May 14, 2018

Who's Your Master?

Romans 6:22

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22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.

In Context:

17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Who's Your Master?

Bio | Rachel Crow

I have been married to Sean for six years and have three sons (ages 4, 2, and brand new)! My daytime is spent as a stay-at-home mom ministering to our kids, while my evenings are filled with binge-watching Worst Cooks of America or reading Harry Potter with my hubby. I can also be found every Monday night serving at Shelter, the women's sexual abuse recovery ministry at Watermark.

Central Truth

Being a slave to your sin can feel good for a little while, but being a slave of God actually means we can have freedom!

Devotional | Romans 6:22

As a victim of childhood sexual abuse, I believed for a long time that I would always be chained to the effects of someone else's sins. I also let their sins be an excuse for my own sinful choices.

I was bound up...

As a victim of childhood sexual abuse, I believed for a long time that I would always be chained to the effects of someone else's sins. I also let their sins be an excuse for my own sinful choices.

I was bound up so tightly by my sinful anger that I truly understand what it is to be a slave to sin. Living a life rooted in sin can sometimes feel good. For me, I felt powerful in my anger. But the repercussions of damaged relationships and sometimes even property made me feel depressed and ashamed.

Sin can make us feel pleasure and happiness momentarily, even for an extended moment, but it ultimately results in loneliness, depression, and broken relationships. I know I've lost a few friends because of my sin. I've even wounded the heart of my spouse. But freedom from that sin leads to sanctification. The one who holds the key to that freedom? Christ! 

Therefore, when we are slaves to God, serving Him with the same gusto with which we served our sins, we will be used for our intended purpose or "sanctified," and we can be free. And the BEST reward for believing in and serving a loving God? Eternal life! That's life without mourning or pain! (Revelation 21:4) Sounds good to me.

Living for Him—being bound to Him—pulls me out of shame and allows me to experience joy. When I use my story to share the hope for healing in Christ with other women who have been sexually abused, I find happiness that lingers more than just a moment. When I allow the Holy Spirit to calm my heart in the midst of angry feelings, I experience relief, and my relationships (especially with my husband) thrive. That is exactly why serving a loving Master is much more satisfying than serving the sin-master that drains you of your life.

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Discussion Questions

1. Have you ever let someone else's sins hold you back from knowing the fullness of God? If so, what did your life look like?
2. Sin can, and often does, bring us momentary pleasure. What is the sin that has had the tightest grip on you, and how did it bring you pleasure? How did it bring you pain?

3. Have you found the key to the chains of sin that hold you in bondage? If yes, how does your life look differently since being freed? If no, how can you find freedom in Christ and who can help you on that journey to freedom?

15 Comments available

John Hill 8 months ago

Thank you for your devo and sharing the painful abuse you endured as a child. I am sorry you had to go through that. My wife was sexually abused as a child and it saddens me that we do not do a better job as a society of protecting the innocence of our children. Clearly, there is only one way to overcome the sin and evil in our lives: John 14:6

If you have not read the book Shame Off You by Alan Wright, I recommend it.

Rachel Crow 8 months ago
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Jennifer, Thank you for your kind words!

Jennifer Kling 8 months ago

Loved seeing you on here today, and your devo did not disappoint. No surprise there. As you know, I let someone else’s sins keep me in perpetual fear, anger, insecurity, and anxiety for years. Grateful that I was able to serve with you and learn from you. You are wise beyond your years. Miss you!

Rachel Crow 8 months ago

Jim, Thank you for your encouraging words!

Jim Wimberley 8 months ago

Thanks for sharing your story Rachel and the hope and healing and freedom that comes from knowing and following Jesus Christ. Grateful for the way you love, serve and show and share Truth with the women of Shelter.

“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1

Julie Norine 8 months ago

Rachel thank you for this encouragement! I love the confession that sin does feel good for a moment and I too feel empowered by my anger - however it ultimately will lead to destroyed relationships with those we love and most importantly with God. Thank you for pointing me to the only One who can give me life!

Rachel Crow 8 months ago
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Lindsey, That’s a great way to put it “through righteousness we can have reconciliation”

Rachel Crow 8 months ago
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Hugh, I love that quote from Buechner. And you’re right we submit to sin because we know it too well. Luckily, we have a God who knows us much greater!

Hope Harris 8 months ago

Thanks for the devo Rachel and sharing your story freely with others.

I like how the voice states this verse: “But now that you have been emancipated from the death grip of sin and are God’s slave, you have a different sort of life, a growing holiness. The outcome of that life is eternal life.”

I have a radically different life in Christ than I would have ever imagined in the 49 years prior to knowing Him. Even down to gratitude for His provision of new to me furnishings for my new apartment. God takes good care of me. More than that I have meaningful life free from the void I once had.

greg jones 8 months ago

This! A great testimony to how our past, sometimes even a good past, leaves us with blind spots in relationships. You are not meeting my expectation of you needs to be expressed in loving relationships. When it is the only expression of love in the relationship sin has broken something. That! Is an easy place to find myself in when I’m right and another is wrong. Thank you for telling your story.

Michael Scaman 8 months ago

One way a person is set free is they get better pleasures and better treasures.

Hebrews 12:14

Sarah Crotty 8 months ago

Rachel, so good; you point my heart to the One who sets free!

Lindsey Driscoll 8 months ago

Rachel, thank you for sharing what sin looks like in your life and how you are making yourself a slave to righteousness. Q2 - I’ve noticed lately anger with my coworkers brings that momentary pleasure of pride thinking that I’m angry because I’m right. The moment quickly surpasses as I am overcome with shame from my anger. Thanks be to God who teaches us to be slaveof righteousness through reconciliation; first with him then with others.

Hugh Stephenson 8 months ago

GM Rachel. Well done.

Sin master v loving Master. Great contrast.

Why would I ever choose a sin master? Familiar pattern(s)? Feels good, albeit short term? It is very clear to me that the worldly pleasures of gluttony, lust & sloth have a draw on me to which I give way too much power. Even fear & anxiety draw me like cheese into Satan’s mouse trap of the lie of control.

Q1 - Anger at how I have ben wronged holds me back from God’s goodness. I am the “skeleton at the feast” - (Buechner)

Q2- In terms of physical sins, gluttony is probably has the greatest pull on me. The pleasure of the taste is really tempting. The pain is knowing I surrendered to the wrong master. Again.

Q3 - The key to the chains - knowing the goodness and kindness of God. Period. (Luke 22:42)

Amy Merritt 8 months ago

There is nothing that satisfies like my intimate relationship with Christ. So grateful for truth and freedom that breaks those chains of other people’s sin and the bondage that they have held over me. Honored to serve alongside you.

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