Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Cost of Freedom

I know it's late, but I wanted to recap the main idea from the sermon last Sunday.  

Using the story of the Exodus, I landed on this idea: 

God doesn't just want to set you free, he wants to keep you free.

After the Israelites were set free from being slaves in Egypt, they found themselves in the desert where they became slaves to their own devices.  Some of them trade one type of slavery for another.

It started small, they complain about water and God provides.  Then they complain about food and God provides them with Manna.  They complain about not having meat, so God sends them quail. More quail than they can handle.

Each time they complain their attitudes escalate to the point of thinking they were better off as slaves in Egypt.  God constantly reminds them to trust Him by obeying Him and the people continue to complain and distrust God.

With the last complaint about meat, God gives them so much meat they get sick off of it and some of them die.  Numbers chapter 11 recounts the story and ends with their bodies in graves of their own cravings...their desires, their cravings, their lusts (the KJV word used for cravings) lead to their deaths.

The Israelites who craved meat allowed that craving to get the best of them.  They were set free from slavery only to find themselves in another kind of slavery.

Don't we often do the same thing?  God has set us free from guilt and shame and sin and death and made a way for us to resist temptation.  He has given us the Holy Spirit to convict us, lead us, guide us and be our advocate.  Yet, we often allow our desires, our cravings, our lusts to move us into dangerous territory of prisons of our own making.

God doesn't just want to set you free, he wants to keep you free. 
And it takes being intentional about staying connected to God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit for us to remain in the freedom Jesus offers us.

In John 8 Jesus says it this way (31-32): "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free."

Paul said it this way in Galatians 5:1: "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."

The cost of freedom is discipleship.  Discipleship is remaining in a a growing relationship with Jesus Christ by being intentional about staying in love with our savior. 

He doesn't just want to set you free, he wants to keep you free!

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