You may wonder how anyone could get away with buying slaves in this day and age. The truth will shock you. And, believe it or not, I think you’ll approve.
Welcome to “Mornings with Bishop Robert” — thanks for joining me. My goal is to introduce people to the Jesus they never knew, and help them get to know Him and His word personally – and better ! If our time together today speaks to your heart, then let me invite you to like, subscribe and share it with a friend! Join our email list to get a free copy of my book COUNT TO ONE, get Mornings with Bishop Robert sent directly to your inbox each morning, and lots of other great benefits. Click the link in the description. So Grab a cup and lift it up — we’re going to talk about buying slaves.
The street corner in Nashville TN where I stood yesterday used to be a thriving slave market, and a large historic marker described its sad and sordid history. Today the place is filled with office buildings and a public transportation hub. Still, it made me think of the pain of slavery, the broken families, living in fear of what might be demanded next or if your life would be snuffed out.
Today’s verse says GOD HAS NOT GIVEN US A SPIRIT OF FEAR; BUT OF POWER, LOVE AND A SOUND MIND.
Slavery inspires a spirit of fear, but God has set us free from that in Christ. It turns out that getting a person out of slavery is quite easy compared to the task of getting the slavery out of them. Yet nothing in life beats true freedom.
I’ve mentioned Daniel, my brother in Christ, before. He was born free in Burkina Faso. Then at about age eight or nine Daniel’s uncle sold him into slavery. His life as a slave was brutal. When he was about twelve or so, a Canadian Episcopal priest who was visiting in Burkina Faso met Daniel, became aware of his condition and bought him for twenty dollars. That was the easy part.
This priest adopted Daniel, and the hard part began. Now, after getting Daniel out of slavery, his new father had to work to get the slavery out of him.
He took him home to Canada, brought him into his own house and raised him as his son. The priest gave Daniel all he had to give, including sharing his faith in Christ and leading Daniel into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. As Daniel grew in age and faith he became many things. He became a Bishop in our communion. He became head of one of Africa’s most impactful charities dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. But most of all, he became free. Truly free.
Daniel allowed his Heavenly Father to replace the spirit of slavery and fear within him. Nothing could make Daniel choose slavery over freedom. He has tasted both, and understands freedom’s value. He let God replace the spirit of fear with POWER, LOVE AND A SOUND MIND.
Did you know that Jesus is still buying slaves today? People who do not know him are trapped in the slavery of sin. It’s as painful and debilitating as life on any plantation or in any diamond mine ever was. Sin holds you captive and snuffs out the life that remains at the same time. Jesus paid the price to set you free, and it wasn’t cheap.
Can you imagine Daniel NOT accepting the offer of the man who stood before him offering to purchase his freedom? It would have been absurd to choose slavery over freedom, poverty over comfort, abuse over love. Can you see Daniel saying, “Do you mind if I think about this for a while, and decide later?” No, me neither.
When you and I accept God’s offer, He sets us free. Then the hard part begins. After getting us out of slavery, our new Father has to work to get the slavery out of us.
Part of that involves replacing the spirit of fear within us with His Spirit. It’s a spirit that gives us the POWER to walk away from what has bound us. It’s a spirit that fills us with the LOVE of the Father who purchased us and the Son who set us free. It’s a spirit that replaces the mind of a slave with a SOUND MIND that is capable of learning about the freedom we have in Christ. Each of these things are intended to keep us free.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. We who have decided to follow Jesus need to stand firm therefore, and not submit again to a yoke of slavery. We need His Spirit within us delivering the POWER, LOVE and SOUND MIND we need to serve Him well. We do it in freedom, not in bondage. The Lord gives us His Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. The sound mind He places within us allows us to know the truth, and the truth will set you free. When the Son sets you free, you are free indeed. REALLY FREE !!
GOD HAS NOT GIVEN US A SPIRIT OF FEAR; BUT OF POWER, LOVE AND A SOUND MIND.
You were called to freedom, accept it and receive it. Then use your freedom as an opportunity, through love, to serve one another.
Yes, He is still buying slaves and setting them free. Aren’t you glad?