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If you have ever watched the movie Braveheart, you remember those dying words of Mel Gibson’s character, William Wallace.  He believed so much in that freedom that he was willing to give his life for it.  His life was taken from him by evil men who did not want to give up their power and prestige.  Their love for “their ways” overshadowed the people’s desire for freedom.  The ongoing battle for that freedom took men and women who had shied away from any kind of confrontation and brought them together as a mighty force for the good.  They seized the day and the “powers that be” could not withstand their great love for country and each other.  One man was known as a Braveheart, but they were all Bravehearts.  Peter talks about submission in freedom in 1 Peter 2:11-17, and the submission he spoke to sprouted from a heart that was firm in the freedom of Christ.  Peter knew that as aliens we believers would always have to deal with leaders who were somewhat unfair.  He stated that the unfairness was not an excuse for becoming worldly again in our thinking.  In verse 12 Peter said to keep our behavior excellent among the Gentiles (lost) and when they slander you they have no foot to stand on because you are above reproach.  He says, “so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them glorify God in the day of visitation.”  So basically committed Christians get it from both sides; the lure of lusts in the world and the slander of evil men and women.  Bummer…  That’s why it is vital for each of us to be in a close walk with the Lord, because these things are going to crop up and our reaction needs to be as those who have it all together, not those who are scattered.  In today’s changing world we see the tide changing from a Christian nation to a post Christian nation and it scares many believers.  We need to remember to pray for our leaders and follow them up to the point of them dishonoring God’s Law, which is our main priority.  In nation’s laws vs. God’s Laws, God’s Laws wins every time. The last point Peter brings out in verses 16 and 17 is what we are we to do with our Freedom.  Are we to just talk about it? NO!!  Are we to exploit it by abusing it?  NO!!!  Are we to hide behind it?  What you may ask do I mean?  Sometimes greedy, conniving Christians get in their mind that their freedom is just that, their freedom.  So they decide that since they have this permanent freedom, they will use it to do or say whatever they want because they know forgiveness is on the way.  This is abusing God’s Grace and actually grace that should apply to help them on their pilgrimage to be more like God is coupled with an attitude to be more like satan.  Hmm, strange combination….God and satan.  Usually they use this freedom to strike out against other believers who are just trying to share the freedom with those who are in bondage.  They are the people who would open the jail door and just when someone was going to walk out, they would shut it quickly and laugh and say, ooops sorry.  It’s amazing how much we mention the word grace to veil our sins, but how little we allow grace to change our lives.  Peter says this should not be and that real submission to God means changed lives and true spiritual growth.  Now that’s freedom!! It would have been different if William Wallace would have won freedom, not been killed, and become a wealthy land owner.  Then we would have seen how this freedom was used by him.  As to his character, we would think that he would take this freedom to allow others to be free as well.  That was what the fight was all about.  When Christ died to give us our freedom His sacrifice freed us from the penalty of sin, but not the result of sin.   When we abuse this freedom the result is a bad witness to the lost and a step backward for the one abusing.  Both don’t have to happen if we will just realize that this freedom begins when we submit to Christ and the result is a changed life that grows more and more like Christ every day.  Freeeedom is my cry!  What about you? The Pilgrimage continues…. David Warren

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