Hello Friday! And time for another Five Minute Friday. Today’s prompt is COST. The amount paid to buy or obtain something. Immediately I think of the cost Jesus willingly paid for my salvation – dying to cover the payment I owed for my sin. And I would be remiss if I did not mention that particular thought and take the chance to thank Him, once again, for this amazing gift of salvation. A free gift that cost me nothing. But cost Him everything. I am humbled, amazed and so very grateful. But I had an additional thought as well. A thought stemming from my Bible study recently and that I have been ruminating (chewing on!) a lot lately.
During the last week, I was studying the sixth chapter of Romans – where Paul repeatedly refers to us as servants. Servants to God. Servants to righteousness and servants to whom we obey. Paul’s readers would have more clearly understood and appreciated the meaning of a servant in the way that we would a slave. Someone who had been purchased – a price paid for them. But Paul’s meaning here is deeper. Richer and more precious. These slaves, after having been freed, willingly chose to remain with their master…to continue to serve that master. They became a bondservant or “someone who sets aside all rights of his own to serve another.”
Christ has set us free. We are no longer slaves to unrighteousness. What a joy and a gift! Yet, so often we choose to live as if sin still has dominion over us. We are as guilty as the believers in Paul’s day. The abundant life is ours to live. The Holy Spirit gives us the strength we need to live victoriously. Yet, we continue to be slaves. Slaves to anxiety, depression, guilt, habits and addictions. Slaves to our emotions, the past, and slaves to sin. The list of what we can choose to serve – and to be controlled by – is endless. But why? Here are just two, no doubt of many, possible reasons.
I think many of us do not even recognize our situation as slaves. I could have freed thousands more if they had known they were slaves. Some believe Harriet Tubman said this but that, apparently, has not been substantiated; nevertheless, the sentiment is true. No one will be set free unless they understand and appreciate their need to be freed. The same is true of sin’s grip of bondage on us. Christian friend, do not accept “being servants of sin” as okay, normal or something you are powerless to change.
The second reason, I think, can be illustrated with this folk tale I heard yesterday at Bible study.
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life:
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil–he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you–and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
Paul said it this way (in Romans 6:16). “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” We have a choice. Which one will we obey?
Christ paid the highest price for our salvation. The cost is often overwhelming to truly appreciate. But I have accepted that free gift and now I want to live as a servant to God. To give up my rights. To serve Him faithfully. What a privilege!
Romans 6:22 “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.”