Thursday, April 24, 2014

Free from What?

John 8:31-33,35 (NLT)
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.  So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.”

I’m having a little conversation with myself this morning.  The Scriptures often tell us that through His death, Jesus set us free.  And I ask:  “Free from what?”

I’m just trying to put words to it.  And it’s hard.  Free from what?  My slavery to sin?  I don’t feel particularly enslaved.  My sins don’t seem that awful – a judgmental thought, a bit of gossip, more time on Facebook than with my husband, an encouraging card I failed to mail, a stop sign I coasted through.  Small potatoes.  But those are my (constant) failures now that I’m a follower of Jesus, living in freedom!

The conversation continues: “Well, there were those years when your transgressions were pretty big and pretty real”.  There’s no need to inform the authorities, but inside of me, I carried guilt and shame around like a heavy ball and chain.  As a church lady, as a Bible teacher, as a friend, the secret whispered in my ear “You’re not who you pretend to be.  If only they knew….”  I didn’t feel enslaved to the sin, but I was definitely bound up with unworthiness and doubt.

That is what I am free from and what allows me to live in freedom every day - recognizing that Jesus hung on the cross for my sin (even my little ones), accepting His love and forgiveness and letting go of my guilt.  It helped to reveal myself to God (as if He didn’t already know) and some trusted friends.  A weight lifted and I felt truly known and loved.  I have never felt lighter!  I am extremely grateful that forgiveness is not a one-time event.  I fall short of His excellence every single day, and His grace is new every morning.  Now that feels like freedom!

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