Playing with fire(works)!

There was a time as a youngster (and I’m SURE I wasn’t a Christian at this point) when a friend talked me into lighting some fireworks from a lit cigarette. He had sneaked the cigarettes from his aunt, who lived with them.  While his mom and my mom visited inside, we were in the backyard shooting firecrackers and cherry bombs.  When my mom appeared at the back door, rather than be caught with a cigarette (a definite no-no), I chose to casually hold it behind my back.  I forgot, and you know the story line at this point, the firecracker is in my other hand.  The first sound was a sizzle; and in the few milliseconds that followed, my mind was torn in decision.  Do I drop them, get caught red-handed with the cigarette, or–BOOM!  It hurt.  It hurt badly!  And that was just my hand!  Another part of my anatomy hurt even worse.

Fireworks seemingly present a dichotomy. On the one hand, no pun intended, they are beautiful, spectacular, exciting!  On the other hand, they are dangerous to the point of starting fires, doing bodily harm, or even causing the loss of life.  (NOTE:  this message is not about safety in handling fireworks. Though with July 4th weekend ahead, please be careful!)

We usually associate fireworks with a celebration of our freedom. As believers, we have been given freedom.  Paul writes in Galatians 5:1, “It was for freedom that Christ set us free…” and he continues in verse 13, “For you were called to freedom, brothers; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” It seems Paul realized that “freedom” could also have a dangerous side.  In 1 Corinthians, he wrote, “But take care that this liberty (freedom) of yours does not become a stumbling block to the weak.”  (8:9, NASB)

As a believer, your life allows you to live for His glory as a testimony of your freedom in Christ. We live not under the law, but in His grace.  Thus, one who desires to please Him will live to honor Him, not embarrass Him.  When we, “through love serve one another,” we put on display something spectacular and beautiful.  When we don’t live a life that honors Him, it hurts!  By His saving act of grace at Calvary and your acceptance of that act, He set you free!  What will you do with your freedom?

Carefully celebrate your freedom, so others will see and say WOW!

Pastor Bob


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