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“So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.” Galatians 5:1

creativeI have a friend who’s been in and out of prison for what seems to be his whole life. He gets out of prison but it’s hard to stay ‘clean’ and soon he finds himself back behind bars. As he told me on one occasion, there seems to be a security behind bars that he can’t find anywhere else. It’s a security he can’t find in ‘freedom on the outside.’ So he serves his time, steps into freedom, tries to make a ‘go of it’ and fails, only to find himself in the familiar and ‘safe’ walls of prison.

Sound weird? It’s not. We do it all the time. Our human nature tends to steer us towards the things we are familiar with.

I see it on a far smaller scale when our family is on a road trip to some area we are unfamiliar with. When we look for a place to eat we tend to seek security in a place we are familiar with such as a name brand restaurant or fast food place. We do that because we have a pretty good idea of what to expect. They often have the same menu, the same table decorations, and predictable food quality.

One time we were traveling and decided that since we couldn’t find a familiar place to eat we’d choose a cute looking café on the side of the road. It was NOT a pleasant experience. The place was dirty but at least the food was bad!

Sometimes our churches are like that. Everything is the same wherever you go. Some of our churches follow tradition more closely than Scripture. They have the same worship format, sing the same songs, they even have the same decorations! You know exactly what to expect.

One of my favorite verses comes from Galatians 5:1. Paul says, “So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.”

I think, if Paul were here today, he’d explain that verse something like this. “Listen! We serve a creative God. We serve a God who doesn’t change in who he is but does things differently often. Don’t use your freedom to be stuck in a rut and do things the way you’ve always done. Live a little! Don’t stray from God’s ways, but don’t get so sucked into the way you’ve always done things that you become like stagnant water. Mountain streams are always fresh because they are always moving, always changing.

Freedom in Christ, by nature, fosters change in a positive way. So live life in freedom! Allow God’s creativity to flow through your lifestyle and more importantly, through your worship of him! Don’t live behind the bars of security, sameness and ‘we’ve always done it this way.’

PRAYER: Father God, I see your sunsets. I see your sunrises. I see the beauty and creativity of nature and am in awe of you. Help me to live free, to live creatively, while at the same time living a life that is pleasing to you. Thank you for the freedom to be creative! Amen.


Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2 (NLT)

Charles Swindoll once wrote, “Attitude is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do.” How we feel about ourselves and how we feel about God are the two main ingredients that determine if we will be happy with life or frustrated and living under the circumstances of our existence.

If we see God as being weak, apathetic or unconcerned about us, or if we see Him as being angry and vengeful towards us we will approach life in fear and hopelessness. If we see ourselves as worthless failures doomed because our past or present circumstances, life is full of despair and we don’t really believe God is who He says He is.

The Apostle Paul writes in his letter to the Romans that we need to avoid thinking the way the world thinks. People around us measure everything by what is seen, what can be held and what they see as important. Tradition, religious dogmas and society rules can affect our drive to succeed. Some will tell us that a certain type of music is wrong, or that we need to eat certain foods or act certain ways or go to certain churches and be involved in this religious act or that religious act. But who we are has nothing to do with what we have done, do or want to do.

God created each of us with talents and abilities that are unique to us. God, through His Holy Spirit, wants to change your way of thinking. He wants to help each of us see our potential through His eyes and not the eyes of people. The customs, behaviors and practices of people without Christ will lead us to lives which are empty and wanting more. A life built on realizing we are God’s special creations leads us to lives that are content and fulfilled regardless of our social or financial position.

Be free to be you! Don’t let the world tell you how you should be or what you should think. Believe God to be who He says He is; the Almighty, All-Powerful, All-Knowing, Loving God of the Universe.

As a Christ-follower, ask God change the way you think about yourself. Ask Him to let you see yourself as He sees you. Let His Spirit work through you so that the love of Jesus will be evident in your life to those around you.

You are a child of God! Don’t let the thoughts and actions of others keep you down. With the help of His Holy Spirit you can be empowered to change the world around you.  

PRAYER: Holy God, I confess to you that there are many areas of my life where I allow other people to control how I feel about You and how I feel about myself. They use my past, my present and their own ideas to keep me from living the full, joyful life you have for me. I am made in your image O God! I am your Child! Empower me with Your Spirit to show Jesus’ love to those around me. Amen.


I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Revelation 3:18

How we perceive something affects our entire outlook on life. Years ago ‘magic eye’ pictures were very popular. These mosaic design pictures had hidden pictures among the dots or squares. Some people could see the message in the picture right away. Others had a hard time seeing the message, or couldn’t see the message at all. It is all a matter of perception.

Spiritual perception can work the same way. In Revelation John writes to the church in Laodicea. The church in Laodicea was well established. They had been doing the same things for years and had become very stable. The trouble is, sometimes stability leads to stagnancy and Laodicea had become stagnant. In today’s terms they may be referred to as being ‘politically correct’.

The Laodicean’s knew what they stood doctrinally. They believed all the right things. The problem was that tradition and leniency had seeped into the church so that it was really hard to tell the difference between traditional and doctrine. In a word, they were comfortable. Jesus didn’t call us to grow comfortable and stagnant. He called us to be vibrant, alive members of society. Like salt adds flavor and preservatives to food, the Christ follower is to be a positive change agent in their world.

Jesus issued some harsh words to the Laodicean’s about their spiritual perception. Perhaps the biggest concern was the fact that the people didn’t even realize how far they had strayed. Like the frog in boiling water they had become so accustomed to the gradual straying from God’s ways they didn’t realize how far they were from the truth. It was as though the people in the Laodicean church had cataracts. They no longer saw their mission and purpose clearly.

As a follower of Jesus Christ we need to constantly check our spiritual eyesight to make sure we are seeing life through Jesus’ eyes and not the eyes of tradition or denominational dogma. The best way to do that is to, first of all, go directly to the source. Spend time reading the Bible on a daily basis, not just reading books about the Bible.

Secondly, talk to God about your questions. Prayer is not just you talking and God listening. It’s voicing your concerns, needs, etc. and then meditating and giving God a chance, through His Holy Spirit, to direct your thoughts in the direction He wants you to go.

Lastly, build your life around a core group of believers that you can trust to tell you the truth, pray with you and encourage you through the tough times.

Jesus wanted to clear up the eyesight of the people in Laodicea because He knew that clear eyesight leads to clear direction. In the same way He wants each of us to see how we can best change the world around us.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I come to you today realizing that my view of you and of what you want me to be is in danger of being affected by society, tradition and denominational dogma. As David prayed, I ask that you would search me and see if there is anything in my life that is keeping me from being salt to those around me. Show me through your Word, prayer and fellow believers how I can be the vibrant person you want me to be. Amen.

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