Devotion: Monday, March 19, 2018
A Biblical, Christ-filled word to bless your lives.
Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, reflections from His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s verse is from 1 Peter 2, where the Bible says,
Dear friends… Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.
SET FREE TO LIVE FREELY FOR OTHERS IN HIM
Patrick Henry, one of the founders of America, said, “Give me liberty or give me death!” And that “fighting spirit” for liberty has been at the heart of this country for over 200 years. The problem for today is that many don’t really know what to do with the liberties that they have been given. We hear today that we have more technology, more knowledge, more wealth than all the generations that have come before us. But so many put that liberty to use only for themselves. Divorce rates exploded as our personal wealth grew. Sexual diseases today are rampant as people discard personal fidelity and seek to do as they alone please no matter the consequences for their spouse, their families, their children. We have been created for liberty, yes, but such liberty was to be directed towards others as a reflection of God’s love for us.
LCRL is in Washington D.C. to fight for religious freedom in our culture, to defend the public space in our culture for the church to be church for others. But that’s the key. Just “having freedom” is not the point. Even as we defend our rights to be public citizens, we realize that in Christ we have been set free to live freely “for others.” We what to be “public” people so that we can put Christ’s gift of freedom “to us” to work “through us” for others… That’s the Freedom that Peter is speaking about today. We are to put the gift of freedom to work. Fight for temporal freedom, fight for political freedom, yes, but for the greater purpose of living out faith’s freedom for others.
In Galatians 5, St. Paul tells us that it is “For freedom that we have been set free.” Peter echoes that and even directs that saying “Christ has set us free to freely honor, to serve, to love.” We are free to live in freedom. We are free to live as one who has been saved, who has been set free. With thanksgiving because of what God has done for us all, we are free to love others as Christ has loved us. We are free to serve others as Christ serves us. We are free to forgive others as Christ forgives us. We are free to put Faith’s freedom to work, showing respect for everyone, loving our fellow believers as God indeed loves us, even honoring the leaders who serve us (whether they were our choice or not).
Being committed to Life, to Religious Liberty, to Marriage, to education, these are fundamental things in a humane and civil culture. Such things are worth “being committed to.” They are even worth fighting for. Like we say here at LCRL, as Two-Kingdom Christian Citizens, “We are called to put our temporal liberties to work (no matter what culture we live in), so that we might boldly, freely, publicly proclaim the eternal liberties of Jesus for all.”
PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for the eternal freedom and peace that you have made possible through your life, death, and resurrection. May all our efforts for liberty here and now serve the proclamation of the eternal liberty and freedom that comes from you by faith. AMEN.