Freedom in Christ

Daily reading: 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:10
Wednesday June 15, 2016

Focus passage: So we are always confident, because we know that while we are living in the body, we are away from our home with the Lord.  We live by faith and not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:6-7

Our actions either help or hinder our own growth and the growth of our community.  We choose to either build up or tear down with our words and actions.  This choice of helping or hindering is a common theme throughout the bible.  We can trace it back to the beginning but I want to focus instead on the pivotal story of the Old Testament.

After God freed the Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt, 
God set the standard for what freedom really looks like.  It begins with the standard set in the 10 commandments.

The first commandment from the book of Exodus states, “You shall not make for yourself an idol… You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments” (Ex 20:4-6).

The punishment that happens when we stray from God comes in the form of natural consequences.  We participate actively in creating brokenness in our world when we harm one another.  When we choose hate over love, when we tear down rather than build up, when we cross boundaries rather than respect them.  The effects of our actions have a ripple effect that is passed on from one generation to the next. 

When we choose negative behaviors, we are not the only one who suffers.  The people around us suffer and our families suffer.  Patterns of negative behavior are never self contained, because we are all part of communities. 

Rather than a prescription for punishment, God offers to us a description of what happens when we make choices that turn from God and from neighbor; the negative effects and suffering carries through the generations.  And it goes both ways, when we make good choices when we choose God first and make choices that will help and build up our community, there is a ripple effect also. 

What we do in this life matters, it has an impact. 

Prayer: God help me to build up your kingdom today.  Help me to walk by faith and not by sight.  Guide my words and my actions.  Amen.


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