Because of Christ we are free. We are free from the bondage of sin. As Galatians 5 states: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery” (v. 1 NIV).
Earlier in his letter to the churches of Galatia, Paul noted that there were false believers who came to spy on the freedom that they had because they wanted to make them slaves again. They wanted to bring them back into bondage. How could they bring them to bondage? The law.
There is grace. There is law. Because of God’s grace, we do not have to focus on the law. We are justified through Christ. “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God… I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” (2:19, 21 NIV). Don’t allow someone to make you a slave again. Do not set aside the grace of God.
“This matter arose because some false believers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves.” – Galatians 2:4 [NIV]
There are some promises we cannot even fathom. In Exodus 3:21, God promises to do something that Moses surely must have questioned at least a tiny bit. At this point in time the Hebrews were slaves in Egypt. They were being abused. They were in no way looked at favorably. Why on earth would the Egyptians give anything of value to the Hebrew slaves?
Anyone in that situation would have found it hard to see something on a far different level. I am sure a homeless man living on a street corner would not believe someone who told them that in a few weeks they would be moving into a penthouse, or even that they would have a home at all. This seems as something impossible.
But we serve a God who does the impossible. God made this promise to Moses and later it would come true. The Egyptians wanted to be rid of the Israelites so badly. They gave them gifts. It happened just as God promised. Today, as things might look impossible—trust in the promises of God. Remember that He is a God of the impossible and if He has made a promise, He will see that it comes to be just as He said.
“And I will cause the Egyptians to look favorably on you. They will give you gifts when you go so you will not leave empty-handed.” – Exodus 3:21 [NLT]
This morning I passed by a dumpster filled with items from a house that is currently undergoing renovations. Out of the corner of my eye, I was able to spot a large box of books lying on top of the other discarded items. The books looked brand new and many of them were titles that were once found on the best sellers list. For a moment I thought of how those books and so many other items within the dumpster could have been used by someone instead of going to a landfill. I imagined if the items were donated to a church or another charity, the good that they could do for some lives. Then my mind started to focus on how we are all so guilty of getting things and tossing them out.
We have become a society that is so very good at getting rid of things. We toss out clothing because we have plenty of other items in our wardrobe. We toss out food because we had so much food, that we did not have time to eat it all and it went bad. We toss out relationships because it takes work and sacrifice for marriage and friendships to find success. We toss out opportunities because we do not desire taking risks on challenges. We toss out money with gambling or with purchases we don’t even want or need. We toss out pets because we bought them for their cuteness without thinking of the time investment. We toss out technology because something new came along. We toss and toss.
Then I thought of those who do not have anything to toss, those who are lacking the basic needs of life. There are people who are not able to eat tonight. There are people who have lost their family, their friends. There are people who do not have shoes or clothing. There are people who do not have all of the advantages and opportunities. There are those who do not have money to toss away. There are some who are sick, some dying. There are some who are slaves, yes slaves, on this very day in 2013. I could go on and on.
I cannot give any answers of how we can fix all of these things. I do not have the answers. I am just as guilty as the next person when it comes to tossing out things. All I can say is that I know Who has the answers. I know that all we can do is look to God for the answers of what we can do in our own lives to be His hands and feet, and to share His love with those around us and to be who He called us. We can start here. “He has told you, O man, what is good: And what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8 NASB). Let us start there.