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Our Biblical history is fraught with examples of how the free will of the people was a gift. God's people were courted by God who claimed, "I will be your God and you will be my people." God claims us in a powerful way in the midst of our free will. But the scriptures show that even when Moses went to the mountain to receive the law of God, the people built idols for worship!
We can do whatever we want to do. God made it that way. We come into an awareness that we can move around through this life doing all that we want to do. But it doesn't take long for us to come to understand that our actions, the use of our free will, have consequences.
Leading a sedentary life leads to a lack of energy. Not saving means that when we have an emergency we have no money to get through a crisis. Ignoring a lump on our bodies may lead to a deathly consequence.
But as people of faith, we believe that investing in loving others is a wise use of resources. Using our free will, God-given, to love others leads to a fruitful life. We believe that our free will must be used to help build the Kingdom of God and promote the peace of God through all the earth, through all the ages. After all, our free will is challenged to be given over to the prayer Jesus taught us to pray when saying, "Thy will be done."
I have a sign in my study that guides me and reminds me of the truth: "The will of God will not lead you where the grace of God cannot keep you." May our free will lead to loving all in God's name!
Pastor Stephen Hundley is the interim pastor at Valencia United Methodist Church. 255-1301