Freedom is a noun.

Freedom means being exempt from external control.

Christ preached freedom, lived freedom, and offered freedom to all.

We have the opportunity to live into the freedom of Jesus Christ and also the responsibility to work toward ensuring others may live into their God-given freedom. Let the Spirit move in, around, and through you today, that you might live freely in Christ our Lord.

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I say be guided by the Spirit and you won’t carry out your selfish desires. A person’s selfish desires are set against the Spirit, and the Spirit is set against one’s selfish desires. They are opposed to each other, so you shouldn’t do whatever you want to do. But if you are being led by the Spirit, you aren’t under the Law.

Galatians 5:16-18

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Once arrested and imprisoned for treason, Nelson Mandela eventually became president of South Africa due, in part, to his commitment to freedom and equality for all. Mandela was raised by a Christian mother and although not overtly evangelistic, his faith and religious upbringing shone through his work. He is considered one of the most prominent social justice workers in the world, and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 “for work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime.” All of this was in spite of his being arrested.

When Paul speaks about the Spirit versus the flesh or the law, he’s showing us an alternative director for our lives. Allowing the Spirit of Freedom to guide our decision making doesn’t mean disobeying local laws; it means that we get to claim our identity as Children of God. Declaring this identity grants us the chance to love others more than ourselves and to work for their equality as God’s children. It means acting and speaking against injustice. Be open to the Spirit guiding your choices today; try putting someone else before yourself.

Katie Barrett Todd

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Creator Lord, I’m thankful for your faithful servants who work toward equality and pave the way for the rest of us to do the same. I ask for your Spirit to grant me courage to be less self-centered and more you-centered as I live into this life of freedom in Christ. Amen.

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South African freedom hero Nelson Mandela said: “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

Freedom requires us to live so that all may be free. Christ’s freedom is not for one person, but for every person.

Go today into the world and fight for the freedom of another.

Go today to let the world taste the unending love of Christ through loving your neighbor.

And go today letting the Spirit change your motivations. Live free, and fight for freedom.

Katie Barrett Todd

Rev. Katie Barrett Todd is Associate University Minister at Nebraska Wesleyan University and an ordained Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA). She holds a M.Div and MACE from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. Katie has served churches and campus ministries in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Kentucky. She currently resides in Lincoln, Nebraska with her husband, a youth and young adult pastor in a local congregation, and her two toddler children.

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