Live Free, Love Free
Open Your Bible
Galatians 5:1-15, James 1:25, Colossians 3:11, 1 Peter 2:15-16
BY Debbie Eaton
I watched an award show with my teenage son not long ago. I love music, dance, and artistry in general, and I treasure the opportunity to connect with my boy and his generation in ways our day-to-day routine doesn’t always allow. The performers sang their hit songs while cameras scanned the audience filled with celebrities young and old, all individuals who hold influence over our culture and our kids. Honestly, there were moments I wished my son wasn’t in the room, but there were other moments that gave me hope.
The theme of the night appeared to be freedom, even though many who took the stage that night seemed to be prisoners of their own fame. And while I, a working, middle-aged mom of a teenage boy, don’t have much in common with these superstars on the surface, even I could understand where they were coming from.
We all want freedom. Generation after generation, the human soul has had a deep desire to live and love freely, and we look to many things to fill those desires. The gap between the world’s view of freedom and the freedom of the gospel is wide, yet it is never wider than Christ’s arms of grace can reach.
Worldly culture tells us that freedom is living out our individual desires. It shows and tells us what to believe and how to live “freely” only to achieve self-desires, self-ambition, self-promotion, and self-idolizing. Love of self at the cost of others: this is what we as a society call freedom.
But this freedom is only temporary, and it often leads to a path of discontentment and doubt, shame and fear, and inevitably, stress. We become enslaved to the prison of striving for others’ approval, which can lead us to destruction and even death. Our selfish ways can lead to unhealthy competition, comparison, and gossip—which, as Paul warns in Galatians 5:15, puts us in danger of devouring one another. Where will freedom be then?
The gospel is true freedom because of God’s unconditional gift of love, forgiveness, and grace. In his letter to the Galatians, Paul has laid the foundation that we are saved by faith, not by keeping the law (Galatians 3:11). When we receive the righteousness of Christ by faith in Him, we are no longer bound by our performance or our desire to meet the world’s standards. We are able to freely love because love is what we have received. This is true freedom.
So, what does it really mean to live and love freely today?
Paul says in Galatians 5:13, “For you were called to be free.” The word “called” in Greek is kaleo, which means “to call aloud, to invite, to call by name.” To live free and love free means standing firm in this truth: you are known, seen, and loved by the Creator of the universe. He went to the cross and paid the ultimate price for your freedom! Understanding this truth liberates you to freely love others because you are secure in the love of Christ and who you are in Him.
Friends, Jesus came for ALL with His grace, love and ultimate freedom. Generations to come will seek freedom and love like those before. Let’s be the generation that lives the gospel with authenticity, not hypocrisy, so others may experience living and loving freely in the gospel of Christ.
As we go through our day, let’s redirect our thoughts to the cross, remembering that God exchanged our judgment for freedom. Only by looking first to Him can we love freely as we have been loved.