Amos 1:6 Selling Communities

This is what the LORD says: “For three sins of Gaza, even for four, I will not relent. Because she took captive whole communities and sold them to Edom,” Amos 1:6

Amos starts out with the words of God against various towns and nations. Each of these are for capturing cities and selling the people and community to other nations. For each one it is listed as for three to four sins God was willing to not relent and bring on the judgment against them. It was a prophecy of destruction against nations that sin against God.

Even though, as a whole, slavery has been abolished across the world, there are many places that still allow it or have it occur on a very wide spread basis. People are bought and sold into various types of slavery all over the world, even in America. Most people will agree that slavery is wrong and should be done away with.

There is, however, another type of slavery that people are sold into on a regular basis, that most people don’t even recognize as slavery. It is slavery into sinful practice and ways.

Stores and bars populate most towns promoting getting drunk. Movie theaters push movies that promote sex, drugs, and every type of sin known to man as worth seeing and doing. Books are published promoting every type of sin there is as something good for a person. Television promotes sinful lifestyles as being acceptable and good. Musicians sing songs pushing sin. Pornography promotes free sex, immorality and lust.

All of these things are taking whole communities into captivity, selling them into slavery of sin. People are captivated by the sin promoted by others. While most people look at these things a freedom and rights, it is sin. Although the world states that a person has the freedom and right to sin, it is still wrong and there is a price to pay–life.

As a believer, you must not be caught up in these things. You must be careful that you are not one of those promoting sin in any shape, size or fashion.

Take captive your thoughts and focus them on God and His ways. Promote Jesus in this world and be His slave. Allow only God to be your master and not the things of this world. In this way God will not have to bring judgment upon you.

I pray today that you will only be captured by God; that you will only be a slave to Jesus; that you will not be guilty of enslaving others into sin; and that you will be a light of Jesus to this world.

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Psalm 81:6 A Removed Burden

I removed the burden from their shoulders; their hands were set free from the basket. Psalm 81:6

The psalmist, Asaph, looked back on when Israel had been delivered from Egypt. While in Egypt, they had been under the heavy burden of slavery. They were not allowed to make their own decisions or live their lives the way they wanted too. It was a heavy burden to bear living like that, but God had removed that burden in the deliverance.

Although the Israelites had to deal with many different difficulties while enslaved in Egypt, Asaph lists everything as one burden. That one burden was slavery.

Although slavery of human beings by another person is still found in different parts of the world, this is a different type of slavery. Not every person is enslaved to another person against his will, as the Israelites were in Egypt.

There is one burden that every person is enslaved to, unless they have been set free. That burden is sin.

From the time of birth every person is enslaved with the burden of sin. It is a bondage that no person can escape from on his own. Someone else has to come in and break the chains of that bondage.

Many people will try to say that they are not in bondage to anyone or anything. Yet, they are unable to stop doing certain things, whether they are actions, words, or thoughts.

Think about your own life. What are some bad habits that you have in your life? Or what are some sins that you seem to do over and over?

These are the things you are enslaved to. These are the things you are in bondage to and cannot break free from on your own.

Just as God had broken the bondage of slavery off of the shoulders of the Israelites, God can break the bondages of sin off your shoulders.

Jesus is willing to forgive you of your sins, if you allow Him to and you repent. Then allow Him to take that bondage and toss it out. Do not pick up the chains of bondage to sin anymore. Be free. Keep your hands, mind and body free from the slavery of sin. Live for God.

I pray today that you will know the freedom Jesus has for you; that you will seek forgiveness of sins; that God will strengthen you to stay away from sin; and that you will live for God in every way possible in this life.

Leviticus 18:3 Don’t Do As They Do

“You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices.” Leviticus 18:3

God had brought the Israelites out of Egypt after their having been there for four hundred years. Over that time they had been assimilated into the Egyptian culture and beliefs, although they were slaves. They ate their food and lived life the same way with the exception of being slaves. Now that God had pulled them out of Egypt, He did not want them to continue in that lifestyle or go back to that lifestyle.

God was also bringing them into the land of Canaan. This land was also a land where other false gods were worshipped and lifestyles were lived that went against God’s way of doing things. He tells the people not live like the Egyptians or the Canaanites.

Every person who is a believer has come out of their own personal “Egypt”. You were a slave to things that were against God. Depending how old you were at the time you came to Jesus, depends on what you were a slave to. The older you were the more things you were enslaved to.

You are also still in this world as a believer. There are beliefs and cultures around you that as a believer in Jesus you must not take a part of or embrace. Jesus said you are to be in this world, but not a part of this world.

Take an honest look at the practices going on around you. Determine if those practices are what Jesus would have you do or not do. Flee all types of sin. Do not take a part in that sin.

These sins can be physical acts, emotional acts, or thoughts. The world will try to get you to follow their ways, from the local workplace, all the way up to the federal government and the world. Stay separate from the world. Don’t go back to your old ways of living and do not take on the new ways around you.

Live for Jesus today. Do not live for self or the world.

I pray today that God will reveal to you false ways of living; that God will open your eyes to sinful thoughts and actions; that God will strengthen you to live for Jesus; and that God will help you be a light for Jesus in this world.

Genesis 39:3-4 Doing Your Best Work

“When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned.” Genesis 39:3-4

Israel, formally Jacob, had many sons and the youngest was Joseph. He was favored by Israel. His brothers did not like that at all, so they sold him into slavery. Joseph was eventually sold to Potiphar, an Egyptian priest in Egypt. After some time, Potiphar noticed that Joseph was successful at whatever he did and put him in charge of everything in his house. God was with Joseph and had given him great favor.

As a slave, Joseph could have done as little as possible. He could have thought because the Egyptians do not serve or worship God, he would not want to do anything good for them. Yet, he worked hard and did his best to serve those who were his masters.

Although today most of the world has banned slavery, there is another type of slavery going on. It is the slavery of working. When you have a job and go to work, you are a slave to that boss.

You have a choice in how you work and what you do. It is often seen people in the workplace who do the bare minimum. They try to cut corners and cheat the boss as much as they can without getting caught.

As a believer, you are to do everything that you do as though you were working for God. When you are serving God in this way, it does not matter what the job is or who your human boss is. It does not matter how your human boss treats you. God will always be on your side.

When God is on your side, you will prosper. Maybe not financially, but in spirit and truth and favor with others. God can raise you up in the worst of circumstances.

When you work, are you doing your best?

Are you working as though working for God?

Joseph did, as a slave. What can you do for God today?

I pray today that you will accept where God has placed you; that you will work as though working for God; that you will give God all the glory for your work; and that God will give you His favor in all that you do for Him.

2 Peter 2:19 Promised False Freedom

“They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity–for ‘people are slaves to whatever has mastered them’.” 2 Peter 2:19

Peter had just described people of the world. They are people who live in sin and boast about it. As they live in that sin, they also try to get believers to follow their ways.

People of the world are always promising freedom. They want freedom to do whatever they want, when they want and how they want. Rules are made to attempt to bring freedom and protect other people’s freedoms.

However, many of these rules are ones of depravity, promoting sin and slavery rather than true freedom. Whatever or whoever controls you is your master. This goes against the mindset of many people. Most people like to think that they are not a slave to anyone or anything.

Many people say that they have to live a certain way. That they cannot help being the type of person they are, it is just who they are. It may be that they are an alcoholic, or a drug addict, or a gossip, or an angry person, or a liar, or something else. Regardless of what they are, often it is a sinful, selfish way of living. If a person has to live in a sinful way, then he is a slave to that sin.

As a believer, you should be only a slave to Jesus. Do not allow yourself to be mastered by other people or things. The things of this world will lead you on a path of destruction. Although the world promises freedom, it is most often slavery to sin. This type of slavery will bring about destruction and death.

Slavery to Jesus will bring you life and wholeness. God will always guide you in the correct path, the best way possible.

Are you willing to trust God with your entire life? Will you let God be your master?

Or will you go back to the world and allow sin to be your master?

Choose life today and you will have true freedom, not the false freedom that the world offers.

I pray today that you will know the freedom that Jesus offers; that you will trust God with your life; that you will allow yourself to be a slave to God; and that you will allow God to break the chains of slavery to the world in your life.

Ephesians 6:5 For The Slave (Worker)

“Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.” Ephesians 6:5

In America, slavery has been done away with, but around the world there are still places that allow it. Slavery is nearly always looked at as cruel and unjust treatment of a person. Although this was very commonly the case, there were people in America who treated their slaves with great care and love. In the Bible, Joseph was a slave to the Egyptians. He was treated with great respect and love, and this was by a group who did not believe in God.

Today, a common type of “slavery” is in the workplace. People are enslaved to their work. Many people do not really like their work, but must do it in order to provide for their families or needs. In this case the boss is the master and the worker is the slave.

Paul is stating that the slave must obey the master just as if the master was Jesus.

One of the ways described is with sincerity of heart. Many people obey, just to not get in trouble, or just when the master is around. This is not in sincerity. Sincerity is doing the right thing all the time. It is not doing things just to stay out of trouble, but because it is the right thing to do.

How a person works for a master here on this earth, is a good indication of how they serve their master in heaven–God.

If you cannot honestly serve your boss that you can see, how will you serve God who you cannot see?

Whether or not your boss is a Christian has nothing to do with you serving him as though serving Jesus. As long as the boss does not ask you to do something against God, you must do it as though Jesus told you to do it. Do not cut corners or cheat your boss.

Be the good slave to the ones in authority over you here on this earth. This will make you a good slave to Jesus. It will be worth it in the end.

I pray today that God will help you serve those over you; that you will obey your boss as though obeying Jesus; that you will have sincerity in your obedience; and that God will draw many to Jesus through your actions.

Galatians 5:1 Stand Firm And Be Free

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

People around the world love freedom, though in many parts of the world the amount of freedom the people are allowed is very limited. Here in America, the nation was founded on the principle of being free. People wanted to be able to do what they want, when they want.

Looking on the surface it does look like great freedom. A person can work whatever job they desire, live where they want to, and spend their money like they want to. People are also allowed to say what they want, think what they want, and like and dislike things to their own preference.

Yet in the midst of all of this freedom, there abounds great slavery. This slavery is to sin. A very small percentage of people in America and around the world have broken the bondage of slavery to sin. The world does not see the bondage to sin as slavery. It is seen as freedom, freedom to do what they want.

Jesus came to this earth to set people free. He wants people to be able to fully live life in freedom. Who knows better on how to live life than God who has been around for all eternity? He was the One who created this life and the world.

Paul was pointing at that some of the people in the church had been set free from sin, but were turning back to it. They were refusing to live life as God wanted them to live it. Sin is simply disobeying God, not doing what He wants.

You must be willing to stand firm in your life against living in sin. Do not put on the shackles of slavery to sin. Do not allow sin to be a part of your life.

Just as people stand firm against slavery in parts of the world, stand firm against the spiritual slavery of sin. Run from all sin and resist the devil and his temptations.

Jesus has a better life for you. Don’t go back to the life of slavery to sin. Live your life to the fullest.

I pray today that God will break the bonds of slavery in your life; that you will resist the temptations of the devil; that you will turn away from all sin; and that you will live the life Jesus has for you.