For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.
I really love delving deep into the Word, especially with passages that I have read over and over. I can easily read the Bible at its surface, which I admit I do a lot, but inevitably a word, a verse, a passage jumps out to me, as if it has been highlighted by God for me in that moment. When that happens, I have to know more, I have to understand the rhema truth hidden in the passage. I have to know why God is pointing it out.
Galatians is one of my favorite books in the Bible, and I have literally read it hundreds of times; sometimes it’s just a surface reading, but more often than not, I find myself doing word studies to gnaw more meat off the bone. Today a word that I have only casually studied before was shown in a new light to me.
This word is freedom. I’ve gone through life thinking I understood what freedom meant. I live in a ‘free’ country. I am a ‘free’ person; I am ‘free’ to be me. The simple definition I’ve always brought away from the word is that freedom is a state of liberty rather than being confined or restrained, like the difference between being in or out of jail. On a basic level, that is what it means, but I am learning that on a heart level it means so much more.
The other day while talking some things out with a friend, God gave me a picture of what freedom really is: FREEDOM=LOVE=FREEDOM=LOVE
In the moment, I took this to heart, but at its face value, intending on asking God for more. When I was able to take a moment to sit alone with Him, I felt lead to look up the etymology, the history of the English word, and as usual I was blow away by His goodness.
The English word ‘freedom’, with the base word being ‘free’ came from the Old English word that meant ‘to free or liberate,’ and also ‘to love, think of lovingly, honor’.
Paul shares that I have been called to freedom; I have been called to a place of complete liberation from slavery to the law. He reminds me that in freedom, I am called to serve others in love; and when I love others, the more freedom flourishes and produces fruit in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Freedom equals love.
Yesappa, Thank You for freedom, and thank You for love. Help me walk more and more in both. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Blessings – Julie (writing from the U.S.A.)
Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.