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Sunday Message
First United Methodist Church – 20 June 2021

Galatians 5:1 “A Work in Progress” by Pastor Ric Hanse

A Work In Progress
Living into the freedoms God gives us takes work. After God leads the Israelites to freedom from Egypt, life does not become instantly easy. They are free from pharaoh’s oppression and from slavery, but life in the Sinai desert is difficult. Food and water are scarce. The daytime heat is oppressive and the nighttime cold chills the bones. Faced with difficulties that will go on for heaven knows how long, the Hebrews start longing for the beds and food back in Egypt. Living into freedom takes work.
“Ricky, When you get a house of your own you can do anything you want!” my Dad told me each time I complained about his way of doing something. While I love the freedom of having my own place, this freedom doesn’t mean doing whatever I want. Living into freedom takes work.
The Work of Freedom
When we place our trust in Jesus and decide to enjoy God’s love, we are Free! But living into freedom always takes work.  
Remember that freedom from sin is all about freedom from anything that damages our relationship with God, others and ourselves. Living into this freedom takes work doesn’t it. In our anger, impatience, and insecurity we say, think and do things that damage relationships. Living into this freedom is all about offering all our thoughts, all out deeds, all our words to Jesus – always. Freedom takes work.  
Living into our freedom from death takes work. We place our trust in Jesus and still we need Jesus to assure us that when we die things will be okay. The person who taught me this better than anyone I know is Ann Bell. Ann chose to discontinue her dialysis and faced death filled with peace. Ann’s ability to live into her freedom assured me that in Jesus Christ we really are free from death.  
Jesus frees us from the need to be perfect. Living into this freedom means working receive Jesus’ forgiveness by accepting our flaws and frailties. Once we accept that we can never be perfect, we are free to enjoy Jesus’ perfect love for us.  
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. In Jesus Christ we are free. Never let anyone or anything convince you otherwise.
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