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.”  NASB

Through the maturation process (which is still happening) in Christ, I have moved through many phases.  Some of them have been beautiful and beneficial to me, but those I came in contact with, and others have been virtual prisons.  I am thankful that today God has “set me free to be free.”  I am a willing servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is not what He forced me to do but what I have willingly chosen to do. 

I have willingly given up “my rights” for “His will and purpose.”  I do not have a place or position to defend, just a heart full of love for the Master.  Long ago, I came to the place where I was willing to be “whatever He wanted.”  I know we all say that, but I meant it completely, and He has tested me on that commitment on numerous occasions. 

I do not have to be “in front of everyone;” I can follow.  I am willing to do either and have done both.  I do not have to be recognized else my feelings and ego will become so wounded that I pout or separate myself from others.  If what I do is never acknowledged or recognized, and it is what the Lord has ordained, I am perfectly content with that.  I am doing what I do for Him and His Church, not for some popularity or recognition I might achieve.

When Jesus set me free from the bondage of sin, it was like the entire world lifted off my shoulders, and for the first time in my life, I knew real joy and real peace.  That is not to say I had not been happy because my childhood brings back so many good and wonderful memories. I can only imagine what it would have been like to grow up in a home where love did not rule the day.  There was discipline and sometimes very stern discipline, but it was always out of love to shape me into a productive member of society when I grew up.  I thank God for my parents and grandparents; God used them to fully condition me to receive His Love, Authority, and Grace.

After becoming a Christian and entering the ministry, I bought the company line and became a legalist. I was a Pharisee and an exceptionally good one!  I do not doubt that my rigid and unbending stances and demands on people made many of them terribly uncomfortable and even miserable.  Long ago, I repented and continually asked God to help me never return to that place spiritually. 

It was for “freedom that I was set free,” not for “bondage.”  I have been guilty of judging others from time to time.  In those times, the Holy Spirit constantly reminds remind me of my flaws and failures and that God loves them too!  There are things that I hold strong convictions regarding, but some of those things fall into what I would call gray areas biblically, so I keep them to myself and do not try to impose them upon others. 

I have some strong opinions, and an opinion is just that, an opinion.  It is personal, and we should never attempt to impose it on others.  I will share my convictions and opinions with people in the right setting and when given the right opportunity, as the Lord gives me liberty. 

On more than one occasion, I have sensed the “still small voice” of the Spirit of God saying to me, “Roy, this is for you.  I don’t want you to do this or that, but it is not something that I want you to attempt to impose on others.  I will speak to them about what I want them to do.”  I am thankful that God is the Ultimate Judge, and I do not have to assume that responsibility. It would be too burdensome and make life a living hell for me and everyone else.

Therefore, as you go through this day, know that if you are “in Christ,” you are FREE, so live that way!  I do not mean make that a license to do whatever you want because God will bring conviction to your heart. You should always consider a “weaker brother or sister,” knowing that everyone is not at the same experience or maturity level.  People were patient with all of us as we grew into adulthood naturally, so why should we not do the same spiritually?  WE SHOULD!

Blessings upon you are my prayer!

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