Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Set Free


“It is for freedom that 
Christ has set you free.
Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened by the yoke of slavery."
Galatians 5:1 (NIV)

“It is for freedom. . . “A We hear in the legal world that every action has a motive behind it. When a person is tried for a crime, the plaintiff’s counsel receives information as to the defendant’s motive-the reason that caused the person to transgress the law. God’s motive for His granting us salvation is His desire to free us from the consequence of our sins.

“. . . Christ has set you free. . .”Jesus erases the black marks of our sins. He cleanses us and makes us whole.  We learn to function without the weight of our sins on our hearts. 

“Stand firm. . .” Paul tells the believers of Galatia and his future readers to Stand firm-not to not be afraid, not to hang back.

“. . . do not let yourselves. . .” We sometimes allow ourselves to let things get us down. Recently, I sat in a committee meeting at our church. A retired minister related a story about something that happened to him when he was in the active ministry. The take-away from his story is that he made a choice to not be offended by a person’s words. When we face others, we have a choice—to react or not react to the circumstances. We have a Lord that loves us so much that he can handle anything evil. Rather than fuming about issues, we all need to intentionally turn them over to the Lord.

“. . . be burdened by the yoke of slavery.” When we are held in bondage to sin we become bent over with the weight we carry.  We become burdened with trying to surmise who knows what we did. Also, we worry if our friends will think kindly of us.    y

Monday, June 24, 2013

Called to be Free

“You, my brothers, were called to be free.
But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature;
Galatians 5:13 (NIV)

Once again, Paul reminds his readers that they were called by Jesus to be free from sin. He points out that we, as his readers, should not use our state of being free as a cover-up of the sinful spot in our hearts. When we read our Bibles, we should allow the Word to penetrate our hearts and minds to mold our personas to what God teaches us. His words should become a pattern for our behavior.
Paul tells his readers, then and now, to serve one another in love. We should not become haughty or proud because we are free. Our behavior, speech and mannerisms all reflects our stance with the LORD.
The Apostle also reminds us not to indulge in sinful behavior “because Jesus forgave my (our) sins.” Not only did Christ forgive our sins, He shed His blood and died for us, so we might join Him and His father in heaven. He paved the way for us to be worthy for this privilege.

graphic from

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...