“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.” – Galatians 5:13
Tomorrow we celebrate our freedom as Americans. Our forefathers saw freedom as something so core to mankind that they fought and died to bring our country out from under oppression. But freedom is a precious gift that should not be squandered. It should serve to make our community greater. Once out from under the control of tyrants, we should see one another as equals and be filled with a desire to care for one another and seek the best for those around us. Unfortunately, this freedom has often been used for evil. We have come to define freedom as, “I can do whatever I want and I don’t care what anyone else thinks or how it affects the people around me.” This is not freedom, but slavery to self. And slavery to self will quickly move back into oppression of others.
Through Jesus Christ we, as believers, have been set free. This freedom eclipses any earthly form of freedom. No form of government can come close to the freedom we have in Jesus. But if this is true, then the freedom we have in Christ is a much greater gift that brings with it even greater responsibility. Our freedom in Christ should never be a self-centered freedom. Once we are not bound by fear of death and condemnation, we are set free to love those around us and put others before ourselves. The day we are saved by Christ is not “Independence Day,” it is our day of adoption into the Family of God; the day we become intimately bound by love to one another. This freedom that we have in Christ is so far reaching that there is really only one law: Love your neighbor as yourself (Galatians 5:14).
Lord and God over all, we recognize the greatest freedom in all of the heavens and earth comes through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Let that sacrifice for our redemption spur us on to sacrifice for those around us.
In Christ’s Service,
Pastor Shane Cannon