Daily D – Romans 6:15-16
Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. ROMANS 6:15-16 (NLT)
Estimates of how many slaves there are in the world today run to more than forty million people. The different kinds of slavery include forced labor, forced marriage, forced sexual exploitation, and state-forced labor. The five countries with the most slaves are India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Uzbekistan. A video from China last week showed Uyghur men separated from their families and marched off to forced labor camps (https://bit.ly/2ODoCyk).
Slavery is evil.
Many more people live in bondage to sinful habits and the long-term consequences accompanying them. While forty million people or more are enslaved against their will, every day people make choices leading them beyond where they really wanted to go and keeping them there longer than they wanted to stay. Some never escape.
This line of thought could depress us pretty quickly. However, let’s focus on the positive alternative. We do not have to live in slavery to sinful behavior and habits. We can choose the abundant life Jesus promises to anyone and everyone (John 10:10).
Paul the Apostle continues developing this line of thinking for a couple of paragraphs. He bottom-lines it with this statement in v. 23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” The outcome of slavery to sin is death and separation from God and all of our loved ones who have received his gift of eternal life. The outcome of choosing an eternal kind of life is a full and meaningful life, a life without lack, a life enduring forever beyond death, an eternity where we will never experience tears of loss, death, sorrow, or pain. “All these things are gone forever,” (Rev. 21:4).
We can choose slavery, but why? We can choose life. Why wouldn’t we?
Choose freedom. Choose life.
I will choose life and freedom.
Our Father, thank you for saving us from bondage to any sinful behavior. Thank you for delivering us from harmful habits. Thank you for the opportunity to choose life, hope, and healing. Root out of our lives those things which would lead us away from the full and meaningful lives you choose for us. Strengthen us with your grace for the choices before us which will either lead us into more meaningful lives or more bondage. Empower us to make the right choices. Amen.
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Deuteronomy 8:12-18 When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. He led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty land where there was no water. He brought water out of the flint rock for you. He fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your ancestors had not known, in order to humble and test you, so that in the end he might cause you to prosper. You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ but remember that the Lord your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.