No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
(John 10:18 ESV)
FREE WILL – The Fruit of the Spirit Is Love
I was reading this verse the other day and what struck me was the reality of free will found in it. Jesus was fully man and fully God. As a man, he chose to lay down his life. Oh, what love! As men and women, we have this same choice.
In fact, every day we are bombarded with choices that will affect us and others. The beauty is that because of Jesus’ flawless record of choosing God’s will over His own in every area, we have been set free to choose well. The daily choice, that will positively affect all the others, is to choose to lay our lives down for Jesus. He is Lord.
Making this choice doesn’t promise a smooth, perfect existence without hiccups and hardships. On the contrary, it is difficult and seems impossible at times, but each time we choose this narrow path the distance between our will and His lessens. His abundant love and Spirit compel us to move forward in righteousness. It is here, in this place of submission and relationship, that our will is released to be genuinely free.
When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.
(Romans 6:20-22 NIV)
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.
(Romans 12:1 NLT)
“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for things that I have heard from My Father I have made know to you.
(John 15:12-1 5 NASB)