Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

Throughout history people have given their lives for freedom. Those who have been in prison or have been prisoners of war will tell you that the worst part of imprisonment was having your freedom ripped from you. Being behind bars can be demeaning, lonely and extremely painful physically as well as emotionally, but those bars are not nearly as harsh as the bars each of us are behind on a daily basis.

For every person behind the physical bars of prison there are thousands who we see on the street that are imprisoned by invisible bars, sometimes of their own choosing. Bars of anger over past hurts and abuse. Bars of the past that refuse to let us see the outside world of second chances and new beginnings. Bars of fear over the future and death. Bars of resentment towards God and others who have hurt us. Bars of want and desire driven by lustful passion for things we hope will satisfy (but rarely do). Bars that keep us from forgiving ourselves or others for past decisions. Bars of religious tradition and dogma the hinder the Holy Spirit from working freely in your life.

As a Christ-follower you don’t need to be in prison any longer. Many have given their lives to be free. Jesus already died for your freedom. Choose to follow Him. Talk to Him about the prison you are in. Be honest about how you feel about God, yourself and others. Learn from Him through His word and others who have chosen to be free in Him.

Jesus came to remove the anger, to remove the hate and disappointment, to calm your fears and fill the void of loneliness and despair in your lives. Religion won’t do that. New relationships won’t last. Having all the newest toys and gadgets can’t make you happy. Only a life sold out to following Jesus can. Many will tell you religion is too restrictive. Jesus isn’t religion. Jesus is relationship. Full, vibrant, free relationship built on love, forgiveness and second chances.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus. You know better than I the prison walls I’ve built for myself. Walls of anger and guilt and despair and loneliness. I desperately seek freedom from things in life that seem to make my prison walls thicker and stronger. You say you came to grant me freedom. I ask that you would show me this freedom today. Help me to grow in relationship with you so that I can be free as you promised. Amen.