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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Psalm 147:10, 11 He is not impressed by the strength of a horse; he does not value the power of a warrior. The LORD values those who fear him, those who put their hope in his faithful love.
Matthew 6:25, 33 “Therefore I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? . . . But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. (CSB)
Proverbs 17:27, 28 The one who has knowledge restrains his words, and one who keeps a cool head is a person of understanding. Even a fool is considered wise when he keeps silent — discerning, when he seals his lips. (CSB)