windy city weekend.

"meet me in chicago
down by the water line
you stepped across the gold coast
stepped into this heart of mine"
-mat kearney "chicago"


freedom + power.

we're going through nehemiah at midtown right now, and this morning's sermon was from nehemiah 5...where nehemiah uses the POWER and POSITION he has from the Lord to do good...to stop oppression of the poor, to love his neighbor.
this theme has been replaying in my heart lately...the opportunity to be a part of God's redemptive story wherever we are.

paul tells us in galatians 5:13-14 "for you were called to FREEDOM, brothers. only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love SERVE one another. for the whole law is fulfilled in one word: you shall LOVE your neighbor as yourself." --> the irony here is that word "serve" means to be a slave, and serve in subjection...so yes, we are FREE...but because of love, because of compassion, it is a joy to be in the position of serving others.

and in reality, in the spiritual sense, we all are poor, brokenhearted, and bound (isaiah 61) until Jesus rescues and frees US.
once we have been freed, by TRUTH (john 8:32), we are to live as people who are free...as servants of God (1 peter 2:16)

what does that look like? well, God has given US freedom (galatians 5:1)...He has given US power (acts 1:8)...in abundance...and we are to use that freedom and power to serve and love others.

america is home to only 8% of the world's population, yet holds 50% of its resources...we DO have the power, we DO have the ability...may the Lord grant us the opportunity to serve our neighbors, not out of guilt, but simply out of love and compassion.