Summary: The Scriptures are clear: We are either a slave to sin or we are a slave to righteousness. The opposite of rejecting God is not a freedom to be in charge of your own life. If you are not a slave to Righteousness you are a slave to SIN!
For those who are not familiar with an Anglican Service there are four Scriptures that are read before the Message. The Scriptures assigned for today are: Genesis 22:1-14, Psalm 89: 1-18; Romans 6:12-23 and Matthew 10: 40-42.
I'm not sure ... who shared this story ... but it says a lot ... about mankind:
When my oldest son was about three years old, ... I was outside doing some yard work one afternoon.
I took Kevin outside to play ... while I trimmed the hedges.
Holding his hand, ... I knelt down beside him ... so that we could look at each other ... face to face.
Slowly ... and carefully I said, ... "Now, Kevin, ... you can play here in our front yard.
You can go next door ... and play in your friend's front yard.
You can ride your Big Wheel ... up and down the driveway.
You can go in the back yard ... and play with the dog ... or play on your swing.
You can go back inside ... and watch television.
Or ... You can stay here .... and watch me trim the hedges.
These are all the things you have my permission to do.
But you can NOT go ... out into the street.
It is very dangerous there.
You cannot play in the street.
Do you understand what I'm saying?"
And 3-year-old Kevin nodded his head... and said "Yes, Daddy".
I let go of his hand ... and he ran straight to the curb, ... put one foot in the street; And then turned his head toward me and smiled, ... as if to say, ... "Foolish mortal!"
Why ... Why after understanding all the freedoms his father had allowed him ... would he deliberately go out to the One place ... his dad had told him ... not to go?
He did it ... because that is the nature ... of man.
We want to be FREE ... to do things ... "our way"
We want to be FREE ... to live by ... our own rules
We want to be FREE ... to make our own decisions ... about what is right ... and what is wrong.
The reality is ... that the rejection of doing what we are told by others ... lies at the very heart ... of man's conflict ... with God ... our heavenly Father.
God created us ... and loves us.
God wants to guide us ... He wants to keep us safe He wants to ... shower us with blessings.
God told the nation of Israel .... "I know the plans I have for you, ... plans to prosper you ... and not to harm you, ... plans to give you hope ... and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11
God has so much in store for His children.
Yet man ... too often ... looks at the Heavenly Father ... knowing all the promises and blessings ... yet all they see ... are the restrictions that God warns us to avoid.
Restrictions ... that are meant for our good, ... restrictions to keep us from harm.
We so often look Beyond the freedom ... and the promises God offers us ... and we seem to focus on the restrictions... that are truly ... for our own good.
To get God's best, ... we need to let go ... to trust God.
To let go ... and let God.
To let God, ... have authority ... To have Lordship ...over our lives.
And that yielding of our lives will free us: Hear God's Word: BIBLE " ... Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, .... "If you abide in my word, ... you are my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." END (John 8:31-32)
That irritated the crowd, ... for they felt ... that they did not need to be set free ... and they responded: "We are Abraham's descendants ... and have never been slaves of anyone..." (John 8:33)
Jesus replies: ... "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins ... is a slave to sin." (John 8:34)
And our text from Romans proclaims that same truth: Hear God's Word. BIBLE Do you not know ... that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, ... you are slaves ... of the one whom you obey, ... either of sin, ... which leads to death, ... or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God ... that you, having once been slaves of sin, ... have become obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to which you were entrusted, 18 and that you, having been set free from sin, ... have become ... slaves of righteousness. END Romans 6:16-18