Just me, Saturday, no makeup, etc.
Just me, Saturday, no makeup, etc.
Galatians 5:1, 13, 14, 16-26

In this world freedom will always be limited.

In the United States of America (USA) the Constitution outlines freedoms of speech, assembly, religion, bearing of arms, and from self-incrimination, rights that have been analyzed, studied, explained, amended, and yes, given boundaries.  In a sense, established civil laws  direct how these rights can operate and benefit all in a “free” society.  It is clear to me in scripture that God ordains the establishment of governments in this world for that express purpose.  Jesus is not the anarchist some would like to believe him to be.  And so, wherever we live, our freedom is governed by civil law.  God makes our purpose as Christians clear, where civil law falls in line with God’s law, we are to obey.  When it does not, we pray.  When it threatens life or freedoms of others or ourselves, then we act as the Spirit of God directs…but respectfully, consider Daniel asking for a separate diet to avoid the unclean food of Babylon, or praying 3 times a day knowing he would have to submit to an encounter with the lions.  

But Christians essentially carry two passports.

One defines citizenship in this temporal world, the country of our birth or adoption.  The other defines our citizenship as the redeemed, adopted children of God, our citizenship in the Kingdom of God, both here and in heaven.  When we enter into God’s Kingdom, He sets us free.  But he doesn’t do it by giving us a fresh change of clothes, a few bucks, and a pat on the back.  God enters our being and the Holy Spirit never leaves us alone after that…I mean that in both the yippee! way and the “stop prodding me” way.  

God knows us better than we know ourselves.  He knows with our new freedom there is a chance we may use it to sanctify our sin.  Hey, Jesus saved me!  He also knows our tendency to run back to the cover of the law and start telling him all the good things we’ve done or letting Satan remind us of all the bad things we’ve done.  He knows if we ever get the freedom concept right, he has to be with us 24/7, reminding us who we are and whose we are.  The Holy Spirit enables us to stand strong, convicts us when we don’t, drives us to our knees and then helps us up to move forward.  Freedom as a citizen in the Kingdom of God operates with one law, according to the text in Galatians:  “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” 

The Qualities produced by God’s Freedom lived out in the world are unlimited.

You and I cannot have too much love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  All the destructive freedom inhibiting behaviors of our past, before Christ, have been nailed to the cross.  Why would we choose to go back to our selfishness and evil actions?  Why would we treat others with anything less than the love Christ has shown us?

My freedom in Christ thrives and grows
with the measure of Love I bestow
when my cup full of joy overflows
And peace dwells not just within but to all
And I wait on The Lord, without stomping my feet
Or wiggling round in my chair.

My freedom in Christ thrives and grows
with the measure of Love I bestow
when kindness is more than a show
and the goodness of God dwells within and to all
And I keep all my promises, am true to my word
And really and truly am there.

My freedom in Christ thrives and grows
With the measure of Love I bestow
with a gentle touch and gentle glow
Adding self-control as the Spirit directs my call
without fear of law or of men, freedom to be
All God calls me to be…TO LIVE FREE!

I have spent a lot of time today considering this scripture and composing my thoughts. It truly is hard to understand God’s freedom, especially knowing many Christians face increasingly hostile restrictions of their freedoms. Some face death and imprisonment. Some of us only face having our words distorted and made to look like “hate” when we intend “love”. Living free as Christ calls us like following Christ anywhere requires taking up our cross and doing it anyway.