4th July 2020

Are You Free? 

“For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.”
1 Peter 2:15-16 (ESV)

The fourth of July is a significant date! In England it is the day when further restrictions due to the coronavirus are lifted—cafes, restaurants, pubs, museums, cinemas, hairdressers and hotels are allowed to reopen, and the social-distancing measures reduce to 1 metre plus instead of 2 metres. Places of worship will be able to open for prayers and services and two households can now meet indoors as well as outdoors. Freedom!

It is ironic that these restrictions are lifted on what is also American Independence Day! They celebrate the fourth of July with family gatherings and fireworks, reminiscent of the ‘bombs bursting in air’ during their fight for liberty, mentioned in their national anthem. A liberty enshrined in their constitution, which includes the inalienable right of all to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. All—including young and old, male and female, regardless of race, religion or nationality—although it took years to free the slaves, give women the vote, and they are still working on implementing their rights today!

The right to the pursuit of happiness includes such things as freedom of speech, which brings me to the point that where someone else’s rights begin, yours end!  Peaceful protests are legal but where violence, looting and damage to property begin, YOU become the oppressor! You can say what you like, but when you lie and slander then you are taking away another’s freedom.

Nobody has absolute freedom to do whatever they want. You are not free to steal and murder. When you do such things then you become a slave to evil. Romans 6:16  (NKJV) says “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” With freedom comes responsibility to consider other people. In order to be free of COVID-19 we had to give up certain freedoms for a season, while many responded with great self-sacrifice and service such as medical staff in the NHS, key workers and those volunteering to deliver food to those in isolation. Just like the Apostle Paul, we should use our freedom to serve. He says in 1 Corinthians 9:19, “For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.”

John in the Bible is the book of freedom—Your Word is truth says John 17:17. At the very beginning in John 1:1-14, we learn that Jesus is The Word; and then in John 8:32 it says you will know the truth and the truth will make you free. Let’s follow Jesus—the way of true freedom!

Prayer
Let freedom reign in our nations, Father in Heaven. Guide our leaders so that all people can be free from oppression and free to serve others, with liberty and justice to all. Even in times of oppression, may we be examples in your name.
Amen

Study by Nancy  Silcox

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About the Author:
Nancy Silcox attends the Watford Congregation of Grace Communion International in the UK.  Nancy prepares and uploads the Day by Day studies submitted by members of the Worldwide Church of God UK/Grace Communion International.

Local Congregation:
Gracecom Watford
St. Peter’s Church
61 Westfield Avenue
Watford, Herts.
WD24 7HF

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11AM

Local Congregational Contact:
George Henderson
Phone:  01923-855570
Email:  watford@gracecom.church

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