(04.02.20 —Christ Our Sacrifice--Galatians 5:1-15)
My friend, may I ask you a question? As we were once slaves to sin, are we now set free through the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Yet, if we abuse that freedom, disregard the sacrifice or take advantage of it, are we walking perilously close to spiritual famine and, perhaps, everlasting separation from the source for that freedom?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.
Many years ago I witnessed a game of give and take that has stayed with me. My daughter Hannah kept her pet rats in a cage in the hallway going to our kitchen. When I shuffled into the kitchen around 4:30 each morning there they were, clinging to their cage bars hoping that, perhaps, I might shove a carrot or, even better, a piece of dog food through the bars. Mixing up my morning scrambled eggs, I carved up some celery and carrots, apportioning a small ration for each clinging beggar. (Unless you have an understanding of rat dynamics, you probably won’t appreciate the balance of the tale. You see, where two rats are gathered, one is usually the Alpha rat and the other not. In other words, one is the dominant rat.) As I opened the cage to give the more passive little fella his carrot I no sooner had released the chunk than the Alpha male simply snatched it from its mouth. I tried again and witnessed the same act of theft again and again. Finally, not be outwitted by a mere rodent, I decided to distract the Alpha male with a nice juicy carrot top. He took it greedily and then just dropped it as quickly as he had grabbed it. I swear he was anticipating my next move. You guessed it! The moment I returned to his passive mate he went right back to thieving. Needless to say, the liberties he took with my generosity led me to ignore their squeaks in the future. In the end his liberty to take had resulted in slavery to his want.
How similar is the relationship we often have with each other let alone our relationship with our Heavenly Father. We want the liberty to get many things without the willingness to acknowledge the sacrifice of the one doing the giving.
Here's a story: An impetuous kite was forever questioning its master’s refusal to allow it to fly still higher and farther. There was always the tugging at the end of the rope, the anchor that held it high but not as high as it wanted to go. Each time they flew together, the kite would soar heavenward and then, snap; it was held in place just beyond where it longed to go. Then one day it happened. The string broke just as the kite was reaching its usual height. Wavering for a moment, it began to plummet out of control down, down, down to the ground. Finally it struck a high wire and became impaled, fluttering helplessly at the mercy of the wind. It’s eagerness to be free resulted in its own slavery.
As we were once slaves to sin, we are now set free through the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Yet, if we abuse that freedom, disregard the sacrifice or take advantage of it, we are walking perilously close to spiritual famine and, perhaps, everlasting separation from the source for that freedom. The sacrifice of our Savior for us must never be taken for granted for it is only in our obedience to it are we truly free to enjoy the freedom of the sacrifice.
We pray. Lord do not allow us to fall into temptation. We often repeat these words from Your prayer, but just as often we do not regard them as we should. We tug away at the restraints You have placed for our welfare; so often crashing and finding out too late that Your guidelines were perfect. Deliver us from ourselves and our own foolish pride. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matt 6:34)
May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.