Read Galatians 4:8-10 and Ephesians 4:32-5:2.
In this Christmas season, we celebrated the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. We opened presents, shared meals, and gathered with family. As we find ourselves here today a few days after Christmas, we may be sensing the holiday joy wearing off. There are houses to clean, jobs to return to, and tasks to be done. We also may find ourselves falling back into our same routines of relating to God.
We are programmed to think we have to earn grace as if to say, “It was nice that Jesus came to earth, but now we have to make it up to him. We have to work harder to keep earning his love.” Thankfully, the birth of Jesus is the death of religious striving. Through faith, we now have freedom in Christ. Our relationship with him makes us free and enables us to serve, not out of “religion,” but out of love for God.
All throughout Scripture, we see the pattern of what God has done for us, and what we do in response. Paul writes in Ephesians 5:1-2, “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us.” We are dearly loved children because of Christ’s deep love and sacrifice for us. As a result, we walk in the way of love from this place of freedom. What we do comes from who we are, rather than vice versa.
REFLECT AND RESPOND
Today, meditate on Romans 8:38-39, which tells us nothing “in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” As we come to the end of the year, let this new freedom in Christ encourage and fill you up to serve God and others.
By Billy Berglund