Wednesday, July 2, 2008

SALT Challenge - Freedom

This week at SALT, it was Casey's turn to set the challenge and she choose Freedom. You can read her entire write up, which is excellent, on the SALT blog.

I enjoyed thinking about real freedom with this challenge. I imagine that many folks would consider being free as being able to do whatever you want and to some extent this would be an accurate description. But are all people truly free? Certainly, in our country, we have freedom to do just about anything, even without regard to anyone or anything else. Is that all there is to real freedom and is that freedom where true and lasting happiness is found?

Anyone see the movie Braveheart? I was reminded of that movie when Casey presented this theme. At the very end, as the main character (William Wallace) is being martyred, he yells out "Freedom!" It's a powerful moment. Wallace is crying out for freedom for his country and people, certainly something worth fighting for. As Christians we can cry out "Freedom" as well but our joy comes from being free from the bondage of sin and it's ultimate end, which is spiritual death. This is even more important that physical freedom. Freedom from sin means we are no longer bound to constantly live a sin filled life, serving only our own desires. It's freedom from outwardly damaging sins, such as addictions, to those that destroy us on the inside, like envy or anger. Outside of Christ we are literally bound to these behaviors. We harbor crooked thoughts and behaviors even when we know it's wrong or bad for us. Yet the moment we trust Christ, we are instantly set free from that vicious cycle of sin. Oh, we do still sin but it's no longer our regular habit and our hearts are now broken when we do those things that are wrong. We can call upon Christ to strengthen us in our struggles and know that He is faithful and just to forgive us and to help us on our spiritual journey. As the Bible states, "if the Son shall set you free, you shall be free indeed!" What a glorious promise that offers such hope!

I had two scripture verses in mind for this week's challenge, both from Romans:

Romans 6: 16, "Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves who you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were salves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness."...."For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness." ..."What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Romans 8: 1, "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death."

I used the verses from Romans 8 to create a background on transparency paper, which was then adhered to the larger purple card. And this week I decided to forgo actually stamping and instead used a portion of a scrappin' kit from SU! The picture on the front of the card and coordinating shells are both stickers. I choose the image of the Father and son because it made me think of how God views us as His children and how He keeps His protective arm around us at all times, helping us in times of trouble and encouraging us when we struggle with sin. It's a beautiful picture of God's transforming love and amazing grace. The ribbon is a random scrap that I had tucked away in a box and the tag simply has the word freedom written on it as a reminder that if we are in Christ, we are free indeed!

Feeling inspired to create something based on this week's theme? Then hop on over to the SALT blog to check out the beautiful creations the team has made and leave us a comment with a link back to your blog or gallery. We'd love to share in your God-given creativity!!



Hazel said...

What you've written is truly thought-provoking and your LO is spot on! The verse from Romans 8 had been going round in my head too - I love the way you've used it here.

Beth Norman said...

What a beautiful card. You did a wonderful job with the challenge. I had this set. Sadly, someone borrowed it, never returned it, and I don't remember who it was.

esther said...

a simple and effective layout. Indeed a thought provoking topic this week!