This bible reading for today is from the Apostle Paul's letter to the church in Rome, Chapter 6! "Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6
There is no such thing as "freedom" for a human being! In the sense that we are absolutely subject to no one - completely independent! Paul seems to suggest that we are either slaves to sin or slaves to God - but the idea that we are slaves to no one is not an option. I might say, "I am not a slave to anyone, I am calling the shots over my own life!" Paul's response, "You think you are free but you are actually enslaved to sin if you are in charge of your own life." This is a big reality that we human beings have trouble facing! When I alone am in charge of me - sin is in charge of me! OUCH!
It is only in accepting this reality that I will see the good news that God brings in Jesus! God comes to the rescue and steps in as a new "master", a new "guy in charge of me"! To put it in Paul's words, "But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life."
Are you offended but the statement "slaves to God"? I am to some extent - I mean it ruffles my ego, liberty feathers a little. In our culture any use of the word "slave" is considered repulsive! I understand why. But, Maybe that is why it is hard for us to really "get" christianity! Deep inside my repulsion to "slave" to anyone is the hidden idea that I think I can be free from everyone and slave to no one! That I can be my own boss and that would be complete freedom. Paul says, "No!" He says, "When I am ultimately in charge - "sin" is actually in charge enslaving me! BUT IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY!
There is another master, a really good master that was and is willing to pay for me - to buy me from the cruel slave driver of self and sin! He is a giving master! When He owns me I live fully alive! I get life! The only wages the old master (sin and self) ever paid was death and all the things that lead to death! With my new Master I get to live - not die! Living is being under the authority and reign of God - my new master! When I am free of me I am free to be fully me! I am wired to be under God's reign.
Maybe today I don't have to look to myself for the answers, the days directions, the days solutions, my self worth and my sense of being alive! Maybe I can surrender this day to Jesus and use my energies to follow Him today! He is my Master - I get to be free to be fully me when enslaved to Him!
What might that look like?