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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Freedom to Choose

“ For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.” Gal 5:13 NLT

As I look at this verse I realize I have a choice in how I live in my FREEDOM.

I can choose to give into my sinful nature.

Or I can choose to love.

God gives me the FREEDOM to choose one or the other.

I know what my sinful nature wants.

It wants instant gratification.

My sinful nature is selfish, mean, and never satisfied. 

But because of the Holy Spirit given to me when I CHOSE the gift of Salvation through the cross (and there is no other way), I don’t have to let my sinful nature rule me

I can choose to live in FREEDOM and use it to serve others in love.

What would serving others in love look like?

Let’s look at 1 Cor 13:4-6 NLT,  Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.

In day- to -day life “living in love” could look like this:

1.      Not yelling at the person who cut you off in traffic.

2.      Letting someone move in front of you in line because they look like they’re in an even bigger hurry than you.

3.      Forgiving your spouse for the same offense AGAIN.

4.      Complimenting a friend on their new car instead of being jealous.

5.      Congratulating a co-worker on the promotion instead of bad mouthing them because you were more qualified. 

6.      Explaining to your kids what they did wrong instead of yelling at them.

7.      Not demanding your way.

8.      Not belittling a server for getting your order wrong.

9.      Not assuming you’re right and every one else is wrong.

10.  Admitting you don’t know everything and that you need help.

The list could go on.

There are so many ways we can live love in action.

I feel free when I show love. 

I have never regretted being kind or loving others, but I have felt the burden of walking in sin.

Because of God’s grace that forgives ALL my sins I am free to do whatever I want. 

Again, if my focus is on me, I want my natural man to feel good. I want justice, I want what I feel I deserve, I want pleasure without consequences.

But when I focus on God, at what it cost Him to forgive me (death of His innocent Son), my sinful desires diminish and I’m FREE to love others as I am loved by God (see 1 Cor 13:4-6).

It truly is liberating to not have to obey my carnal desires, but to walk in love. Knowing I don’t have to be “be nice”, but I can choose to.

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