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It Was for Freedom

October 21, 2017

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It Was for Freedom

People love  to make up rules  and traditions.     In some ways,  doing the same thing repeatedly  in the same way  seems comforting  and can make them feel  like they are a part  of a group.     Being able  to follow all the rules  makes one feel good  about themselves.

Laws are necessary  for traffic  and many other aspects  of life — but people tend  to enslave themselves  to rules  that are not necessary  and are not  from God.    The New Testament gives many instances  of this enslavement.

For example,  the Jews were often startled  to see Jesus  “break the Sabbath”  by healing people,  letting His disciples husk wheat  to eat  on a Sabbath,  telling a healed man  to carry his bed  on a Sabbath,  etc.

In each instance,  something good  and wonderful  had happened,  but it seemed  to be breaking Jewish traditions  and interpretations  of keeping the Sabbath.     Jesus was criticized  for doing something good,  instead of obeying the Sabbath law  to refrain  from working.

In each case,  Jesus taught us  that doing something good  and in love  is a God-pleasing way  to truly keep  the Sabbath law  —  Remember the Sabbath day,  to keep it holy.”    Exodus 20:8     The day of rest  was meant  to honor the LORD.     Doing good  and showing love  truly honors our Lord.

So  we have a freedom  in Christ  to always do good  and to show love  for God  and for our fellow mankind  —  no matter when  that might be.     That is why Paul tells us  in Galatians 5:1,

It was  for freedom  that Christ  set us freetherefore  keep standing firm  and do not be subject again  to a yoke  of slavery.

The point is  that we are  to never fall into the trap  of thinking  that following  all sorts of rules  and traditions  will get us  into heaven.     No matter how well  we keep all sorts  of laws,  we cannot earn  our own salvation.     We must trust  in the grace  of God  to take us  into heaven.

So,  when Paul speaks  to those Galatians  who felt they had  to earn their way  into heaven,  he says  in Galatians 5:4,

You have been severed  from Christ,  you who are seeking  to be justified  by law;  you have fallen  from grace.

That is a frightening truth.     All those who think  they will work their way  into heaven  are cutting themselves off  from the power  of God  to save them.     They are refusing  to trust  in God’s word  —  refusing to trust  the Savior  who had been prophesied  down through the ages  —  refusing to accept  God’s free gift  of love.

Who are we  to say  we can do things better  than the LORD God Almighty?

If heaven  is our goal,  we need  to humbly trust  in the grace  of God  to make us pure  and holy  through Jesus Christ,  our Lord.      God has proven  that He can be trusted  to keep His word.

As we find  our freedom  in Christ,  we can say,  ”Hallelujah!       Jesus has shown us  the way  of salvation  through faith  in His work  of love  on the cross.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

Pray for our country.

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The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

Psalm 118:24

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The word of the LORD is tried;

He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.

Psalm 18:30

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Sing for joy  in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;

Praise is becoming  to the upright.

Psalm 33:1

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How blessed are those  who dwell  in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.

Psalm 84:4

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Just as a father  has compassion  on his children,

So the LORD  has compassion  on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13

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O give thanks  to the LORD,  for He is good;

For His lovingkindness  is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1

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Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart  of those who seek the LORD  be glad.

Psalm 105:3

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Not that I have already obtained it,  or have already  become perfect,   but I press on  in order that  I may  lay hold  of that  for which also  I was laid hold of  by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12

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