Monday, August 06, 2012

Jesus Brings Freedom

"Whatever else Jesus came to do, one thing is clear—He came to make you free." ~ Erwin McManus, Uprising, p. 11

We are meant to be free! It is little wond that we, as Americans, hold the ideas of freedom, liberty, and democracy in such high regard for they reflect one of the core cravings of the heart: to be free!  While these things can provide a glimpse of the life God created us to live they aren't the main goal.  Political freedom and personal liberty can, and will, become tyrants without Jesus.

One of the realities of sin is that it is a free choice which enslaves us.  We often choose the chains that bind us and the bars which imprison us.  The chains and bars take the form of our unbreakable addictions, our toxic relationships, our heart stopping fears, and our time consuming passions (e.g. politics and sports).  These types of things can control our lives and prevent us from living the type of life God created us to live.

Freedom from these things does not come from our will power and self control.  We certainly can try breaking free from the bonds that hold us, but ultimately we will fail.  We either discover we are not strong enough to break free or we end up inviting another tyrant into our lives.  As hard as it is to admit, we cannot find freedom on our own.

The promise God gives us in Scripture is that in Jesus we are made free.

Jesus said to the people who believed in him, "You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." 
 "But we are descendants of Abraham," they said. "We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, 'You will be set free'?" 
 Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free (John 8:31-36; NLT).

The truth will set us free! For the truth do its work in our lives we have to know, live, and remain faithful to the teachings of Jesus.  This is more than just obedience, which can devolve into legalism (which is another form of slavery).  It requires surrender, humility, and grace.  We need to accept the freedom Christ gives to really experience it our lives.

My encouragement to you today is learn the teachings of Jesus.  That is where freedom begins.  As we abide in his teachings then our lives begin to be transformed.  What a wonderful thought!  Since Jesus set us free we can live in freedom.

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