Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Devotional 040818

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. It has been a busy morning after prayer meeting – many emails and business decision to make before I can switch to my meditative mode. It does require a deliberate act to choose spending time in meditation or listening to God. We tend to react or to be driven by urgency around us, even when we have the liberty to choose how to use our break time. You can either use it to gossip or worship. I like the way Petersons explored the theme of freedom in his devotional. It could be over your head if you don’t pause and meditate. But if you follow him closely, you will enjoy the insights he shared.

It takes a certain bold courage to receive freedom. The free life is demanding life. Living in freedom is demanding and sometimes painful. If security is our highest priority, we will not want to live free. Erich Fromm’s book “Escape from Freedom” traces the elaborate attempts by which people avoid the freedom that is given to them, preferring to exist in the secure slaveries provided by totalitarian governments, or totalitarian habits, or totalitarian emotions, or totalitarian addictions.

In every generation great crowds of people mindlessly shuffle along with the herd and do nothing beyond providing statistics for sociological surveys. But also in every generation a few persons live intelligently and courageously in freedom. For these persons, the letter to the Galatians has often been the catalyst to the free life. At several critical times in history this letter, listened to by small groups of Christians, has shifted the direction of the age just enough to make the difference between a surge of new life and a drifting into decline.

When people have felt victimized by fear and oppression, it has been a means of setting them free. When many have been paralyzed by anxiety and apprehension, it has stimulated them to an energetic hope. When there has been widespread confusion and bickering and uncertainty about what life was, it has clarified and convinced people of exactly what it means to live openly and well, convinced them to the point of participation in the rescue by which God sets us free to live.

Paul’s greeting anticipates what we can expect: “grace . . . and peace.” Grace! Life is a gift. Peace! Life is whole. The two words declare that we are, fundamentally and finally, free to live. Life is what we are given, not what we salvage out of the ruins of home and culture. Life is an entirety into which we grow, not a fragment that we snatch on the run.

So I greet you with the great words, grace and peace! We know the meaning of those words because Jesus Christ rescued us from this evil world we’re in by offering himself as a sacrifice for our sins. God’s plan is that we all experience that rescue (Galatians 1:3-4 The Message)

It is very demanding to exercise your fingers if you want to have freedom on playing piano, guitar or any music instruments. It is even more demanding if you want to have freedom in Christ. It is a spiritual battle that we are engaging daily. Satan will do whatever to enslave us in our animal instincts or sinful nature. In Christ we are no longer bond by sins. We are free. But our nature is still under the curse and bondage of sinful tendency. We need to constantly discipline or teach our soul to follow God’s way instead of our natural way. Have mercy on us, O Lord! Our nature tells us to take an easy way – live in the bondage of Satan: “Why bother to fight back?” Yet, Holy Spirit encourages us to walk in the light of God – enjoy a new free life in Christ. Choose freedom today!

Love you by this freedom in Christ,

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