For October 4, 2020
The word freedom conjures ideas of unlimited activity without external hindrance or restraint. Civic or temporal freedom yields some pleasure for a season, but it is never lasting or redemptive.
The Bible presents a level of eternal, redemptive freedom is available to us through Christ. In John 8:34-36 (NLT), the Lord conveys a message of this far greater freedom,
Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
Here, Jesus implies that a sinful lifestyle discloses our true master. Galatians 5:19-21 offers a list of assignments our “master” assigns us including sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, and wild parties.
Our pride separates us from God, causing us to embrace the notion we have adequate righteousness without Him. Under it’s insidious enfluence, we are brazen enough to chide the Lord, “Who are you to question my righteousness? Don’t you know who I am, and what I’ve done?”
When citing from Proverbs 3:34, James observes that God “resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). Thus, we cannot experience true freedom when our hearts are full of pride and self-righteousness. Such tainted hearts crave the things that offend God and harm people.
But, when we surrender our lives to Christ completely, the Holy Spirit changes us spiritually so that our desires become Christ-centered due to our reformatted governing disposition. Thus, the Lord Jesus Christ frees us from living a life of sin and pleasing the self, and He gives us the unlimited freedom to live out a life that is fulfilling and abundant.
No longer in bondage, fear, guilt, and shame, we are free to choose a wholesome, Godly lifestyle. Peace of mind; hearts filled with joy; living purposeful and fulfilled lives; sharing and experiencing love from people who love and care for us; sharing time with other Christians, and using our spiritual gifts to serve our church and community.
Optimal living is ours as the salt of the earth and the light of the world, just as Jesus predicts,
You are the salt of the earth…You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your Heavenly Father (Matthew 5:13-16 NLT).
In Christ, we have the freedom to go anywhere and do anything that honors the Lord and benefits others and ourselves. We are free to have fun, play, work, study, serve, give, laugh, cry, and be truly transparent and authentic in every way imaginable. (For in Him, we can be free from drug addiction, sexual addiction, greed, guilt, shame, and other forms of compulsive addictive behavior that tragically binds so many in our world today.)
More importantly, we are free from worrying about what we did (or did not do) in the past, because the blood of Christ covers it all. We are forgiven, and He provides us with the comfort we need to overcome all things, just as He did (John 16:33).
Jesus Christ can free you and provide you with the peace, love, and joy your heart craves. Won’t you trust him today?
What a Wonderful Savior!