Free at what cost?

Who wouldn't want these things?  You can't buy them and you can't REALLY LIVE WITHOUT THEM.  Are they REALLY free?  Good question!  I don't think they really are.  There is a cost associated with them.  It takes a lot of work to hold a family together, or in reality any relationship for that matter.  All these things are indicative of a good life and that takes effort.  Its so easy to let the world get you down, to think negatively and spiral into unhappiness.  One easy (and at times, not so easy) way to avoid this is to think about what we do and more importantly, WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO!!  Living right (or perhaps more accurately, righteously) means living a life that eliminates sinful activity.  Living wrong (sinfully) leads to unhappiness.  The apostle Paul puts it this way...

World English Bible: Romans Chapter 6

[1] What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? [2] May it never be! We who died to sin, how could we live in it any longer? [3] Or don’t you know that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? [4] We were buried therefore with him through baptism to death, that just like Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life. [5] For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we will also be part of his resurrection; [6] knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be in bondage to sin. [7] For he who has died has been freed from sin. [8] But if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him; [9] knowing that Christ, being raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no more has dominion over him! [10] For the death that he died, he died to sin one time; but the life that he lives, he lives to God. [11] Thus consider yourselves also to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

[12] Therefore don’t let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. [13] Neither present your members to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God, as alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. [14] For sin will not have dominion over you. For you are not under law, but under grace. [15] What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under law, but under grace? May it never be! [16] Don’t you know that to whom you present yourselves as servants to obedience, his servants you are whom you obey; whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness? [17] But thanks be to God, that, whereas you were bondservants of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching whereunto you were delivered. [18] Being made free from sin, you became bondservants of righteousness.

[19] I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh, for as you presented your members as servants to uncleanness and to wickedness upon wickedness, even so now present your members as servants to righteousness for sanctification. [20] For when you were servants of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. [21] What fruit then did you have at that time in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. [22] But now, being made free from sin, and having become servants of God, you have your fruit of sanctification, and the result of eternal life. [23] For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Christians are bound to Christ; to live as he would have us to live.  And that life is NOT FREE; it cost Jesus his LIFE.  To us it is free, but it still has the cost of our obedience.  Consider all the things that you get when you obey and the cost is really NO BIG DEAL.  The cost of disobedience is much higher as the lives of adulterers, drug addicts, liars, murderers, thieves and all sorts of sinful activities will testify to.  So, as cute as the picture may be, I really don't agree with it, because if fact nothing is free; somewhere, somehow, someone is doing something to make these things happen.  And I am GLAD THEY ARE!  GIVE ME MORE, PLEASE!!!!!!

OT Bible Reading 2/2/12

Feb. 2
Genesis 33
Gen 33:1 Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau was coming, and with him four hundred men. He divided the children between Leah, Rachel, and the two handmaids.
Gen 33:2 He put the handmaids and their children in front, Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph at the rear.
Gen 33:3 He himself passed over in front of them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
Gen 33:4 Esau ran to meet him, embraced him, fell on his neck, kissed him, and they wept.
Gen 33:5 He lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, "Who are these with you?" He said, "The children whom God has graciously given your servant."
Gen 33:6 Then the handmaids came near with their children, and they bowed themselves.
Gen 33:7 Leah also and her children came near, and bowed themselves. After them, Joseph came near with Rachel, and they bowed themselves.
Gen 33:8 Esau said, "What do you mean by all this company which I met?" Jacob said, "To find favor in the sight of my lord."
Gen 33:9 Esau said, "I have enough, my brother; let that which you have be yours."
Gen 33:10 Jacob said, "Please, no, if I have now found favor in your sight, then receive my present at my hand, because I have seen your face, as one sees the face of God, and you were pleased with me.
Gen 33:11 Please take the gift that I brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough." He urged him, and he took it.
Gen 33:12 Esau said, "Let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go before you."
Gen 33:13 Jacob said to him, "My lord knows that the children are tender, and that the flocks and herds with me have their young, and if they overdrive them one day, all the flocks will die.
Gen 33:14 Please let my lord pass over before his servant, and I will lead on gently, according to the pace of the livestock that are before me and according to the pace of the children, until I come to my lord to Seir."
Gen 33:15 Esau said, "Let me now leave with you some of the folk who are with me." He said, "Why? Let me find favor in the sight of my lord."
Gen 33:16 So Esau returned that day on his way to Seir.
Gen 33:17 Jacob traveled to Succoth, built himself a house, and made shelters for his livestock. Therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.
Gen 33:18 Jacob came in peace to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Paddan Aram; and encamped before the city.
Gen 33:19 He bought the parcel of ground where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem's father, for one hundred pieces of money.
Gen 33:20 He erected an altar there, and called it El Elohe Israel.

Managing Anger by Mark Copeland


Learning this can avoid a lot of trouble in life... Gary