Galatians 5:1 So Christ has made us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get all tied up again in the chains of slavery to Jewish laws and ceremonies.
5:13 For, dear brothers, you have been given freedom: not freedom to do wrong, but freedom to love and serve each other.
Happy Independence Days! With July comes our national Independence Day. Besides the cookouts and fireworks and parades, how do we celebrate freedoms like those which allow us to speak our minds and practice our faith? Early American leaders fought for these freedoms so we could use them to improve American life, but it seems like many Americans use their rights against those who voice different opinions, practice different faiths, or feel differently about weapons we might use for protection. Leaders do harm when they deprive people of such rights. People might do similar harm when they feel free to exercise their freedom at the expense of others. What if we celebrated our independence by speaking our minds with kindness and respect? What if we practiced our religious faith with the same grace that Jesus shows us?
Paul says that Christ has made us free from the law and free from sin. Jesus gave His life to free us from depending on the law to make us right with God. He freed us by grace, not so that we could do as we please for our own pleasure, but so that we could walk alongside those from different traditions and beliefs. Imagine how God can transform our lives and bring His kingdom into our world if the world sees God’s people celebrating each day of our freedom in Christ with worship, love, respect, and service.
Blessings, Pastor Brenda