Sunday, March 16, 2008

Freedom and love

When I think back to my Living Room devotional on Friday, I can see that I must have confused some issues. I was trying to talk about the importance of love in our lives - both receiving and giving love - and how those can help us cope with depression. But somehow I brought freedom into the discussion - sort of jumped to it in an illogical way.

Pastor Don today talked about the freedom Christ's dying on the cross has made possible for us. I'd like to share some of his thoughts with you. I will share this post with my Living Room gang, hopefully unconfusing them a bit...hopefully giving my blogging pals and Living Room pals some Easter-timely inspiration.

A portion of Pastor Don's message - though not in the order he presented it: "We all serve something or someone and we all choose who we serve. If we serve only ourselves we'll soon find ourselves in bondage, subject to the culture around us that invades our life, slaves to materialism and to everything around us that calls for our attention. The paradox of the Christian life is that we find the greatest freedom in service to God. We only live truly as free people when we live our lives not for ourselves but for God and his purposes."

And from last Sunday's sermon: "When you begin to live to be the kind of person God intended you to be, you experience freedom."

And here is where my love topic comes in: God intends us to be people who live out of love for God and love for each other.

"For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don't use your freedom to satisy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole Law can be summed up in this one command: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" Galatians 5: 13-14

And what gives us that kind of freedom? Accepting that Jesus died for us on the cross and becoming his follower. He gave himself as a sacrifice, a payment for our freedom from captivity to sin and all that hurts us. Pastor Don said that if we can understand the cost of this sacrifice we will understand the great value we are to God.

You are a person of great value and worth to God. He loves you in a huge way, more than you could ever imagine.

This will be my last post for a week or so. We're off to the Oregon Coast for a holiday. Time to relax. YES!!!


Dream Writer said...

I agree. We should serve others and not ourselves, or at least not all the time. I agree that serving one self too much is a form of selfishness, greed, and somewhat narcisstic.

Volunteering, community service is a big part of our country..well your country too! :)

Jim said...

All believers are made up of real spiritual people who serve through the Holy Spirit. In the Bible, God uses people with the right life experiences by putting them through the right spiritual directions and teaching them the right spiritual lessons. Knowledge of the mystery is having the reality of an experience of knowing God personally and consciously. I have learned that Jesus has given me opportunities to do the what I can do with my life dispite of my circumstances. This is the prospect of all opportunities through "His Providential Will" which I call "coincidences" in my life which perhaps God will make sure that whatever needs to be done, will be done at His right time and place. (See Romans 8:28-29).

my life with bipolar disorder said...

Pastor Don's message is so true that we find the greatest freedom in service to God. We only live truly as free people when we live our lives not for ourselves but for God and his purposes. It has been my experience too. The best relief and antidote for our own conditions and sufferings, will be found in self-sacrificing work for the Lord Jesus. When God enable us to bring His love and comforts to others, His love and comforts are reinforced in our own lives. Truly it is more blessed to give than to receive!

Take care. Praying you have a blessed break :)

Merelyme said...

this is such a good message marja! you always write...exactly what i need to hear. so how long will you be away? i will be missing you!

All of Me said...

just thinking about you this weekend. i hope you are having a great holiday get-away!

marja said...

Thanks everyone, for your comments. I am back, Merelyme, and look forward to getting back "in the saddle." So good to get back to my friends in bloggerland.