August 12th, 2005


New Member
Though you used to be slaves to sin, you . . . have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

-Romans 6:17-18 (NIV)

SLAVERY takes many forms. Yesterday I watched a woman pace back and forth smoking a cigarette. In bondage to nicotine? I wondered. A divorced friend of mine keeps trying to destroy her ex-husband with lawsuits, defamation, and threats. Bitterness has her in bondage. A neighbor suffers from bulimia; her obsession with her body is controlling her. Many suffer from bondage to materialism -- craving whatever tempts the eye. Other cruel masters are envy, jealousy, hatred, sex, gambling. Do we despair of these things and cry out for freedom?

God told Moses, "I have indeed seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groaning and have come down to set them free" (Acts 7:34). How seriously did God mean this? Exodus 12 says that God kept vigil that night to get the children of Israel out of bondage. I see this as evidence of a 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year commitment on God's part. God still commands every tyrant in our lives, "Let my people go" and says to the captives, "Come out," and to those in darkness, "Be free!"

Mary D. MacKinnon (Paraná, Brazil)
Lord, we thank you for hearing our cries for help and delivering us. Amen.