Freed

I’d rather be a servant to Jesus than a slave to sin.

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Day 23: God says you are…

FREED

One of the things na hindi masyadong maappreciate at maunawaan ng mga taong yet to be Christians ay “how come we are freed by the Lord and yet we become His servants?” Hindi ko rin ito masyadong naaappreciate at first. Akala ko ba freedom? Bakit may servitude?

There’s a biblical account about Onesimus, a runaway slave of Philemon who happened to meet Apostle Paul, which happens to be imprisoned because of the gospel. Marahil may ninakaw si Onesimus sa kanyang amo. Sa Greco-Roman world that time, kapag ikaw tumakas bilang isang slave sa iyong amo, hindi ka lang basta makukulong, ie-execute ka through crucifixion bilang deterrent sa mga slaves na magbabalak na tumakas. Bukod pa dun, slaves are considered the lowest kind of people sa social ladder. Walang karapatan, walang pag-aari, walang identity apart from their masters. Imagine yourself in the feet of Onesimus – parang most wanted.

It is to be noted that Philemon is a Christian, a follower of Jesus. Tapos si Onesimus ay nakakilala rin kay Jesus when he met Paul. So hindi na lang sila basta mag-amo, sila ay magkapatid na rin kay Kristo. Kaya nga’t hinimok ni Paul si Philemon – patawarin si Onesimus at tanggapin bilang kapatid kay Kristo. And Paul even went the extra mile – kung anuman ang pagkakautang ni Onesimus, siya na mismo ang magbabayad. Why go the extra mile for a “runaway slave”? Check the meaning of Onesimus’ name: profitable. Onesimus is a profitable part of the body of Christ. Hindi siya liability, he’s an asset.

Pero ngayon, dahil kay Kristo, tayo ay hindi lang basta malaya – may karapatan na tayong tawaging anak ng Diyos, may pag-aari na tayo, ang ating relasyon kay Kristo. Ang identity natin – Christian – one with Christ.

We are like Onesimus – servants freed from fear, impending danger from hell. Once, wala tayong karapatan, walang pag-aari at walang identity. Pero ngayon, dahil kay Kristo, tayo ay hindi lang basta malaya – may karapatan na tayong tawaging anak ng Diyos, may pag-aari na tayo, ang ating relasyon kay Kristo. Ang identity natin – Christian – one with Christ. Pinalaya tayo sa dati nating buhay. At bukod pa dun, we can be profitable in the kingdom, like Onesimus.

Pero hindi tayo basta pinalaya mula sa ating dating pagkatao para pa bumalik lang sa dati nating kalagayan. We are freed to be free! At dahil nakay Kristo na tayo, aalis pa ba tayo? Remember, if you are not for Christ, you are for the world. Walang neutral ground. It’s either black or white, in or out. Saan ka? At ang sabi nga, if Christ is in us, who can be against us?

Christ is our new Master. But unlike earthly master, He will not be mean to us, He won’t do us any harm. He wants us to have life and have it to the full. At sa lahat ng unmerited favor na ito, marapat lang na sumunod tayo at maglingkod sa Kanya. I’d rather be a servant to Jesus than a slave to sin.

Truly I am your servant, Lord; I serve you just as my mother did; you have freed me from my chains. Psalm 116:16

Set Free

Christ came to free us from our bondages.

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Day 11: God says you are…

SET FREE

May mga bagay na parang ang hirap hirap iwasan; mga bagay na parang hindi madaing tanggihan. Katulad ng pagkain ng taba ng baboy, tsaka yung masobrahan ka sa pagkain ng kanin lalo na’t masarap talaga ang ulam, naku para kang nakikipagbuno sa sarili mo kung ang gusto mo talaga ay manatiling malusog at disiplinado.

Pero may mga tao rin naman na ang struggle ay wala sa pagkain kundi nasa bisyo. I have heard and read testimonies of notorious drug users, drunkards, smokers and how they have gotten rid of their vices. Unfortunately marami din ang nahihirapang umiwas dito. I have a grandfather who died still because of his seemingly incessant smoking. He was in bondage from his vice.

Some people on the other hand are in bondage from their fears, their guilt, or their weaknesses. Some are in bondage of sexual perversity, of pride, or of greed. Maraming klase ng bondage. Ang iba ay lantaran, while the majority doesn’t even know they are being held captive.

He has destroyed the power of sin in our lives. He has given us the power to discipline ourselves and say no to temptations that try to hold us back.

They say that whatever is taken in excess is unhealthy. Kaya naman kung sumosobra ka na sa pagkain ng mga unhealthy food or sa mga bisyo, o kaya naman ay sa mga kasalanang dapat iwasan, you are a step closer to perilous situation. Until you know it, you are heavily in bondage and cannot help yourself.

Christ came to free us from our bondages. There is no small or big, no simple or complicated bondage He can never free us from. He destroyed the clutches of fear in us, of guilt and of self-pity. He destroyed the strongholds trying to keep us from seeing the real beauty of life. He has destroyed the power of sin in our lives. He has given us the power to discipline ourselves and say no to temptations that try to hold us back.

And yes, even sa temptation na umorder ng extra rice kapag sobra na, o sa temptation na kumuha ng taba ng baboy kahit alam mong bawal na.

In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ

Colossians 2:11