Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Our Freedom is His Reward!

Our freedom is His reward!  (By Alfred Turley)

Do we realize that all Jesus is trying to do is set us free?  Isn’t that a crazy thing…  We see religion and following Jesus so often as a set of rules and restraints and things I have to give up.  But it’s just the opposite.  Jesus died to set us free from the things that destroy us.  And He should know…  He made us!

In Galatians Paul says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”  (Galatians 5:1)

Does that occur to us when we look at God, and come to church and open our Bibles and pray?  Does the thought that He literally suffered and died to maximize my freedom and my joy hit us?  I don’t think it does… not enough at least.

Too often we see walking with God as another “have to” and another responsibility to add to our ever growing list of obligations that we take up as hard-working, productive adults. 

But nothing could be further from the truth!

Listen to what Jesus says about His own walk, and what it looks like:

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30)

Light & easy burden.  Gentle and humble in heart.  I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty nice!

You see, freedom in Christ is freedom from the war within us, the war of self-centeredness that separates us from our Heavenly Father.  Freedom in Christ is the child-like posture that enables us to walk as sons and daughters of the King, with all of the rights and privileges of the family of God!

This is why Jesus came!

When I am free:
I know that I am loved, and that everything I will ever need will be provided by the One who loves me.  (Matthew 6:33)

I know that I have purpose, because He gives me one, and if I seek Him and put my trust in Him, He will always lead me on the path of meaning and purpose and fulfillment. (John 15:8)

I know that I have hope, because I am not alone, I have Him with me all the time and that He promises that He is working all things out for my good.  (Romans 8:28)

I can love others and give of myself, because I don’t have to fight for my share or my rights, because He promises to provide for me and take care of my needs. (Luke 6:38)

I can live each day with peace and joy, because I don’t have to have all the answers.  All I need to do is “trust and obey” and He has the future taken care of for me.

Our freedom is His joy!  It’s the reward of His labor!

Yes, freedom is something we have to put effort toward, and fight for.  The greatest fight is within ourselves.  But the fight is worth it, and it produces sweet freedom and a lighter and lighter burden within us.  And the fight is a beautiful act of gratitude and worship to the one who paid such a terrible price for our freedom!

As we walk out each day, let’s remember that Jesus desire for us is freedom to be who we were created to be, full of joy and peace and hope. 

Let’s worship Him today by walking free!


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