Have you been released?

January 10, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Do you not know, brothers–for I am speaking to men who know the law–that the law has authority over a man only as long as he lives? For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man.

So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.
(Romans 7:1-6 (NIV))

Isn’t it wonderful to be released from the bondage of sin and death?

Laws are necessary in our society. But, at the same time, laws can be condemning and confining. There are human laws that restrict what we can do. These laws try to dictate what we should and should not do. Human laws are different from the Law that God gave. Human wisdom pails in comparison and human laws pail in comparison. Yet, human laws are an extension of the Law that God gave to us. God gave us 10 Commandments. All throughout history, humanity has failed to keep 10 laws. Society has taken what God gave us and has given us countless “laws” to define what God gave us. It is hard to keep 10, let alone the thousands that have been ordained by man.

Through the blood of Jesus, we are free from the Law. This does not mean that we can go and sin by breaking every commandment. It means that we are forgiven and we are free to live life as God intended for us to live it without the consequences of sin.

In other words, we can “go and sin no more” with the knowledge that we belong to Jesus Christ.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Will you stand firm in your faith and your freedom?

July 3, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
(Galatians 5:1 (NIV))

What is the difference between freedom and independence?

Do you think that they are the same?

We, as a nation, are about to celebrate the anniversary of our independence from rule by another country. Is this the same as freedom?

We, as believers, celebrate the fact that we have been set free. We are no longer bound by the sins that shackled us. Is this the same as independence?

One of the definitions for the word freedom says that it is a state of being free from confinement or physical restraint. One of the definitions for the word independence says that it is freedom from the control or influence of others. I find it interesting that the word freedom is used in the definition of independence.

I also find it interesting that this country was settled be those seeking freedom to worship God as they saw fit. They may not have all faced physical restraint, yet they were restrained in other ways. These people faced persecution because they did not believe as the official church believed. In the course of seeking their freedom to worship, they gained their independence. They were no longer controlled by others.

Over the course of many years, the freedom that was sought for became a desire to be independent.

Do you see the trend?

When we seek freedom, independence is earned. When we give up freedom, independence is taken away. This is true for both the physical and the spiritual. If we accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we are set free from the bondage of sin and death. If we allow a small foothold to sin, we are once again burdened by what we had previously cast off. I honestly believe that this hold true for all aspects of our lives, and not just our individual spiritual lives.

Think about that for a moment.

Over the last several years things have changed in our country. Many are willing to give up freedoms in exchange for a dependency. Many are willing to give up freedoms for what they think will mean peace and security. Many are willing to give up freedom of religion in exchange for political correctness.

We have become complacent. We have become too willing to appease a vocal few. We have allowed the vocal fee to take our freedoms.

Freedom isn’t free. It has a heavy cost.

Jesus died on the cross to be able to set us free from sin. Countless people throughout our history have died to ensure that our freedoms remain. Have we become a consumer of the actions of others? Are we willing to sit back and observe or do we embrace the freedom and the price that has been paid and must be paid? Do we change our thoughts as easily as we change the channel? Do we stand firm in God’s Word or do we let others fill us with their thoughts?

Remember that Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we could be given salvation. Thousands of men and women since then have paid the price for freedom. Are we willing to simply sit on the sidelines or will we stand firm in our faith and in our freedom?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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