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Length of Days - Search for Freedom

Monday, April 7, 2014

Chocolate: Slave or Free

"But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness." Romans: 6: 17-18

In 2014, chocolate is harvested by slave labor. Yes, in most of the world, real slaves cut and prepared the chocolate from the cocoa plant. There are more slaves in the world today, than in the plantation south of the pre-Civil War era. And, we can be slaves to chocolate in another way, with a craving for the elixir of the gods. But, is it the gods we worship, or the one true God? These are two points for today:

1. When you are shopping for chocolate treats for Easter baskets, look for the symbol,

"Rainforest Alliance Certified." Chocolate in these packages was harvested by non-slave/free laborers. Watch carefully since not all candy companies have slave-free chocolate in all of their products. I checked very quickly through the candy aisle and found two companies with similar shaped chocolate pieces that had the "Rainforest Alliance Certified" green label on them. Try not to support companies who hold their young workers in slavery in order to meet my desire for chocolate, while gaining huge profits for themselves.

2. Also, from our scripture above, during this blessed Lent season, know that we have been set free from the things that enslave us. This frees us to be willing and eager to turn our lives over to God, the lover and creator of our hearts and souls. Being a "slave of righteousness" is - acting in accord with divine or moral law - free from guilt or sin. What a wonderful freedom to be enslaved to!

Our willingness to be enslaved to Christ is not the same as the unwillingness of being enslaved by others. Let us remember those who are not free to work, to live their own lives and free to choose their own way as we give thanks for all that we have and all whom we love. Let us pray:

"Father God, you knitted me together with the words that you spoke, setting creation into forward motion when life was begun. Holy is your name and the love you used as the energy to set the world spinning. I stand amazed by your glory. May my heart open wide enough for you to reveal your kingdom all around me. May this be the day when I wake up, aware that I have been freed from sin and am able to willingly rest in you. Forgive me for the times I have put out my hand to you and then withdrew it in fear - fear that I would lose too much of me. Today, I give you all of me, to gain all of you. While I praise you for my freedom to receive, I also lift up those around the world who are not free. May my desire for "things" not be the reason for their enslavement. In the name of Jesus, your son and my savior, I pray. Amen"

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."
Copyright 2014 Doris Gaines Rapp

If you are in Louisville, KY the evening of Thursday, April 24, drop into Barnes & Noble Summit, 4110 Summit Plaza Dr. where I will be signing, Escape from the Belfry.


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