Words from the Heart for Friday July 1st, 2016
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2 Corinthians 3:17 (NIV)
Where There is Freedom
Happy Birthday Canada! 149 years old. In Canada, we are free to make our own decisions. That means we are free to worship God whenever and where ever we want. Thank God for that freedom today!
Americans speak of the summer of 1967 as the summer of love. Hippies held love-ins and the counter-culture movement was at its height. But that same summer there were 159 race riots across the USA, including Detroit’s, where 40 people were killed. Here in Canada, we were celebrating the centennial of Confederation. Canada was 100 years old and Canada Day celebrations were stretched out across half the year. Canada’s first world’s fair, Expo 67, spanned from April 28 to October 29. And while Quebec separatism was on the rise, and the Cold War was nearing the freezing point, Canada celebrated Expo 67 as a national birthday party. And local communities crafted Centennial Parks and built schools that still bear the name Centennial. War broke out in Israel, Charles de Gaulle shouted “”Vive le Québec libre”” in a speech in Montreal.
Happy Canada Day! Today is Canada’s 149th birthday. Canadians are blessed to enjoy freedoms that many in our world can only dream about. But there is another kind of freedom that anyone can enjoy, a freedom that is outside of politics and legal constitutions. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 3:17: “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” Paul has been writing about the Mosaic law and how it is impossible to gain access to God through human efforts to keep the law. The Gospel frees men and women from their feeble attempts to keep the law and working their way to God, and liberates them to serve the Lord having already been saved by grace through faith. When we give our lives to Jesus Christ, He forgives us and sets us free from sin and guilt. The sin that puts up a barrier between God and human beings is removed and we not only have freedom from sin, we are liberated to live a life that brings us joy and peace. When the Lord Jesus becomes our Saviour, and our sin is removed, He comes to take up residence in us by the Holy Spirit, who is Christ in us. The result of His abiding presence with us is the power to live a life that honours Him and brings Him glory. In this there is great liberty – we live by grace and within victory. This is the freedom that Paul is speaking about here.
These have been words from the heart.