. Free to be gentle toward those who have less control than me though it would be in my power treat people as they have treated me choosing instead to live of peace in peace with everyone even if it means humbling myself as my brother taught me Matthew 26:53-54.
He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds. Titus 2:14
The freedom I think of is the freedom to do what is good instead of the evil I had done for more years than I have been alive in this place of freedom. You would think with all this freedom I would have used it to benefit others but the truth is the only person that benefitted from the life of freedom I lived was myself. With great power comes great responsibility and I was not responsible for it. Rarely a day went by when I intentionally did what was good for the sake of just being a good person. Every act had a motive every move was like a chess game if I do this I will get that so I did things looking to this world and the people of this world for my reward. If I was good it was to seek a greater reward for myself and nothing greater.
For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another. Galatians 5:13-15
That is exactly what I did like an animal in the wilderness I was always biting and attacking and destroying not only other but myself. I remember the last time I was attacked for no cause when someone harmed me for no reason but to satisfy their sinful nature. 1 Corinthians 6:7 came to mind…Why not just accept the injustice and leave it at that? Why not let yourselves be cheated? Because as the verse goes to remind me in verse 11 I was “once like that” I was the one on the other end of the offense against humanity. I was once the one that mistreated others for my own twisted pleasure. I was the once the one who harmed for my own vindication. I was once the one who abused if just to release the anger pent up inside me. I was once the one who manipulated and lied and cheated to satisfy my own desires.
…“Must we always be killing each other? Don’t you realize that bitterness is the only result? When will you call off your men from chasing their Israelite brothers?” 2 Samuel 2:26
I lived a bitter life up until Christ set me free. Free from the biting, free from the attacking, free from the harboring jealousy and anger, free from the bitterness, free from the hatred, free from envy, free from the belief that this is just the way life was because I didn’t know any better way to live. Now I spend my days no longer thinking of myself but thinking who I am here for. Whose life I can make easier so that they too can come to know God as their Creator, their Savior. Who can I feed His Word to if just one line at a time? Who can I quench the thirst of from this dry and weary world with the living water of His Word? Who can I lift up under heavy loads? Who can I help ease their burden? Who can I set free as He set me free to live in Him.
In my distress I prayed to the LORD, and the LORD answered me and set me free. Psalm 118:5