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Choosing Freedom

Freedom is not something that is uniquely American. It was instituted by a God Himself. His desire is that all of us live free lives. We are the ones who constantly put ourselves in bondage through our actions. We are the ones who put ourselves in position to let others bind us up. God has called us to live free lives according to Galatians 5:1. So why do we do the things that take us away from freedom? Why do we lament the past when we were slaves instead of celebrating the freedoms we currently enjoy?

It’s a problem that goes back as far as time. When the children of Israel were set free from the bondage of Egypt, they cried out, “There we sat around pots filled with meat and ate all the bread we wanted.” In their freedom, they looked back on their time of slavery as a positive thing. They didn’t grasp what it meant to be free, so they would have rather gone back into slavery than to have lived in the freedom that God had granted them. It sounds absurd, but are we so different?

We let what other people have said or done to us imprison us in our minds and actions. We let the past dictate our present. God has set us free, but we allow unforgiveness to hold us down and rob us of freedom. We allow grudges and pain to keep us from trusting anyone. When that happens, we hold ourselves back from the future God has for us. We let what man has done to us rob us of the blessings of freedom. We hold ourselves back in that prison not wanting to get out because it’s safer to stay there. Freedom requires action on our part to move forward and to stay free.

Galatians 5:13-15 says, “Use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows… Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom” (MSG). Selfishness is the doorway to imprisonment. Serving others is the way to staying free. When we help others, despite how many times we’ve been taken advantage of, we walk in freedom. When we hold back because of things that have happened, we allow that freedom to slip away. Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” As Christians, we can’t sit around and do nothing and stay free.

Photo by J W on Unsplash

Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

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10 Verses On Freedom

1 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (emancipation from bondage, freedom). [Isa. 61:1, 2.] (2 Corinthians 3:17 AMP)

2. The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the LORD’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. (Isaiah 61:1-2 NLT)

3. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. (John 8:36 NLT)

4. It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom. If you bite and ravage each other, watch out—in no time at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your precious freedom be then? (Galatians 5:13-15 MSG)

5. In my distress I prayed to the LORD, and the LORD answered me and set me free. (Psalms 118:5 NLT)

6. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. (1 Peter 2:16 ESV)

7. So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32 ESV)

8. This is in accordance with the terms of the eternal and timeless purpose which He has realized and carried into effect in [the person of] Christ Jesus our Lord, In Whom, because of our faith in Him, we dare to have the boldness (courage and confidence) of free access (an unreserved approach to God with freedom and without fear). (Ephesians 3:11-12 AMP)

9. I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments. (Psalms 119:45 NLT)

10. With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death. (Romans 8:1-2 MSG)

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Freedom Is A Choice

Freedom is not something that is uniquely American. It was instituted by a God Himself. His desire is that all of us live free lives. We are the ones who constantly put ourselves in bondage through our actions. We are the ones who put ourselves in position to let others bind us up. God has called us to live free lives according to Galatians 5:1. So why do we do the things that take us away from freedom? Why do we lament the past when we were slaves instead of celebrating the freedoms we currently enjoy?

It’s a problem that goes back as far as time. When the children of Israel were set free from the bondage of Egypt, they cried out, “There we sat around pots filled with meat and ate all the bread we wanted.” In their freedom, they looked back on their time of slavery as a positive thing. They didn’t grasp what it meant to be free so they would rather have gone back into slavery than to have lived in the freedom that God had granted them. It sounds absurd, but are we so different?

We let what other people have said or done to us keep us imprisoned in our minds and actions. We let the past dictate our present. God has set us free, but we allow unforgiveness to hold us down and rob us of freedom. We allow grudges and pain to keep us from trusting anyone. When that happens, we hold ourselves back from the future God has for us. We let what man has done to us rob us of the blessings of freedom. We hold ourselves back in that prison not wanting to get out because it’s safer to stay there. Freedom requires action on our part.

Galatians 5:13-15 says, “Use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows… Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom.” Selfishness is the doorway to imprisonment. Serving others is the way to stay free. When we help others despite how many times we’ve been taken advantage of, we walk in freedom. When we hold back because of things that have happened, we allow that freedom to slip away. Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” As Christians, we can’t sit around and do nothing.

We are called to be salt and light. We lose our shine and our flavor when we let what’s been done to us keep us in the dark. Don’t be held captive by what someone has done to you. Be set free because of what Christ did for you! If He has brought you out of it, then don’t complain like the Israelites did in the desert. Complaining will only keep you wandering in the desert. Living in the freedom that Christ has called you to will lead you into the Promised Land. The choice is yours. What will you do with your freedom?

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