Freedom that comes from one’s self isn’t true freedom. Selfish or sinful freedom only brings decay and deceit. True freedom comes from Jesus—he chose to free us to be part of his family. Think about that for a moment! God chose us, and Jesus gave his life so that we could be free.
You and I were chosen!
What a blessing to be invited into a family of unearned blessings. We get the benefits—but it comes with some responsibilities too, as others are blessed by our contributions. Family isn’t what you get, it’s what you give.
13 For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, 14 who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.
When my husband and I first started dating, I was invited to his sister’s home for Thanksgiving dinner with the whole family. I was nervous because I had never met them, and John was nervous because they’d never met me.
We arrived, we ate, and we left. The whole visit took 45 minutes! When we got to the car, I couldn‘t help but laugh! “That was the fastest dinner I’ve ever eaten!” I said.
1 John 4:11
Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.
Turns out, John didn’t want them telling me stories about him, so we left before they could! We’ve been married for over 10 years now, and I’ve certainly heard some stories, but we still laugh and tease about that dinner!
I’m reminded of Pastor Sweeney’s salad analogy from last weekend. I love our family gatherings because we all bring something a little different to the table. There is a mixture of flavors—some are cheesy, others sweet, some bitter, hard, soft, and so on. Separately, we’re just a list of ingredients in the salad, but together, we create a taste of love, kindness, family, and home.
The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
John and I have had the joy and opportunity to share our faith. Our grandsons have come to church with us. My father-in-law, at 81 years old, was baptized this past year! My daughter and her children’s father came with us to the couples’ night.
I think the perfect salad recipe is: Lettuce [Let Us].
- Gather—be present with one another
- Encourage—or bring courage to one another
- Motivate—move others into action
- Hope—without wavering
Do you believe that Jesus died to free you from the bondage of self?
Are you able to speak freely about the faith you have in Jesus? Why or why not?
Join a Group and start practicing conversations about faith, freedom, and family. Make a plan and take action to gather, encourage, motivate, and hope without wavering.
Father, I am so blessed to be chosen by you. Help me to inhale more of you and exhale more of myself with each breath of my being. Let me be so filled with your spirit that it spills over. Give me the courage and strength to bring your flavor into my gatherings. Gently remind me to be a blessing, as I myself have been blessed. In Jesus’ name, amen.
This post was written by Julie Estep, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut, who is grateful for the opportunity to reflect, write, and share what God is doing in her life. She’s glad you came today!
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