Freed from sin, you have become slaves of righteousness. (Romans 6:18)

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Gift: Counsel (Right Judgment) – With the gift of right judgment, we know the difference between right and wrong, and we choose to do what is right. A person with right judgment avoids sin and lives out the values taught by Jesus.

Reading:  Do you not know that if you present yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, although you were once slaves of sin, you have become obedient from the heart to the pattern of teaching to which you were entrusted.* Freed from sin, you have become slaves of righteousness.  (Roman 6:18)

Observation:  To me, today’s first reading continues a theme that I heard last week in a sermon on the radio by the pastor of the New Hope Church in Hawaii.  The theme was that it takes more than faith to follow God’s will in your life, sometimes we must just be obedient.  This reading continues that thought to say to me that I will be a slave to something, sin or righteousness.  I have to choose which one that I want to be a slave to, and although it seems like an easy choice, one is an agreement that my body wants to make and the world will gladly help me with and the other is completely counter cultural and I will have to rely on the holy Spirit to guide me under the protection of an unseen force.

Personification: Self-Control  This is the one fruit of the holy Spirit that is actually improperly named, in my opinion.  As I have said many times before, it takes more than act of self-will to display self-control, it takes complete reliance on the holy Spirit and God’s perfect will to save me from falling into sin.  The good news is that when we give up our own choices to rely on God’s perfect will for us; the holy Spirit will come to our rescue and keep us free from sin.  The more we give up our selfishness, the easier it is to give it up in the future and the less likely we will be to give in to our fleshly desires.

Prayer:  Lord, I know that I don’t always say things perfectly, but use my words to help someone follow your will for them today.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

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