One of the most amazing things about God is his generosity. And when he made us in his image he made sure to include his generosity. The three commands given to humanity in Genesis 2—to serve, watch over and care for, and help each other—are at the core of what it means to be generous.

It didn’t take long, unfortunately, for our first parents to stop trusting God and instead trust their own ability to define good and evil. And in that moment, our generosity disappeared. We went from givers to takers. We began see each other either as objects of our own ambition and pleasure, or obstacles to be pushed out of the way. And in the process, we lost our freedom to be reflect God’s generous love and became slaves to our self-destructive attitudes and behaviors.

Fortunately we have a God who is in the business of freeing slaves. Through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, God broke the chains of our slavery and set us free to live once again in his image, as loving generous people.

In Jude’s letter to the churches, he warns that these so-called teachers are teaching that, since we don’t have to do anything for our salvation, and since nothing can separate us from God’s love, we can go back to doing anything we want! And for James that’s called slavery. If you follow these teachers, he writes, you, like our first parents, will wind up becoming slaves to your own broken impulses and will ultimately be destroyed by them!

The alternative? “Defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people.” (Jude 1:3) You can stake your life on the teaching and promises of Jesus. Keep trusting in his way of truth, and life, and freedom! And know that the One who has begun his transforming work in you, will one day complete it so that you will look just like him!

Questions for reflection:

  1. Where in your life do you find yourself enslaved to ambition, competition, addiction, shame, anger, overwork, social media, and anything else that keeps you from living in the freedom Jesus offers you?
  2. Where are there roadblocks that make it hard to trust God with your decisions, attitudes, habits, and behaviors?
  3. What steps could you take toward addressing these roadblocks? When can you start?

Old Testament reading: Ezekiel 45-48