Heart-Matter

When we invite Jesus to be the Lord of our lives we become free from not only the penalty of our sin but from the Law as well. Though the books of the Law are still important and give us wisdom, we are no longer bound to it. While of course there are things that are simple – I mean, we really shouldn’t be out thieving and murdering – our lives are no longer solely painted in black and white.

This being said, a lot of people don’t live this way. The message of the church often seems to be full of dos and don’ts, cans and cannots. We have freedom in Christ and God has given us free will, but not everything is beneficial to us (1 Corinthians 6:12). The Bible also instructs us to use our freedom wisely (Galatians 5:13, 1 Peter 2:16). Freedom in Christ isn’t about legalism, it’s about motive, which took me awhile to understand (Phylicia Masonheimer is very helpful with this topic).

The Bible lays certain things out clearly for us, but other things are vague or not mentioned at all, and what it boils down to is our motive. Is what we’re doing beneficial to me? Is it hurting someone else? Is it hurting my witness to someone else? And perhaps most importantly, why am I doing it? For example, there’s a lot of controversy over whether or not Christians should drink alcohol. Firstly, the Bible does not prohibit drinking alcohol, it prohibits drunkeness. That leaves us each with a choice of whether or not we choose to drink. Are we prone to making irresponsible decisions? Are we drinking because it’s “cool”? Are we drinking as a coping mechanism? By drinking are we encouraging a friend’s alcoholism? What is our motivation?

We have great freedom, but with it comes great responsibility. We shouldn’t allow ourselves to be caught up in legalism – in fact, Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for that very reason!- but we should exercise our freedom wisely through prayer and self-examination.

With love,

B

Photo credit:unsplash-logoFlo Karr

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No Time For Regrets

“How He Loves” by David Crowder Band was one of the first Christian songs I heard.  Since then I’ve heard it probably five million times – okay, maybe not that many times, but a lot. One day a few months ago, we were singing it at church when one of the lines struck me in a way it hadn’t before. I’d sang the song dozens of times before but it was the first time the meaning of this particular line sank in.

“I don’t have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way He loves us.”

That is some powerful stuff.

As Christians – as humans – we have a tendency to dwell on our mistakes.  We run through the situation over and over in our heads doing nothing but upsetting ourselves and ultimately holding ourselves back.  Satan uses our guilt to make us think that we are unworthy, useless, filthy beings.  But Christ tells us differently.  When we belong to Him, we are precious, we are loved, we are pure.  Christ died for us to be free, not to be bonded by the chains of our past mistakes and when we dwell on Christ’s love instead of our mistakes, it changes things; His love is more important than the things we’ve messed up.

The truth is, we’re going to make mistakes, but there is a difference between dwelling on them and learning from them, and in this beautiful walk with Christ, there’s no time for regrets.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

Photo Credit: Jon Asato