By Matt Dawson
I hope you were able to Join us this past Sunday for Easter at Journey Church. What an incredible weekend of celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus as a church. (Check out the message above if you were not able to join us live or livestream.)
There are 2 verses from yesterday that I would love for you to MEMORIZE and plant deep down in your hearts and mind:
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
If your version of Christianity or the Christianity that you’ve rubbed shoulders with in the past doesn’t help you understand and feel MORE FREE – then YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG!
Freedom is a big deal for me. It is the way we define HOPE here at Journey. To humbly point everyone to absolute HOPE is to help people see and experience the FAME/GLORY of God and the FREEDOM that comes to us through Christ!
When Jesus died on the cross for us, when He endured separation from His Heavenly Father for us, when He rose from the dead – He did all of this to secure our FREEDOM. There is NOTHING we can or need to DO FOR GOD, He has already DONE IT ALL. It’s just our role to accept it and surrender our lives to Him.
Now, sometimes people want to sell us a definition of FREEDOM that is not actually freedom. Many in our culture see ANY RULES or ANY RESPONSIBILITIES as NOT being FREE.
However, we know this is false. The freedom that some propose through chaos, lawlessness, and anarchy actually produces FEAR and HOPELESSNESS. REAL FREEDOM comes from understanding that God’s ideals, God’s plan, and God’s instructions – they give us the framework and boundaries to REST and RUN with HOPE.
King David said it this way…
“I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding.”
David understood that FREEDOM comes from God’s BEST for us, and God’s BEST for us is to RUN FREE in his commands.
2. THE ONLY THING THAT COUNTS
“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”
To many of us who grew up in church, this verse BOTHERS us. We have such a hard time with placing THIS MUCH OF A PRIORITY on anything spiritual because IT ALL FEELS IMPORTANT.
The truth is that Paul understood this as well. It’s one of the reasons that Paul often spoke with extremes. He knew that when we try to make ALL THINGS the main thing, we end up NOT DOING ANYTHING. This isn’t any different than the Jewish followers of Jesus’ time. 614 commandments and all of them were THE LAW, and all of them had to be followed and obeyed.
Sure, they looked for and abused certain loopholes – they were hypocritical and self righteous. Is that any different than how many Christians are viewed today? We want ALL THE THINGS we think are important to COUNT JUST AS MUCH.
Paul wants us to hear without hesitation that the ONLY THING that counts is OUR FAITH (our complete trust in GOD as our salvation, strength, and substance) EXPRESSING ITSELF (working it out, living it out, in visible/tangible ways) through LOVE (as Jesus would say in his NEW commandment: “Love God with all of your heart, mind, and strength, and LOVE your neighbor as yourself”).
When we get the MAIN THING RIGHT, all the other things LINE UP as well. When we GET THIS RIGHT, all of the other instructions, ideals, and commands of God will line up for us in our lives. We don’t have to make them ALL the priority. If we get this right – we will see EVERYONE’S STORIES begin to change by ABSOLUTE HOPE!
MEMORIZE and begin to put into practice these 2 scriptures. You won’t regret it. Don’t allow ANYTHING from the OLD WAY (the old religious system) creep it’s way into how we FOLLOW Jesus.