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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6 Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm:
7 “Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
8 “Would you discredit my justice?
Would you condemn me to justify yourself?
9 Do you have an arm like God’s,
and can your voice thunder like his?
10 Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor,
and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.
11 Unleash the fury of your wrath,
look at all who are proud and bring them low,
12 look at all who are proud and humble them,
crush the wicked where they stand.
13 Bury them all in the dust together;
shroud their faces in the grave.
14 Then I myself will admit to you
that your own right hand can save you
The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Job 40:6–14.
Job 29:21-25 21 “People listened to me expectantly,
waiting in silence for my counsel.
22 After I had spoken, they spoke no more;
my words fell gently on their ears.
23 They waited for me as for showers
and drank in my words as the spring rain.
24 When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it;
the light of my face was precious to them.
25 I chose the way for them and sat as their chief;
I dwelt as a king among his troops;
I was like one who comforts mourners.