“The Wednesday Word” Podcast & Devotional

We thought it would be a great idea to have a mid-week recap & refresh of Pastor David’s Sunday sermon. Let’s make sure that we are learning all we can from them!

Pastor David’s Wednesday devotional will be related to the Sunday sermon in some way. It could be an expansion on a theme, a different twist, or some kind of content related to Sunday’s sermon. Various staff members and parishioners will gather to discuss the devotional and how it relates to our lives and maybe give some practical application of the word.

You can listen to the audio version in your car, while doing housework, during your workout, or whenever is most convenient for you. We want you to be able to access it at any time that is the right time for you to have a few minutes to read and reflect on it.

Devotional Text

Pastor David’s devotional for November 16, 2022

Galatians 5:13-14
13 You, my brothers, and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

In today’s scripture, St. Paul was talking about the responsibility of freedom as Christians. Our freedom has a purpose! In the Books of Acts, there are many stories within which Paul demonstrated what Christian freedom looks like.

Immediately I am reminded of the story of Paul and Silas in Acts chapter 16. Paul and Silas were in Philippi, working with Lydia to start a church. While there, Paul healed a slave girl, which made the slave girls’ owners angry. They arranged for Paul and Silas to be beaten then chained to a wall in a dungeon. About midnight, Paul, and Silas, still bloody from the beating and chained to the dungeon wall, began to sing praise to God. As they sang praise, an earthquake rattled the dungeon causing the door to open. At the same time, everyone’s chains fell off. The jailor felt the earthquake and ran into the dungeon to check on the prisoners. Seeing Paul and Silas’ chains on the ground, the jailor drew his sword and prepared to kill himself. Much to the jailor’s surprise, Paul and Silas had not tried to escape. Paul called to the jailor, then witnessed to him. The jailor took Paul and Silas to his home where he and his whole family were baptized.

“Do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love” Paul wrote to the church in Galatia. These are words Paul lived. When given the opportunity to escape the dungeon, he chose to stay and witness to the jailor. As a result, the jailor’s life was saved, and he and his family became Christians. Certainly, Paul and Silas could have seized the opportunity to escape, but instead they used the opportunity to help another person. In so doing, they embraced their freedom as Christians.

Christian freedom brings with it responsibility. Our responsibility is not to think first of ourselves and our own desires, but rather to carry out God’s will, come what may. And it is in carrying out our responsibility that we embrace our Christian Freedom.

Christian freedom is a challenging thing! It can even seem contradictory. As Christians our freedom can mean we do NOT have choices. Jonah didn’t have a choice! When it came to answering my call to ministry, God was so persistent, I really didn’t have a choice. As I discussed in my sermon last Sunday, Philemon didn’t have a choice. God’s will for our lives includes saying things and doing things that faithfulness requires of us! In other words, our freedom is lived and experienced within God’s will for our lives, a will that directs how we live our lives. When Paul and Silas refused to leave the dungeon they were living and experiencing their Christian freedom.

As you think about Christian freedom, here are some questions to ponder:

1. How do you define freedom?

2. How is Christian freedom similar and/or different from the freedoms we have as citizens
of our country? How do you describe Christian freedom? What is the responsibility of
our freedom?

3. What does Christian freedom look like you your life?

4. As a Christian, sometimes we do not have a “choice.” What are some of the
circumstances in which we, as Christians, must say or do something?

5. Have there been times in your life when God’s will meant you had no “choice?” If so,
how would you describe the situation. What was the result? Did you experience freedom?

God bless you,

Pastor Dave

Podcast & Sermon Video Links

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“Christian Freedom and Responsibility” Sermon by Rev. David Devereaux