Re-looking At Freedom

Re-looking At Freedom

Sister Miki Terayama - 12 September 2021

Weekend Devotion: Re-looking At Freedom

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Dear brothers and sisters, today we are talking about the topic of freedom and liberation. Now in the world today, freedom is something much sought after. In social matters like human rights and equality, people are always advocating for freedom. Freedom has its benefits, however, at the end of the human-driven freedom, it will inevitably bring about some form of hurts and the manifestation of sins, causing people to loosely do things without some necessary boundaries. In fact, the sin-filled world cannot advocate for freedom by its own terms as it may bring about negative consequences and division. Now even in many churches, they talk about believers having freedom in spirit. It is true as the bible says 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.” However, what we have to ask ourselves after that is: Is the freedom we desire, the same as the freedom Christ wants to give us? Is it in sync? Many times, we will realise that it is not the case. We often desire the freedom of our flesh and our circumstance, not the freedom within our spirit. We want freedom from sickness, freedom from financial burdens, freedom from problems. Why so? Because the desire for that freedom does not come from the spirit, it does not come from submitting to God’s nature and character as we look at our lives. Dear brothers and sisters, we need to relook at what freedom means to us. 1 Peter 2:16-17 says, “Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.” From this verse, we can see 2 truths about freedom.


“Do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil.”

Firstly, “do not use your freedom as a cover up for evil.” The fact is, our heart is a place where evil thoughts and emotions can dwell. We may have a lot of unhappiness, bitterness, jealousy or selfishness, but we say that God has already blessed us with the freedom to spend our money, to go shopping and get whatever we want. Of course, the Lord gives us freedom to buy what we need, but think about it, how many times may we also be abusing this in the name of freedom in Christ? Or if it is not in the form of finances, it could be in other areas. Like we may not really like this person, and even belittle or judge them within ourselves. But we convince our conscience by claiming that we have the freedom to decide who we want to talk to or get along with. Now, is this true freedom? This is actually meant by what is covering up for evil. We may think that we have all the freedom to eat, play, go for activities or socialise. It is not wrong. But as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:23 about the believer’s freedom, ““I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.” So let us really reflect today, if what we do might stumble someone, even causing them some loss, then we would rather not do it. When we can examine our hearts and thoughts this way and act according to the spirit’s guidance, that is true freedom in Christ. We have to ask ourselves, “do we have the freedom that comes from loving people? From helping men?”, and such. This is also the “freedom of being selfless” that Christ wants to reveal to us.

 

“Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.”

Now, the latter part of the verse in 1 Peter 2 tells us a more positive way of freedom. The first part talks about what we should not do in the name of freedom. Now, in this part, it tells us what we ought to do and that is to “show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.” With freedom, comes strength and power. When a person has freedom in their hearts, they will naturally have boundless strength within. It is not like someone who is bounded by laws, or have fear of being punished, fearing how people will look at them. When God gives a person freedom, he or she will have the power to love, respect and look at the people around them. No matter what they do, they will be able to do all things through a heart that reveres and submits to the Lord. They are no longer living under the shadows of men, of worldly standards, of self expectations, but are only looking to be accountable to God, to His approval. These people will be able to enjoy the strength of freedom and even the spiritual authority, such that when they speak to people, minister to others, they have the wisdom and convictions.

So brothers and sisters, let us relook at the way we see freedom and examine our hearts today. What kind of freedom are you pursuing or having today? Does the freedom you enjoy now have this power and authority from the Lord?
May we experience and be liberated by the right freedom in Christ. God bless. 

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Miki Terayama
miki.terayama@gmail.com

Miki is a full-time ministry staff at The Blessed Run Ministries. She is a sister who shares a natural, God-given affinity with children and youths. She is married to Randy (NET Group Youth Leader) and has two little ones of her own, Liora and Jude. She is involved in the children, youth and social media ministries.

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