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Live as Free People

image of a woman standing with arms raised in the sunset with the words "live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God's slaves"

“Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.” ~1 Peter 2:16

What does freedom mean to you? Is it being your own boss? Or living off the grid? Is it having nothing to tie you down, like relationships, children? Or a total lack of rules?

I think Peter is referring to this last one in his passage. His followers were Jews-converted-to-Christianity and they were used to lists of rules they had to follow every day. Now, all of the sudden, that law was obsolete. For example, they no longer had to worry about becoming unclean, which involved quarantine and then making an animal sacrifice at the temple. The freedom must have made them giddy. But, they were taking it too far, even using this new freedom in Christ to justify rebellion against the Roman law.

Peter is saying, “Hold on. We are still under civil law. God wants us to obey our authorities, pay taxes and pray for our governmental leaders. Grace is not a license to sin but to live as servants of God, our ultimate authority. Above all, freedom means that we are free from the bondage of sin because of what Christ did on the cross.”

That speaks to us today, as well. Oh, isn’t it hard sometimes? We may vehemently dislike our leaders on occasion, but we are commanded to pray for them.

“First of all, I ask that you pray for all people. Ask God to bless them and give them what they need. And give thanks. You should pray for rulers and for all who have authority. Pray for these leaders so that we can live quiet and peaceful lives—lives full of devotion to God and respect for him. This is good and pleases God our Savior. ~1 Timothy 2:1-3

“Let every soul submit to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except by God, and the authorities that exist are instituted by God.” ~Romans 13:1

Father, as we celebrate our national freedom tomorrow, remind us to pray for our leaders and grant us the grace to maintain our liberties in righteousness and peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Have a blessed day!

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