Monday, July 28, 2008

Be Free...

Freedom...something we all take to heart, I'm sure. I bet if I surveyed several people, I would get different views on what freedom truly is, probably depending on age and spiritual and life experience. Jason and I were talking about freedom and boundaries this week. We have two dogs, miniature dachsunds, and bless their hearts, they drive us crazy! They need so much attention and just don't get all they need. In Texas, we had a backyard fence, so the dogs could easily go outside and play. Here in Ohio, we do not have fences. Homeowners who have dogs install an invisible fence that will shock the dog if they are too close to the line. Not having this invisible fence in our yard has been challenging with the dogs. We were letting them play on the screened porch, but they must have felt too confined and ate through the screen. We then set up a lead in the backyard so they would have plenty of room to run around, but again, feeling confined, they chewed through the leashes. So, the result for them has been spending more time in their crate. They didn't realize the freedom they had when they had it and because of their pushing the boundaries, they are now more confined than ever.

As Jason and I talked about this observation, I could immediately relate to my life as a sinner. We are all born into sin. Most think the definition of sin is a wrongful act or deed. But, for just a minute, think of sin in this way...sin is a separation from God. Many people who are not Christians tend to view Christianity as a palette of rules and regulations and they tend to not want to have to follow such guidelines. However, those of us who are Christians have learned that what others perceive as rules and regulations actually becomes our act of obedience to the One who gave his very life so we could have eternal life and be with Him; an act of obedience that is a result of our love for our Savior. In Christ, there is freedom; the freedom of hope, the freedom of forgiveness, the freedom of grace, the freedom of love, the freedom of eternal life.

True freedom is not being able to live life as one wishes, but rather, true freedom is found in Jesus Christ, accepting Him as your Lord and Savior and having a relationship with Him. Let's look at this passage from John 8:31-35:

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, 
"If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." 

They answered him, "We are Abraham's descendants 
and have never been slaves of anyone. 
How can you say that we shall be set free?"

Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, 
everyone who sins is a slave to it. 
Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, 
but a son belongs to it forever. 
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."

Do you wish to be set free? If so, what price are you willing to pay to gain this freedom? There is a man who loves you so much that He wanted to give you this freedom and did so by giving of His very life in a very painful, torturous, horrendous death. But the story did not end there! Three days after his burial, He rose from the dead. Friends, this is what He offers us...we, too, can be raised with Him. How? Let's look at John again, this time, John 14:6, Jesus says...

"I am the way and the truth and the life. Noone comes to the Father except through me."

Jesus is the answer. Accept Him as your personal Lord and Savior, begin a relationship with Him today and your life will be changed. Hardships will come, but will not conquer you; you will know a hope that you've not experienced before; and you will find safety in the arms of the most loving Savior. I am still a sinner: my very nature will be to sin. But, I have accepted Christ as my Savior and through Him, I have received forgiveness. Jesus bridges the gap between myself and God; the gap that sin creates.

These words are for you:

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. 
Trust in God; trust also in me. 
In my Father's house are many rooms; 
if it were not so, I would have told you. 
I am going there to prepare a place for you. 
And if I go and prepare a place for you, 
I will come back and take you to be with me 
that you also may be where I am. 
You know the way to the place where I am going."
John 14:1-4 (NIV)

You can have one of those rooms that are being prepared...
I'd love yours to be next to mine!

Is it time to give your life to Christ?

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