What does freedom mean to you?
If you live in America, then you live in a country that loves freedom. We have holidays to celebrate freedom, and we sing songs about freedom, and we simply enjoy being free. Within limits, we can go where we want to go. We can do what we want to do. And we can even worship God the way we want to. Freedom is a great thing.
God loves freedom. God wants us to be free. Listen to how the Apostle Paul says it to the Galatians:
Galatians 5:1. For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
But the freedom that God gives us is not a freedom to do whatever sinful thing we want. It is a freedom that changes us so that we want to do what God wants.
Imagine if you were a fish that got turned into a bird. And then imagine that you still thought you wanted to be a fish so you jumped into the water. But then you started to drown because your feathers got to wet and heavy. You see because you’re not a fish anymore, but a bird instead, you can’t just do whatever you want especially if it goes against who you are. You’re a bird now. So fly! Don’t try to swim under water. Fly! You are free to be a bird, not a fish.
With Jesus we have this same kind of freedom. We are free to be like Jesus – a high flying bird. But when we try to keep sinning by being mean, or unkind, or disobedient we are a bird that’s trying to swim in the dark, cold water. And we aren’t free to do that at all.
Listen to what Paul goes on to say to the Galatians about their freedom:
Galatians 5:13. For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the [selfish] flesh, but through love serve one another.
What is he telling us about our freedom? He’s saying that with Jesus we are free to love. We are free to serve others and help others. That’s the true freedom that Jesus give us. The freedom to not be a slave to our own selfishness.
Because of Jesus we are from our selfish sin.
With Jesus we are free to love and serve others.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Here’s a silly clip from Hunchback of Notre Dame that shows how we can go from freedom to slavery all over again – in our hearts this happens when whenever we sin.
You have made me free. Help me to always use my freedom to help and care for others.
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