2 Peter 2
19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.
Religion is a terrible master. The world pushing its desires upon us is a terrible master. Our own flesh which tries to convince us that we need something we don’t have is a terrible master. Satan, and all who follow him, are terrible masters. “What,” you say, “makes them so terrible?” Peter explains it like this, they promise us greater liberty, greater freedom, greater opportunity for fulfillment but they cannot deliver for they themselves are slaves of their own corrupt ways.
How can a slave promise another slave freedom? Wouldn’t the slave who is promising greater freedom be a partaker of that freedom himself? What slave, in his or her right mind, would continue in their slavery if a true opportunity for freedom existed? If a beggar offers you a get-rich-quick-scheme you would laugh at him. So when a slave to sin offers you freedom that he or she does not possess, don’t believe that they can deliver.
This is why we are followers of Jesus Christ: not only did Jesus promise His followers freedom, He then went to the cross and through suffering, death, and resurrection obtained freedom first for Himself and then for all who would follow Him. As Ben brought out in last Sunday’s message, the freedom of the ungodly is always a freedom to do more of what the self wants to do. It is a freedom with self at the center where self is uninhibited in all of its desires. Self-centered freedom always ends in bondage to the sin that it wants to freely enjoy.
On the other hand, Christ-centered freedom is true freedom for in Christ we have freedom to please Him, to serve Him, to glorify Him and in that freedom we find the greatest self-satisfaction. When we are free in Christ we are no longer becoming slaves to sin for we are slaves to Him. The difference is that the slaves to sin only create stronger chains while the slaves to Christ eventually enjoy the freedom of the relationship of a child to their heavenly Father. As joint-heirs with Christ we change from slaves to sons and daughters who lovingly serve our all-wise, all-loving, all-caring Father.
Before you follow anyone or any system of thought, be sure to determine whether those who are calling you to follow their ways are free themselves. If they are slaves of their ways all they can really offer you is deeper slavery.
Early Monday I was in court and early Tuesday I was plowing snow. Early today I took Ben to the train station but came home with plenty of time to send out this devotional. It is already a full week and we thank God for every opportunity to serve Him and His kingdom.
Tonight we will be switching the Bible study and prayer times. We will begin our Bible study time then at 7:00 and prayer time will start at 7:45. I hope this does not confuse you too much.
Nancy Schmidt is in Loyola hospital with an abscess in her jaw. Edward hospital sent her to Loyola where is she is awaiting jaw surgery. I have a room number if you want to go see her. I’ll be going up this morning.
Ken and Beth are travelling to Florida today to prepare his mom’s house for sale. Pray for their safety and strength in the days ahead.
Have a great day in the Lord,