Day 67: Live Free: Deuteronomy 13 – 15 and Galatians 1
We are reading Deuteronomy 13 – 15 and Galatians 1 from the New Living Translation.
The 7th year slaves go free and on the 50th year – the year of Jubilee, property is returned to its former owner and slaves are set free. God’s economy and God’s calendar had hope built right into them. God punctuated this broken slave-making world with a time of freedom and deliverance – the year of Jubilee! It was a time that each generation could look to, to receive a gracious ‘reset’ from God. It was a time to start over!
Paul was a slave, and he didn’t know it, and God came and set Paul free! Paul describes it as a revelation of God. it was not some doctrinal formula that he heard and was persuaded of, it was not some new insight into the Bible he had studies so diligently. No, he says in vs. 12 I received my message from no human source, and no one taught me. Instead, I received it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ.”
God revealed God to Paul. And you know what, that is the way it is with all of us. Maybe you did read a book, or heard a message, or came around in your thinking to the truth of the Gospel. Those things do happen. But when they happen, this is what is always happening. God is revealing himself. God is opening your eyes, he is removing scales, as he did with Paul so that you can be free and actually see, and begin to enter in to what God has done for you in Christ. In these moments of conversion or awakening, God is revealing what has already been done for you, and who you are in Him.
Those are moments of liberation, moments of freedom. Chains are coming off, scales are falling off. And these scales are deceptions, lies that blind us to the truth of who God really is. Paul believed lies about God, that blinded him from truly seeing what God was like. Paul’s vision of God was so different prior to this moment on the Demascus road. Pauls vision saw a God who was OK with and even pleased with the killing and imprisonment of human beings, who believed differently then his followers. This God was so obsessed with theological purity, that he was willing to commission his people to kill others, in the name of their theological purity.
The nature and character of this God was based on a lie about God. Paul was deceived by these lies. God is not like that. But God broke through into Paul’s life, and Paul had nothing to do with it, he didn’t merrit this intervention at all. And God began the life long journey of transformation with Paul, where he began to discover the true, loving, grace filled beautiful character of God. A God who values and loves people far more than theological purity.
He sees and knows that we like Paul are all blind, and unless he opens our eyes, we will never see him for who he really is. So God loved the world so much that he come to us, he was not willing to see humanity spiral into non being, so he intervened, and revealed the self-giving love and grace and beauty of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
And when this happens to Paul, he describes it as freedom from slavery. It
Slavery offers a clear picture of our broken world. There is a gravitational pull to be enslaved. We are tempted to become slaves to our appetites, our past, to others, and to our own self-obsessed interests. The world wants to make slaves of us all.
This day of hope – of Jubilee – is only a picture of what we have in Christ. Christ is our Jubilee! This year of Jubilee was just a picture, pointing us to what Christ would do for us, and what He offers to the world. The Jubilee that Christ has won for us, has no end. It doesn’t just come around once every 7 or 50 years. We have been invited into an eternal life of Jubilee, where we have been set free from our captors, whoever they may be. Whether it’s a man, our past, our shame or our regrets, it doesn’t matter. Jesus sets us free, and he restores our inheritance. He has given us an inheritance that most of us never knew we had. He has given us a future and a hope.
Some of you never thought that you had a future, or lived like you had a hope. You may have never really considered that God had a destiny and purpose for you. You just existed day by day, never even imagining that God could have something more for you. Well, he does! God’s abundant life is for you. It is a life where you are free from whatever slavery you have lived in. You are free to live in God’s abundant Now. God has a destiny and life planned for you. And today is the day of Salvation…it’s the day of Jubilee. It’s the day to live free. And that freedom has been purchased for you, by Christ himself. Your freedom is not based on your performance but on Christ’s perfect life. It’s based on what He has done, and trusting in Him, and Him alone. Yours is to believe, receive and live in the joy of it. And that joy and gratitude will be your strength.
Today is your day of Jubilee! Be free, my friend. Live in this freedom that’s been won by your champion, Jesus.
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