Greetings to everyone,
As Americans, we value our freedoms that we have in our nation.
And yet I think we all see so many fellow Americans who seem to be wasting these “blood bought” freedoms.
Sadly, their decisions potentially end up with them enslaved to certain addictions.
And just like that, they are no longer truly free!
My friends, can this happen to any of us?
Let’s look at a Scripture selection that helps us think about freedom right out of God’s Word.
Galatians 5:13-26 Life by the Spirit
13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.
18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
- Galatians 5:13 In contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit; also in verses 16, 17, 19 and 24; and in 6:8.
- Galatians 5:14 Lev. 19:18 Galatians 5:17 Or you do not do what you want.
Let’s take a look at a few Freedom Definitions.
· The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
· Absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government.
- The state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.
· The state of not being subject to or affected by (a particular undesirable thing).
I believe that it is important to distinguish the difference between a Freedom to sin vs a Freedom to Serve.
Freedom, as a license to sin, is no freedom at all. Because it eventually enslaves us to our own sinful nature; and can enslave us to the enemy of our souls.
By contrast, Believers should not be slaves to sin, because of the freedom to do right and to glorify God through loving service to others.
What is our current culture and society telling us (and our kids) about verses 19-21?
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.
The entertainment industry would tell us that these are all normal, and even good.
Hollywood would like to tell us (and specifically our kids).
· what we should look like.
· what to act like.
· what intimacy is.
· what to value.
How many of these skewed perspectives and lies from the entertainment lobbyists do you and I want in our homes and in our lives? Especially if it enslaves our families to an addiction/sin.
Here are two suggested tests to validate if you truly want messaging from Hollywood coming into your household.
1. The content test: Does the content of a TV show or movie line up with your family values? If so, enjoy the family time together. If not, there are a ton of other choices that can speak into your heart and the hearts of your loved ones. You prayerfully decide!
2. The clock test: This starts with an honest evaluation of how much time we are allowing to be applied into “screen time”. My friends, those things we give a majority of our focus will have a powerful impact on our mind, peace, words, and actions. Even deeper, that which we give most of our time to, many times we are worshipping it without even being aware of how much it is taking away from us. I encourage us all to put a limit (daily, weekly, etc.) on how much time we deliberately choose to allow screen time to take from the things and people that we say we value (time listening to the hearts of our loved ones). Challenge yourself, and your family, to track the time spent on TV and movies, etc. with goals on how to redirect a portion of this time into each other.
I hope we will all make a decision right now, to be led by the Holy Spirit!
Being led by The Spirit of The Living God involves.
· The desire to hear.
· The readiness to obey.
· The sensitivity to discern.
When you and I choose to do these three things, we can live each day guided and encouraged by the Holy Spirit.
1. The Words of Jesus will be in our mind.
2. The Love of Christ will be behind our actions.
3. The Power of God will help us control our selfish desires.
As I begin to wrap up this month’s message, let’s all please look at John 8:32. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
And John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
So how do we answer the call from God to be free, and live by the Holy Spirit?
Know The Truth (Jesus) and use your freedom to serve one another in Love. Amen?
Blessings from Above,
Chaplain Robert Kinnune