Thoughts for Today:The word "freely" from our passage today is from the Greek word: "dorean", which can also be translated: "without a cause" (Strong's Greek Dictionary). Most of you know I love movies, so it shouldn't come as any surprise this phrase would lead me to thinking about the 1955 movie "Rebel Without a Cause" -- the title implying its main character, Jim Stark (played by James Dean) is rebelling without reason. However, as the movie progresses we find out Jim (Dean) has reasons for his behavior. For example: being the new kid in town; dealing with bullies while trying to make friends; and not to mention a dysfunctional family life. Parents would say, "Those aren't reasons -- it's a part of growing up -- life won't always be perfect." Teenagers on the other hand identified with the characters in the movie and said, "See I'm not the only one who feels alienated -- it's 'cool' to rebel." As a result, many believe this film led to much of the rebellion which followed in the 60's and 70's.
As unique as each generation might like to think they are -- I doubt God would agree -- He has regularly seen man rebel since the Garden of Eden. So why should the "Boomer Generation" consider itself special or particularly misunderstood? Rather what is unique and extraordinary is that God justifies us "freely" no matter how great our rebellion or sinfulness. In other words, God has provided His righteousness (Jesus Christ), who justifies all who believe by His Grace -- freely and without cause. There is nothing we must do other than to accept His gift of righteousness.
Questions to Ponder:Too often a new generation feels it isn't "understood" -- which leads to various forms of rebellion against the status quo. The thing we don't understand is how much we all are alike -- we think our times are different, yet really it's all the same problem: sin. What are you rebelling against? Will you accept God's offer of forgiveness and trust Jesus?