Read: Galatians 5:1-6
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
“Do whatever you want. I don’t care.” What would you do if your parents said that to you right now? Would you run to the kitchen and eat all of the sweets? Would you go to your room and play video games all day and all night? It might sound like exactly what you want most! But what if your parents said that every time you talked to them? Imagine asking them, “Mom, Dad, can you please help me do my homework?” and they say, “Do whatever you want. I don’t care.” Or you ask them, “Can you please tuck me into bed?” and they say, “Do whatever you want. I don’t care.”
Doing whatever you want might sound great at first. But even though you are a Christian, you are also a sinner. A sinner is someone who doesn’t do what God wants, but only what “I” want. And sin hurts your relationship with God. Sinful “freedom” to do whatever you want is really no freedom at all.
Christ has given you true freedom. How? He paid freedom’s price by offering his own life into death. No more paying needs to be done. It means a couple of things:
First: It means your sin no longer separates you from God. You never have to be afraid that God does not care about you. God does care! Always! He cares so much that he sent Christ to set you free from sin. You will never be separated from God.
Second: It means God helps you flee from sin. You know that sin damages your relationship with God. So God gives you the strength in Christ not to sin. When you are tempted, you can look to Jesus for help.
Third: It means you are free to live as God wants. Instead of sinning, you get to live a life of thanks to God by listening to his word. You obey your parents. You help your neighbors. You do your schoolwork. You get to do these things free from worry and free to think first of others.
Stand firm in this true freedom. When you sin, trust in God’s forgiveness. When you are tempted to sin, ask for God’s strength. In Christ, this freedom is yours.
Dear God, hold me fast in the freedom you have won for me. Give me confidence in the forgiveness of sins that Christ has given me. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- Name two sins you have a hard time saying “no” to.” With your family, come up with a simple prayer asking God to help you when you are tempted.
- How does knowing that God has washed all your sins away make you feel?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- Imagine you could do anything you wanted for a day. What would you do? Would all of your choices be God-pleasing?
- “Freedom isn’t free.” We know that we can’t do anything to free ourselves from sin. Who paid the price to save us? How?
Questions for Middle School and Above
- Pick a sin that often pesters you (example: your temper). Plan a strategy to keep you free the next time you are tempted to sin.
- What does it mean to “serve God with our lives”? How will this guide you as you think about what you want to do as an adult?