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I am free from slavery so I can become a slave

August 12, 2010

Galatians 5:13 : For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. (New Living Translation)

Straight out of high school I did a couple of jobs where I spent way too much time looking at the clock, hoping it would time to stop doing the utterly boring work I was trapped in.  My aim since then is to do work where yes I look at the clock, but find myself instead thinking, ‘oh that time already?’

What stands out about those mind numbingly boring jobs was that I felt trapped. I couldn’t leave as I had bills to pay, and I found that very hard. When this awesome passage talks about For you have been called to live in freedom it is talking about freedom from slavery, the bond to a master, being forced to serve in circumstances that are harsh and restrictive.  And that freedom isn’t from a boring or harsh job, but from being trapped by the old law.  And for me this means that when I gave my life to Jesus, I stepped out of my old ways, my old practices – a life determined by the world and dominated by sin.   Through Jesus’ death on the cross I am free!  So what do I do with that freedom? Just smile and keep on with my life as I choose?

This is where the passage really speaks massively to me.

It tells me to avoid slavery, being trapped again and it tells me to seek to be a slave, trapped again.

But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. I am to as best I can avoid getting caught up in the trap of sin, and this happens by not only confessing my sin and embracing the power of the resurrection, but turning from those practices that lead me into sin.

When I worked as a psychotherapist I had a number of people I was helping who had a drug addiction, and part of the treatment was not only to encourage them to recognize that their addiction was an issue, but to make changes in their life to reduce temptation, to reduce the chance of them slipping.  In the same way, not only do I need to come before Jesus and confess my sin, I need to make the changes necessary to make sure I don’t do it again.  And then this awesome passage encourages us to become slaves again..

Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. The greek word for serve is douleuo which can mean to be a slave.  But this is a different kind of slavery, it is where I choose to be a slave and my master is God and the work is to love others.  Which in the greek speaks of a generous concern, delighting in those people who we don’t know as well as those we do.

So with my freedom from a life of sin I choose not to fill it with a focus on myself, my own desires, but I choose to be bound to serving Jesus in loving others as much as I can, especially those who others ignore.

What an amazingly challenging passage!!  Praise God!

Bless ya,

Mark

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7 Comments
  1. lucy ng permalink

    Loving others as much as i can especially those who others ignore.
    Dwelling in these I realised that the word slavery can mean much.It can be those who are slave to their own bodies…those who are totally disabled …..& also those who are bound to time slavery.
    To be free one has to aware of the survival for life not only for ones body but also for spiritual food for soul.Once free from “slavery” then one can truly love one another seeing even the worst person to be lovable too .This can be achieved if one sees Christ in each other.

  2. lLYNN permalink

    LIKE THE SAYING GOES, IT’S MORE BLESSED TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE. AND WHAT BETTER TO GIVE, BUT TO GIVE OF YOURSELF? JESUS OF HIMSELF MORE THAN 100 % HE GAVE HIS ALL AND THEN SOME. AND HE IS STILL GIVING TODAY. WHAT BETTER EXAMPLE TO FOLLOW, BUT THE ONE GIVEN BY OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST? AND DEON’T TELL ME WELL IT WAS EASY FOR JESUS BECAUSE HE IS GOD. WHEN JESUS LEFT HEAVEN TO COME TO EARTH, HE LEFT ALL THE GLORY OF HEAVEN BEHIND HIM AND WALKED THIS EARTH AS A MAN, JUST A MAN WHO LIVED A SINLESS LIFE IN ORDER TO BE THE PERFECT SACRIFICE TO ATONE FOR OUR SINS. THANK YOU LORD JESUS FOR THE BLOOD, YOUR PRECIOUS BLOOD THAT WASHES US WHITE AS SNOW.

  3. Doc permalink

    I think you have nailed the term “slavery” to the cross. I too came to this conclusion quite a while ago and I think that the realization that you must free yourself from the slavery of the world and then turn and commit yourself freely as a slave to Christ essentially defines the concept of the Church, the Body and the Bride of Christ. When we realize 1st that the world doesn’t own me and 2nd that I don’t own me, you come to the conclusion that God owns me and that is His perfect Will and Plan. If we allow Him, the Holy Spirit will pound our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh that He can write the Word of God into us so that we may experience what Paul called, the mystery of the ages, Christ in me. May God bless all that read and try to understand what you said.

  4. Steve Gill permalink

    Hello to all. Just got back from a “freedom” trip of 20 days in Colorado and Georgia (In the mountains). My job and vacation took me to these places. I am a “Video Producer” who helps people in tourist areas to “tell video stories about their rental properties” and we also produce videos of “adventure” to attract tourists to an area. I used to be a SLAVE to Advertising clients and there “ideas”.
    THIS PASSAGE is so “timely” for me. For the past year and a half we have been building this vision and it gives us the freedom to tell these stories our way. It also has given me the freedom to “GO… and make disciples of all nations”. Please forgive me for any misinterpretation of what our churches believe as Mission in this next statement: WHAT God has given us in this passage is the ability to do our ministry or our mission in our own daily routines. And he asks us to love others constantly and shine our light wherever we go.
    SO… now as I travel, I see God the Master Planner not only helping me as I make these videos, but I see him introducing me to people who want to talk to me about the Lord. People who are struggling. Do we really need to be a Pychotherapist to encourage a person to walk towards the light that saved our lives. I wake up every morning hoping for an oppurtunity to serve as a SLAVE to the most high God. He sets my path straight. Thank you Lord. Thank you for FREEING me from the bondage of the world and calling me your own.
    God bless you all today. Go to your jobs and SMILE…. because you were LOST…. but now you are FOUND.

  5. Mark I love these videos that you do. I really enjoy the Bible Facebook Fanpage! It is great to see the Holy Spirit work through you!

    Thanks again for posting these and I look forward to your next one!

    Jeff
    GODSurfer.com

  6. Lydia reyes permalink

    Thanks again Mark for another great post. It does challenges us to get free from the worldly ways and be a slave for Jesus. I’m also glad to get news from our brother Steve Gill. Glad to have you back with your great comments and yes let’s all go our way to be a light in this world for our Master JESUS. Mission works are done by going to other parts of the world, but we also have a mission right here at home. There are so many lost soul right here and we have to love and help them come to the real freedom that God is offering to all.We need all the laborers working to make this world a better place and to look forward for the eternal life in heaven that awaits us. God Bless.

  7. You blog helps me a lot

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