Weekly Bible Reflections
Last week (January 5), John Mark preached about why we live the way we do–why do we follow this Jesus, why do we claim to be Christians, and why does it matter? The reason is because of what Jesus has done for us. As we read in this passage from 2 Corinthians, Jesus has removed the veil that lies in front of our hearts and in front of our very eyes. We have freedom through the Spirit of the Lord–freedom from sin, freedom from guilt, freedom from pain. Freedom from the principalities and powers that darken this world.
But we don’t just have freedom from something. We have freedom for something. Freedom to live as Jesus taught. Freedom to love our neighbors as ourselves. Freedom to be who God has created us to be. And freedom to share in this world that God has created. (Don’t forget! God created this world and called it good. In our efforts to join God in transforming this world, we cannot forget or ignore that God loves this world!)
The Spirit of the Lord offers us freedom. Freedom from and freedom for. Freedom that leads to transformation.
This year, at Skillman, our focus is on spiritual growth and transformation. We want to be people who look like Jesus. People who love our neighbors, and even our enemies! People who show exceptional care for the marginalized. People who look like Jesus in word, action, thought, and all that we are. We want to be people who live by faith in the one who taught us what transformed faith in our God can do–the kind of faith that helped Jesus to not only teach, but also to live in tune with the Father. The kind of faith that helps us to be compassionate, caring, and kind even in the midst of difficult circumstances.
After all, it is this kind of transformation that shows the world why we do what we do, and why Jesus still matters all these many years later.
This week, as you try to remained focused on transformation, freedom from and freedom for, and what it means to live by faith, consider these questions:
1. What are you doing every day to stay focused on Jesus?
2. What is keeping you (whether intentionally or accidentally) from focusing on Jesus?
3. How can you encourage someone else to live by faith this week?