For many people, freedom means that I can do what I want, I can live the way I choose and I need only be accountable to myself. But for the Christian, we live in the paradox of being the captive free. Having been set free from sin, death and the law by Christ, we have the freedom not to live for our own pleasure, but to live for others. During this month, we will look at the classic story of The Exodus and study how God set his people free not to do whatever they wanted, but to do what God wanted us to be—the captive free.
KEY VERSE: For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. . . For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. (Galatians 5)
7/5 FREED FROM the past
These United States were founded on a bold experiment that a government did not have to be run by a nobility class or by a military coup but rather of the people, for the people and by the people. It is a bold vision that has managed to survive all these years. And when it falters, we return to the vision embedded in the Constitution. What is your Constitution that keeps you grounded? For Moses, it was a burning bush that called him to freedom. And when life got difficult during the Exodus, he would remember that burning bush where the vision was given. What is your Constitution? What is your burning bush? Where do you return in your mind to keep you from giving up your freedom?
Exodus 3:1-6; Mark 1:16-20
7/12 FREED FOR loving God
As we celebrate high school graduation for so many of our young men and women, they have freedom in their minds—freed from helicopter parents, freed from high school, freed from curfews, freed from rules. Instead of thinking “freed from” let’s turn our thinking towards “freed for.” We have been set free for a life that is in pleasing to God. In the same way, the Israelites were set free not so that they could do as they please, but they were set free to do as God pleases. Do you remember what you were freed for?
Exodus 20:1-11; 2 Corinthians 5:6-10; Matthew 22:34-40
7/19 FREED TO serve others
Luther once wrote about our freedom: “A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all.” As God lead his people out of slavery towards the freedom of the Promised Land, he reminded them that central to this freedom was the responsibility to one another. Eodus 20:12-17; John 15:9-13
7/26 FREED forever
Once the Israelites made it to the Promised Land after 40 years in the wilderness, the were faced with a choice. With so many options, with so many possible directions, with so many temptations, how would they use their freedom and who will they serve? Joshua drew a line in the sand, stood on one side and made his decision clear, “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” He decided that he would numbered among the captive free whose life was not his own, but belonged to God. Joshua 24:13-15; Matthew 16:13-19