SOMETHING FOR NOTHING!
Merriam-Webster defines free as, not costing or charging anything, in which could be considered an oxymoron as definition #4 reads, relieved from or lacking something and especially something unpleasant or burdensome. Free is never without cost! We either pay prior to being freed or we pay following our freedom, but fact is, we pay with money, time, pain, misery, pleasure, or joy. In a perfect world freed or freedom would find no need. As it is not, we suffer the consequences of our lack in making good choices or we enjoy our rewards in making good (God) choices. Either way we still pay a cost!
The first thing spiritual freedom will cost is a complete admission of our inability to free ourselves from our sinful nature. We have to realize; we can do nothing on our own. Our first cost is that of pride, we must unconditionally surrender our pride and life to Jesus in confessing our sins to Him for forgiveness. Secondly, as it is written in 1 Peter 2:1 (NLT), So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. That’s hard! Because it takes a huge commitment and a lot of effort to discipline ourselves to the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit. This is important, as Jesus paid a much higher price. Thirdly; 1 Peter 2:4-5 (NLT), 4 You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor. 5 And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God. We are to spiritually sacrifice ourselves to God each day as we mediate, pray and worship God. Please! Chew on that thought for a few minutes. God chose us, to receive the opportunity to choose Him and become part of his temple, His holy priest. He ask only that we believe in Jesus as His Son and our Lord and Savior.
This next writing will flip the mind of those that don’t have a real relationship with Jesus. Peter tells us in 1 Peter 2:16-17 (NLT), 16 For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. 17 Respect everyone and love the family of believers. Fear God and respect the king. What’s up with that, you ask? To be free from the evil one in this world, we must become slaves to the Creator and Savior of this world. Evil just doesn’t disappear it has to be consistently replaced with something more desirable and Jesus is that something. If you will, go back up to verse 5, read it carefully and hopefully understand how privileged we are (or could be) to be living stones in His spiritual temple. A royal priest from within God’s temple (the body of Christ), dispatched to do the will of Jesus.
I have discovered over the years, what King David was saying in 2 Samuel 24:24-25 (NLT), 24 But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on buying it, for I will not present burnt offerings to the Lord my God that have cost me nothing.” So, David paid him fifty pieces of silver for the threshing floor and the oxen. 25 David built an altar there to the Lord and sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings. And the Lord answered his prayer for the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped. I was chosen by God, called by His Holy Spirit, and saved by the resurrection of His Son Jesus, ergo my sacrifice to Him came at great cost to Him, as for my personal cost, I sacrificed a lifestyle, I gave up my current lifestyle in exchange for the willingness to change my everything and follow Jesus.
My prayer for us is also my marching orders; 1 Peter 2:21-25 (NLT), 21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. 22 He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone. 23 He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. 24 He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed. 25 Once you were like sheep who wandered away. But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls. Father, please help us to remain strong as we learn the cost of walking in the footsteps of Jesus. Lord, may we always grow in our love for you, may we hunger for more of you, and may we find more love for others. Thank you, Lord, for your protection, provision, and love for us. Amen
HAVE A BLESSED WEEK BY BEING A BLESSING TO OTHERS!
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