What Are You Doing With Your Freedom?
by Bill Martin

With every crisis or controversy we inevitably end up with a period of reflection. At this moment we are there. This is not a casual reflection but it is time to make a change or pay a consequence. There are three areas of change in which God is teaching us some life altering lessons. I believe they are accountability, focus and freedom.

I am not talking so much about the freedom President Abraham Lincoln talked about in his Gettysburg Address,"?that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vein, that this nation under God, shall have a new birth of freedom?" or what the Reverend Martin Luther King talked about in his 1963 "I have a Dream" speech, "When we let freedom ring, we let it ring from very tenement and every hamlet, from every state and every city?"

Though I dearly love those words, what I am talking about is the freedom to reject what is evil and embrace what is holy. Galatians 5:13 "For you have been called to live in freedom, not freedom to satisfy your sinful nature, but freedom to serve one another in love."

The more I see what is going on around me, the more I look at myself as a fish out of water. The fish has always been a believers symbol. The water for me represents current mainSTREAM values. We are in an age where accountability is almost nonexistent. It is ok to do what you want, whenever you want. God however calls for something much different in your life.

1 Corinthians 1:30 "It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus. Who has become for us wisdom from God that is our righteousness, holiness and redemption." You could say that another word for redemption is freedom. Is Christ freedom allowing to you to live a blessed life or are you in midstream?

Point two: Where does your focus, your passion and your love truly lie. If you Pastor would be caught up in scandal tomorrow what would you do? People have walked away from churches for far less than that.

Are you in church because it is an obligation or are you there because it is an obsession? Are you there for God? 1 Corinthians 15:2 "By this Gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise you have believed in vein."

It is time to really give thought to why you are in church. Take this moment to reflect how our culture defines what you are, where you and why you are. Now compare it to what God says and you may be shocked.

Last point and what I believe is the most important. Not only does God us hold us accountable for our own actions, Romans 14:12 "So then each of us will give as account of himself to God", but I believe we will be held accountable for watching over others. Romans 3:19 "?the whole world will be held accountable to God."

It is because scripture says we all fall short of God's glory that we are called to protect each other. Hebrews 3:12 "See to it brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily?"

There is too much turmoil in the world not for you to take notice. The news I read nightly is becoming more bazaar and more frightening. Take a look around the world for yourself because I believe it's calling out for your freedom, focus and accountability. Revelation 22:7 "behold I am coming soon."

Bill Martin is a multiple winner of Emmy and Associated Press Awards for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism. He was also inducted into the Ohio Television/Radio Hall of Fame in 1999.

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