July 4, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF STEVE BANKS

God’s Spirit Gives Us Freedom!

Dear Friends:
Here at our church, we have become especially familiar with the words from 2 Corinthians 3:17 which reads; “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty”. As we celebrate Independence Day, we are also thinking of the words, “Liberty” and “Freedom”. We are so fortunate to live in a country where we can live and worship freely.

When you include verses 16 and 18 to the passage in 2 Corinthians, it helps to further explain how when we turn to Christ, the Holy Spirit frees us from the grip of sin and evil, allowing God to completely work in our lives for His good as we properly and fully serve Him.

2 Corinthians 2:16-18
“But whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”

Last week when I was in Seattle for a few days, I had the opportunity to throw a football for a while to two young African-American kids at a sports facility where my daughter was training. The kids were having so much fun catching and defending each other! We had a great time! It just so happened that a couple of nights ago, I had a dream about this experience. This time though, one of the kids came over to me in my dream and asked me why certain people treat them badly. It caught me off guard and without knowing what to say, I could only think of telling him that it was because some may not have Christ in their lives. I then told him that God looks at all of us equally and loves him as much as He loves me. In my dream, I also thought of the greatest commandment, Matthew 22:38-39, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” I went on to tell the child that if everyone practiced this commandment, there would be no more hate. I then encouraged him to do the same for others, as difficult as that might be for him. I have no idea of why I dreamt of that, but it certainly has pertained to these verses.

True freedom as Christians is not the right to do whatever we want, but rather it’s when we turn to Christ that He gives us the desire and freedom to love and serve others.

In His Service,
Steve