Romans – “Therefore”
No one wants to be labeled as this or that. We “baby boomers” are famous for not liking labels. I really don’t think anyone likes to be assumed as someone they are not. No one wants another person to infringe on his/her freedom. If fact we will fight anyone who tries to take away one of our “rights” as we see it in our minds. It seems to be all about us.
Our world is very sensitive to what it means to be free. If someone questions our “rights”, we are quick to evaluate their right to question. We have developed a false sense of security about being free by our own standards. We feel we can say whatever comes to our puny, judgmental mind without thought of how it might make another person feel or how hurtful it might be to them and to who we say we are. (All have sinned and fall short…ALL.)
We haven’t truly considered what a delight it is to be free from sin, free from sin telling us who to be and what to do. We have sometimes forgotten what a delightful way of life it is to listen to the One and Only who created us and wants to have an intimate, loving, true, always and forever relationship with us. He wants us to be free from sin and all the traps sin has to destroy us, in exchange for His best for us…a life that is beyond our imaginations at the current moment! It is a life of peace, joy unspeakable and full of His glory reflected on our faces.
Freedom in Christ means we no longer walk in hate and selfishness with manipulation and lies that makes us tired and ugly, inside and out, at the end of each day. INSTEAD we walk in His freedom, bearing the gifts of His fruits of who HE is in us, always growing and developing love without conditions, gentleness, patience, bearing each other’s faults, humility, thinking of others before ourselves, joy, contentment, authentic affection for others, empathy and sympathy, compassion, excited about life, enthusiasm for pleasing God and feeling His Presence with us as we walk our short journeys on this earth. Ooh, NOW it’s all about Him. SEE the difference?
Romans 6, The Message
What Is True Freedom?
15-18 So, since we’re out from under the old tyranny, does that mean we can live any old way we want? Since we’re free in the freedom of God, can we do anything that comes to mind? Hardly. You know well enough from your own experience that there are some acts of so-called freedom that destroy freedom. Offer yourselves to sin, for instance, and it’s your last free act. But offer yourselves to the ways of God and the freedom never quits. All your lives you’ve let sin tell you what to do. But thank God you’ve started listening to a new master, one whose commands set you free to live openly in his freedom!
19 I’m using this freedom language because it’s easy to picture. You can readily recall, can’t you, how at one time the more you did just what you felt like doing—not caring about others, not caring about God—the worse your life became and the less freedom you had? And how much different is it now as you live in God’s freedom, your lives healed and expansive in holiness?
20-21 As long as you did what you felt like doing, ignoring God, you didn’t have to bother with right thinking or right living, or right anything for that matter. But do you call that a free life? What did you get out of it? Nothing you’re proud of now. Where did it get you? A dead end.
22-23 But now that you’ve found you don’t have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way! Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master.
I am reminded of…
Abraham walked with God and God considered him His Friend. That is true freedom from death to life with God who is above all and in all who believe in Him. Yes, that’s what I want. I delight in walking with God. I want to be known as His Friend, His child, in His Kingdom.
The Psalmist cries out in delight for following God rather than evil that leads to death…(Psalm 119)
1-8 You’re blessed when you stay on course,
walking steadily on the road revealed by God.
You’re blessed when you follow his directions,
doing your best to find him.
That’s right—you don’t go off on your own;
you walk straight along the road he set.
You, God, prescribed the right way to live;
now you expect us to live it.
Oh, that my steps might be steady,
keeping to the course you set;
Then I’d never have any regrets
in comparing my life with your counsel.
I thank you for speaking straight from your heart;
I learn the pattern of your righteous ways.
I’m going to do what you tell me to do;
don’t ever walk off and leave me.
9-16 How can a young person live a clean life?
By carefully reading the map of your Word.
I’m single-minded in pursuit of you;
don’t let me miss the road signs you’ve posted.
I’ve banked your promises in the vault of my heart
so I won’t sin myself bankrupt.
Be blessed, God;
train me in your ways of wise living.
I’ll transfer to my lips
all the counsel that comes from your mouth;
I delight far more in what you tell me about living
than in gathering a pile of riches.
I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you,
I attentively watch how you’ve done it.
I relish everything you’ve told me of life,
I won’t forget a word of it.
Yes, let us DELIGHT in the freedom Christ has given to us. Follow what God wants and desires for us and we can never go wrong. There is only one way to be free.
In Jesus Name, and By His Power living in us and through us, Amen! I believe.