Years ago I used to have printed on my bank checks "Freedom is a God given gift." Today we are in trouble because we squandered that freedom.
As Christians when we follow God he brings us through trials and circumstances that blesses us with knowledge, wisdom and at times material and financial increase which gives us freedom to live better and not be burden with things others might be. The question is what have we done with that freedom?
An article in The Daily News Saturday edition pointed to a problem that sin in a real sense is not addressed anymore in the church. The word "sin" in the Bible derives meaning from the Greek words "Hamartia" and "hamartanein" meaning "tragic flaw" or "to miss the mark."
The person who wrote that article in the paper points out that laziness, anger, greed, gluttony, are also sins. Really, anytime we sin or "miss the mark" we fall short of the principles by which God made life to function. We break the laws of life. We talk about "love" but then we fail to live by God's principles. Where is the justice? Jesus who was God came not only to bring us life but justice.
The judgment we were to receive for our lawbreaking Jesus suffered and paid for having reconciled all who accept it to God. We who accept this gift from God choose not to be lawbreaking enemies in an unabated march to eternal destruction anymore. Understanding the gift we received should turn us from sin but unfortunately many treat it with contempt because it has little meaning in their need to have immediate satisfaction.
Think for a moment about sin and all the pain and grief it has caused you by your doing or by someone else. Now multiply that by humanity and think what God really has done by forgiving us.
Think of the painful hurt we have caused our creator and yet he was willing to put that away for us.
The account of humanity found in the Bible is filled with God trying to influence our choices towards what is good and us trying to fulfill our own desires contrary, a continued back and forth of good and evil, reward and pain as God worked to lead us into the truth. And now justice being made complete in Jesus allows God's love to continue to grow beautifying all who in spirit and truth worship him.
Today a person who refers to themselves as a Christian living in America most likely lives in a house with probably at least one T.V. maybe watched hours a day, car, cell phones, maybe Ipod or pad, stomachs filled to excess, money and time to spend on vices, and may hold power and position.
Let me take our American selves and the habitat you created for yourself and place it next to a dwelling of a family of four who just lost a spouse due to aids in Togo, West Africa. They have a hut and few pots or tin cans as their possessions and the whole family works all day to gain enough for food so they can have a daily meal that barely sustains them.
That is their life. I wonder what thoughts are in their minds? Whatever their thoughts, I am sure not as important as our complaints.
As a Christian what are you doing with the freedom you have received? Will God be pleased?
Let me leave you with this story Jesus told after he just finished foretelling about the end, it comes from the Bible Matthew 24:45-51 I'm paraphrasing.
The trustworthy servant is the one whom the master puts in charge of humanity specially his other servants overseeing the work and care of them. Each trustworthy servant working his portion of responsibility given to him by his master.
Each ensuring the things he was entrusted with are properly cared for according to the master's standards. The servant who does so will be rewarded by the master on his return.
Surely when that master returns one day and finds that servant he thought would be trustworthy is actually a thief lounging around meditating on evil, treating his loved ones and other servants badly, wasting what he was entrusted with and pleasuring himself at the master's expense he will be found guilty.
He will be removed from the life he had. He will be put out into the darkness with the rest of the wicked lazy servants who are now filled with agonizing painful regret.