Free at Last – Irresistibly Free

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John 8:34-36
34 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. 35 A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.”

This weekend, Pastor Calvin Sweeney told a story about a group of slaves living in Texas who didn’t find out they had been freed until two years after the actual Emancipation Proclamation went into effect. All that time, they had technically been free but didn’t know. They continued to act as slaves—as someone else’s property.

It’s impossible to put ourselves in their situation, but there was a time in my life when I chose to remain a slave to my sin rather than accept the freedom Jesus offers. I abused the freedoms and misused the blessings I received from both my earthly father and my heavenly one. Coming of age in the late 60s and early 70s, my friends and I were busy throwing off the cultural traditions of our stuffy, proper parents. We were anxious to engage the world on our own terms and thought very little of the potential consequences of our self-centeredness.

Fast forward 20+ years and I found myself a slave to “my freedoms,” which I believed entitled me to live as though I was an island unto myself—my actions weren’t hurting anyone. Let’s see … two kids, bankruptcy, two divorces, too many jobs, extramarital relationships, and the alienation of my family.

Gosh, you have to wonder what my idea of hurting was, don’t you? Well, that was the point. I just lived life for myself, but I was not free! I was enslaved to the idol of me. There was freedom to be had—I just didn’t know it! The religion of my childhood was full of rules and commandments—I really didn’t want that! But then, at a very low time, someone told me about developing a relationship with Jesus.

I had a choice: I could continue to be a slave to a very fickle and cruel master (me!), or I could give my heart to Jesus and enter into his family. I realized I needed Jesus to be set free.

Just like the story of those slaves in Texas, my freedom was waiting for me. I just had to accept it and learn to live in the truth of that freedom. I learned the hard way what Pastor Sweeney told us: “Freedom doesn’t come from sin—sin only enslaves us. Nor does freedom come from self—self will only deceive you. Freedom comes from a relationship with the Son of God, Jesus.”

Jesus invites us to be sons and daughters, to be co-heirs to his kingdom. Jesus sets us free to become a permanent part of his family and to receive all the blessings included in that relationship! That, my friend, is the best news ever!

Bottom Line:  Jesus sets us free to belong permanently to his family.

Do you ever feel enslaved to something you wish you could let go of? What do you do about it?

Next Steps:
Join a Group.  It’s a great way to be encouraged in your battle with sin. Confessing to other Christ-followers often opens the door to healing.

Explore Celebrate Recovery, a consistent, biblical approach to dealing with your hurts, habits, and hang-ups.

Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me so much that you sent Jesus to set me free—free to be in your family with all the benefits and blessings of dearly loved children. Help me to honor our family—the church—and to serve it with my best offerings of self, resources, and love. Help me to lovingly celebrate the glorious differences in the way you created each one of us to be our own unique selves.  Thank you for giving me a purpose that only I can fulfill. Thank you for being my good and gracious Father. In the beautiful name of Jesus I pray, amen.

This post was written by Lauri White. Lauri is one of the 25 people that God used to start CedarCreek in the Fall of 1995, and was on staff until 2013. Lauri loves Jesus, and loves helping people, especially women, live out of the truth about who we are in Christ. She and her husband Mike live in Oregon, but now spend winter months in Florida near daughter Kelda and her family.

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1 reply
  1. Karen P.
    Karen P. says:

    The straightforward approach of your writing is refreshing, Lauri! Thank you for sharing your story. You eloquently present this fact: the transforming power of Christ’s blood is where “true” freedom begins! You are a shining example of His power!

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