Posts Tagged ‘Free’


Numbers 11:1,5-6,11,16,21-23,33 Soon the people began to complain about their hardship, and the Lord heard everything they said. Then the Lord’s anger blazed against them, and he sent a fire to rage among them, and he destroyed some of the people in the outskirts of the camp… “We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted. But now our appetites are gone. All we ever see is this manna!”… And Moses said to the Lord, “Why are you treating me, your servant, so harshly? Have mercy on me! What did I do to deserve the burden of all these people?… Then the Lord said to Moses, “Gather before me seventy men who are recognized as elders and leaders of Israel. Bring them to the Tabernacle to stand there with you… But Moses responded to the Lord, “There are 600,000 foot soldiers here with me, and yet you say, ‘I will give them meat for a whole month!’ Even if we butchered all our flocks and herds, would that satisfy them? Even if we caught all the fish in the sea, would that be enough?” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Has my arm lost its power? Now you will see whether or not my word comes true!”… But while they were gorging themselves on the meat—while it was still in their mouths—the anger of the Lord blazed against the people, and he struck them with a severe plague.

Reading this chapter left me with mixed emotions because in one context, the response of the Israelites seem terrible and in another context, God’s reaction to their complaining seems far worse.

How are we to understand this chapter and apply it into our lives today? (more…)


Leviticus 25:1-7,10,54-55 The LORD said to Moses at Mount Sinai, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a sabbath to the LORD. For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. But in the seventh year the land is to have a year of sabbath rest, a sabbath to the LORD. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest. Whatever the land yields during the sabbath year will be food for you—for yourself, your male and female servants, and the hired worker and temporary resident who live among you, as well as for your livestock and the wild animals in your land. Whatever the land produces may be eaten… Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each of you is to return to your family property and to your own clan… “‘Even if someone is not redeemed in any of these ways, they and their children are to be released in the Year of Jubilee, for the Israelites belong to me as servants. They are my servants, whom I brought out of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.

Many aspects of life in those Mosaic times are very odd to us and we find them hard to understand or accept. Slavery is one such concept and keeps us wondering how a God of love would permit such things.

In this long and exhaustive chapter on the year of jubilee, what could be relevant to us in today’s time and how does this draw us closer to God? (more…)


Philemon 1:8-11, 15-16
Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, yet I appeal to you on the basis of love. I then, as Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus— I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains. Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me… Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back for good— no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a man and as a brother in the Lord.

This book is only a chapter long and is a letter of appeal from Paul to Philemon, a wealthy man who owned a runaway slave by name Onesimus. Onesimus met Paul after he fled from Philemon, accepted Christ as His Lord and Savior and was now despatched by Paul back to Philemon with a letter which is our text today. Philemon was a member of the church in Colosse and Paul appeals to him as a Christian to another for the life of Onesimus and for his freedom. What caught my attention was the humility Paul shows in his request and the way he brought out the benefit of Onesimus in his new skin, as a Christian brother. What does this story have to do with us today? (more…)


Galatians 4:21-23, 28-31
Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. His son by the slave woman was born in the ordinary way; but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a promise… Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. But what does the Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.” Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.

As I continue to seek God through His word, I realize that every word written is worth it’s weight in gold because of how it reflects the character and nature of God. Quoted in verse 30 are words spoken by Sarah in anger when her son Isaac was being mocked by Hagar’s son (Born of Abraham) and even though it sounded crude at that time, God told Abraham to comply because it was through Isaac that Abraham’s offspring would be established. Isaac was born because of God’s promise to Abraham and Sarah whereas Ishmael was born because they decided to take matters into their own hands. While all of this might be good and true, what does it have to do with us today who cannot draw any direct lineage to Abraham and are being called free?

I was born an Indian national and it might seem strange to some that I was saved by the grace of God in India because it is not in any way connected to Israel. God calls the Israelites His people and I call myself a Christian but I’m not Israelite and is there a problem? Our rebirth or the experience of being born again is not a physical one but spiritual and baptism is the physical act of obedience we follow to understand this transformation. When we submit our lives to Jesus Christ, God enters us through His Holy Spirit, cleanses (sanctifies) us of our sins, transforms our hearts and minds to be able to communicate with Him, and calls us His own which makes us Abraham’s offspring. We are not slaves to the law anymore but are now reborn free in Christ who conquered sin and death and gave us life eternal with Him and God the father. Are you still a child of slavery or the child of a promise?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Galatians 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.


1 Corinthians 12:4-7, 12-13, 27
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good… For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit… Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.

Paul writes much about gifts of the Holy Spirit in this chapter and I recommend you read it well to understand it. The Bible tells us that we are filled with the Holy Spirit when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. The Holy Spirit is at work in us transforming us from inside out to make us like Jesus and empowers us to serve God in many ways. Different believers have different gifts that collectively serve God and Paul weeds out the confusion regarding this gifting because in our paradigm, we think each one should have the same gifts and don’t appreciate the variety that adds up to glorifying God collectively.

Yesterday we reflected on communion which is a symbol of the body and blood of Jesus. In 1 Cor. 10:17, Paul reminds us that ‘Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread‘. We are all different in our cultures, colors, languages, etc. but we all are bound in love by Jesus that makes us family. Similarly in our gifting, we are all differently gifted but collectively serve God to glorify Him alone. No one of us is greater or lesser because of our gifting and also Jesus reminds us in Luke 9:48 that whoever is the least among us is the greatest. Let us seek our spiritual gifts from God to use it for His glory and lets work together to build His kingdom.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


1 Corinthians 9:16-18, 25
Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make use of my rights in preaching it… Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

Paul is a passionate man of God and earnestly sought the Lord until his last breath. We can see that in his writing and the way he earnestly pushes the Corinthian Christians to walk in the right path. The Corinthians felt they did not have to give up their own liberty for any man’s pleasures and so Paul uses himself as an example to ask if he was not free to exercise his freedom in terms of marriage, being paid a salary, eating of food and drink, etc. Paul’s question to us is what are we doing with our new found freedom?

Although I like sports, I am not much of a champion in any sport but still enjoy playing competitively. The goal is to win but our joy is to gloat in the glory of being called a winner. That glory is short lived but as Christians, our goal is to live with Christ in heaven and that goal is confirmed before we start our race and lasts an eternity! In our Christian walk, our mission is to go out and share the good news of Jesus to the world. Our joy is to serve the Lord with our all and to do that; we need to be able to love those like Jesus loved us. How can we love our freedom more than we love our Lord and those He loves? 1 John 2:17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


1 Corinthians 2:11-13
For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.

Understanding the Holy Spirit was one of the hardest aspects of my faith walk. I often wondered what it looked like, what changes occurred in me, what others saw in me to show fruits of the working of the Holy Spirit in me and so on. For someone who is still at the foot of the faith mountain, I am learning the hard way by asking, reading, seeking, praying and God who is the most patient teacher helps me understand Him bit by bit, day by day. Today as I read Paul’s letter to the Church in Corinth regarding the Holy Spirit, my eyes opened to one more truth.

The fragrance of a rose is always going to that of a rose. Plant it among sunflowers or in the forest and it’s fragrance should be that of a rose. We as humans will continue to operate as humans, sinful in our thinking and always causing more damage to ourselves and our environment. However, when we are no longer driven by the same spirit that drives us to act like humans, things change. This is not possible naturally because by nature, we are still human. However, when we are born again by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are filled with God’s own spirit, which transforms us from the very core. We are no longer driven by human desire but by God’s heart. We still have the ability to choose and sometimes make bad choices but the spirit burdens our conscience which brings us back on our knees before the Lord asking for forgiveness. Paul here reminds us that we are driven by this spirit, the Holy Spirit, and therefore our wisdom is God’s wisdom and our understanding is His. Praise God for His goodness to us!

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy