Devotional thoughts on Romans 5:1-11
By Mike Berry
I like boundaries. Boundaries tell us where our limitations are. I wouldn’t consider myself a rule follower, but I am boundary follower. I have been since I was a little boy. Even when there are no stated boundaries, I’ll make up my own. At times, it’s a little overkill, I admit, but it’s just the way I’m wired. I even let this spill into my parenting, from time to time, to which my kids roll their eyes and shake their heads.
Boundaries, as far as I’m concerned, help me keep living free. Having to pay a $150 speeding ticket because I crossed a boundary and sped takes away my freedom to do what I want with my money. Getting reprimanded for chronically showing up late for work takes away my freedom to enjoy my job.
I’ve never regarded the Ten Commandments or the other 600 some laws the Lord gave the Israelites, to be rules. I think they are one big guide, or boundary, to keep living in the freedom they received when they were led out of Egypt.
I’ve often heard people who were not Christ followers talk as though the Bible is a set of do’s and don’ts, restrictions, and rules. I disagree. I think the Bible shows us how to keep living free by presenting clear boundaries for our lives. For instance, Paul wrote in Romans 6:12, “Do not let sin control the way you live” (New Living Translation). Why? Well he gives us the answer two verses later in verse 14: “Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace” (NLT).
Choosing to live a life not controlled by sin us gives us maximum freedom. Living within the boundaries of God’s grace raises us from death to life. This doesn’t mean we’re perfect. We still mess up. But it’s what we do when we mess up that makes the difference. Should we keep sinning? Nope. Should we seek God even more when we mess up? Absolutely.
Mike Berry is an author, public speaker, adoptive father, and former foster parent. He travels the country sharing hope with hurting parents. He and his wife, Kristin, created the blog confessionsofanadoptiveparent.com.