Today’s Scripture: For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. Galatians¬†5:13

The bank robber stood before the judge. The judge sentenced him to 20 years. As he turned and left the courtroom, he lost his freedom. For the next 20 years, his life would be controlled – he would be told when to get up, when to eat, and when to sleep.

20 years later, a prison guard comes to his cell and tells him to get up. The sentence had been paid, and now, he would be set free. As his belongings are given to him and he is shown to the door, he is finally free. He now has liberty, but the question is: what will he do with his freedom?

He is now a free man. He could take the sentence he just paid as a warning and live lawfully, or he could decide to break the law again. He is not given freedom without a choice, rather freedom requires choices.

We have been given liberty in Christ. Again, that must require a choice. We can serve God or ourselves. We can walk by faith or by sight. We can give occasion to the flesh, or we can serve one another by love. These are all choices we are given. God’s word warns us about the consequences of disobeying God, but we have the opportunity to make our own choices.

As an American, I have the choice to obey our laws or not. Whether or not I obey doesn’t affect my status as an American. It affects my freedom as an American. I have the right to vote, the right to bear arms, free speech, freedom of assembly, etc. However, these would be taken away if I were in prison.

As a Christian, I have the choice to obey God’s laws or not. Again, whether or not I obey doesn’t affect my status as a Christian; it affects my relationship with God. God will punish those who disobey just as a judge would. God doesn’t want to punish us, but He has given His laws to show what we should do. Let’s use our freedom in Christ to do right.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder