Pause

Breathing in, I am free.

Breathing out, I pour out love and grace.

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Listen

When you were slaves of sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.What consequences did you get from doing things that you are now ashamed of? The outcome of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and become slaves to God, you have the consequence of a holy life, and the outcome is eternal life. The wages that sin pays are death, but God’s gift is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:20-23

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Think

Epic star of the Harry Potter films Daniel Radcliffe famously opened up about his battle with alcohol in 2012, saying that he developed a destructive pattern of over-drinking and hurting his relationships. Fear caused him to run toward the freedom and chaos of a self-indulgent lifestyle, he says, but responsibility to his career, loved ones, and self ultimately brought him back.

Have you ever noticed that total freedom to do whatever we want never leads to loving ourselves and others better? In fact, that definition of freedom is often what fuels our most destructive behavior. Paul begs us to redefine freedom in Romans 6: God’s freedom is release and responsibility.

God’s boundless grace has freed us from the power of sin and fear, with no conditions whatsoever. But no sooner are we released from sin’s power than we are offered the responsibility to love and participate with Christ in healing the world. Living that life, we unlock true freedom. Total freedom leads to a dead end, but God’s freedom leads to fullness of life with no end in sight!

Blake Tommey

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Pray

Compassionate God, too often I take my freedom and hit a dead end. Call me and draw me into your vast work of renewing our world, our minds, our bodies, our relationships, everything. Keep offering me the responsibility to be part of your transforming love instead of only receiving it for myself. Amen.

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Go

I see my light come shining
From the west unto the east.
Any day now, any day now,
I shall be released.

from “I Shall Be Released” by Bob Dylan, 1967

Blake Tommey

Blake Tommey is a minister and writer living in Charlottesville, Virginia. Alongside his wife Lesley-Ann, who will begin serving as CBF field personnel in New York City in October, Blake continues to live out a calling to seek wholeness for people, through music, writing and ministry in the church.

How Great Thou Art

Clay Mottley

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