Freedom is a Chosen Responsibility

As we draw closer to the celebration of Independence Day, our thoughts become more patriotic and our thoughts turn towards concepts of freedom. Truly, one of the great blessings upon the United States of America is our freedom. Throughout our history our freedom has been fought for, bled for and died for. The price to gain and maintain freedom is immeasurable;?

The idea of freedom is not original to humans, no matter how deeply we value or long for it. Freedom originated in the mind of God; being made in His image gives us an intrinsic yearning to live in freedom. This deep and unending desire is fueled by heaven against the tyrannies on earth.

As the History of United States and even the world, has taught us, freedom must be cared for, honored, and valued. This is more than a written code, freedom is a sacred trust. When a person or a nation has embraced freedom, then the responsibility of freedom is also chosen.

The responsibility of freedom is a point that seems to have faded in the current cultural and social shifts. In both the church and society at large freedom is seen as simply doing what seems or feels right or good. Our moral and ethical view is centering on what man calls good, right, fair and gratifying; the eternal standards of God are considered false and harmful. To be truly able to embrace freedom a person and a nation must take responsibility for a standard of what is right that is not rooted in the culture. The standard to which should be held is rooted in eternity and established by the God who has no beginning or end.

For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Galatians 5:13-14 NKJV

Please, live in freedom. The true freedom, as one who takes in not only freedom, but also all the responsibility of doing so.

Is Angry All We Got?

Because I was bored I thought perusing FaceBook would fill some time. All this activity filled was my heart with sadness. Not sadness over the falseness of humanity or the latest natural disaster. It was sadness over the ongoing threads of anger, derision and disregard for fellow human beings; all by those who claim to love the One who created those human beings.

I’m sure many who read this will think I am soft on sin, leaning left politically and mired in the mud of social decline. For those who hold such thoughts, think again. I still stand for the flag, pray for the president, love my freedom and those who defend it and hit my knees in wonder before a holy and perfect God.

Sin, the falling short of God’s perfect standard, is destroying so many and weakening our country greatly. The agendas of so many special interest groups and lack of direction in leaders is a recipe for confusion and possible decline. And the ever increasing hunger for power without responsibility is putting us on thin ice.

So I ask you; is anger all we got?

I get it, I’m guilty far too often, but I’ve got to do better. We’ve got to do better. This is not some random feel good idea. Is anger all we, the blood bought sons and daughters of the living God, have to offer? If all I saw of the “Christian” life was the arrogant, harsh and condemning vitriol so broadly dumped in social media I’d run for the hills.

Jesus hated sin, because the Father hated sin. In fact, Jesus was the Father’s solution for sin; “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8) Jesus came motivated by love for His Father; that those His Father loved would be set free from sin. He did this in such a way that those who needed that love the most actually rejected Him with hate. But those who did not on any level think they had anything coming from God other than rejection were most drawn to Him and welcomed.

We are not called to be judge, jury and destroyers of those who aren’t like us. Nor are we called to be creators of standards; Jesus already bears that status. Jesus’ people are to emulate Him, represent the Father under the same purposes first released in Him. “Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.’ “(John 20:21) Is anger all we got?

Think about it, pray about it-e have more, so much more. We have Jesus. He Beats the daylights out of anger. Now that’s worth posting about.

Another Sunday

“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” John 17:20-21

Another Sunday morning, a day to gather with fellow followers of Christ; to worship, to pray, to fellowship, to share in communion. Or that day of the week when our faces are hidden behind masks, our words sound right but are not honest, our brokenness shoved under beautiful carpets of false presentation. The music will play, the prayers will be prayed, the Bible will be read, communion might or might not be shared; will we actually notice one another, touch one another, love one another.

May the Lord open our eyes to see our fellow believers and that we might be honest with them, honest with ourselves, in the gathering. May we begin seeing the value of others, not as cogs in the religious machine, but as fellow citizens of a country beyond this world. When we gather can we begin to expect the Spirit of God to work in us and through us for the Body to become a greater demonstration of God’s grace, through us, into our homes, cities and world?

Maybe this Sunday, or a Sunday soon (or whenever you gather with believers)be the one that we shift from religious duty to real relationships for the sake of the Kingdom. Christ died and with His blood purchased a church that He could express Himself through and make Himself known in the earth. He prayed in John 17 for that church, that body, to be known by unity – that doesn’t come from hiding ourselves from one another.

Another Sunday….