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He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds Titus 2:14 (NLT)

Freedom. It’s something that every one of us wants to have. It means so many things to so many people. To the child freedom means ice cream for every meal and the absence of fruits and vegetables for every meal.

To the political activist freedom means rules and government involvement to a minimum. Religion defines freedom by a list of rules and dogmas that must be followed in order to, someday, attain freedom. Every war, every political party, every religion has freedom as a basic tenant.

As a human race we’ve never done well with freedom. From the first day, when Adam and Eve set foot in the garden God gave them freedom. “Do anything you want. Anything at all. Just don’t eat from that one single tree.” We failed to handle the complete freedom God gave us in the garden and have been struggling to regain it ever since.

The real tragedy in our quest for freedom is that in Jesus we already have it. God saw that man would never, in his own power, be able to be completely free. That’s why he sent Jesus. Jesus death and resurrection gives us the freedom to be everything we were created to be.

So what keeps you from living in that freedom? Is it addiction? Is it lust for the things you want in your old self, the flesh? Is it the daily reminders sent from the enemy that you are a failure and always will be? It is the exhaustion from trying to please a bunch of outdated religious rules? Is it the fatigue encountered by trying to please others or the futility of placing your value on the size of your bank account or the depth of a human relationship? Is it anger, hate or bitterness from being hurt?

Jesus tells each of us, “You don’t need to struggle anymore. Rest in me. I can take the guilt away. My only rule is to love me and get to know me more. Church won’t do that. Rules, relationship and resources won’t do that. Only faith in me will give you true freedom. His freedom gives you permission to be you.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus. I want to be free. I want to be free of worry, hate, guilt, anger, my desire for things and a whole list of other things that have held me captive. Religion hasn’t done it for me. People have failed me. I’ve failed myself. Empower me by your Spirit to live in the freedom you came to give me. Give me wisdom to grow in relationship to you so that I know how that freedom looks in my life. In your name I pray, Amen.


As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:12

Here’s a math question for you. If a train leaves Philadelphia traveling east at 55 miles per hour how long will it be until it gets there…to the east that is? Don’t spend too much time thinking on that one. The answer is easy. It won’t make it. East just keeps going.

You can go north but eventually you will reach a point where you are going south. You can go south but, again, only for time and then you are going north. We have a north pole and a south pole to designate the furthest possible point we can go in that direction. We don’t have an east and a west pole because they never, ever meet!

That is the word picture the Psalmist wants each of us to have when it comes to our sin. Some of the sin in our lives is the result of intentional acts against others. We sin in the things we say without thinking. We sin by not doing the things we know we should do. We sin by making well thought out choices and by making flippant choices without thinking of how they will affect others, or ourselves.

Sin happens. And with each sin, each wrong choice, each rebellious act we take, there are consequences to our sin. Some of those consequences are physical ones which will affect us our whole lives. Some affect us relationally and can destroy marriages, friendships and careers. But all sins affect us spiritually.

Our Father in Heaven loves us dearly. But much as he’d like to, he can’t have a relationship with us if there is sin in our lives. It drives a wedge between us. That’s why he sent Jesus. Jesus came to remove our sin as far as the east is from the west. But the east and the west can never meet. They are forever the same distance from each other. In the same way our sins and their punishment are removed to an eternal distance by his mercy and grace. We may carry some of the consequences of wrong choices with us, but our punishment has been forever removed!

Fly as far as the wings of your imagination can take you. You can never find the place where a trace of your sin in God’s mind. It’s gone! Since your sin is so far removed you need never fear that it will be brought back to haunt you. You are free!

Don’t let the enemy try to get you to think differently. Don’t let others drag the memory of your sin before you to accuse you. Don’t let your own mind feel defeated because of your past. Live in the freedom of Christ’s eternal forgiveness.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus. I make so many mistakes. It seems like every time I turn around I’m hurting someone by my words or actions or doubting your promises to provide or taking matters into my own hands and making bad situations worse. Thank you for your forgiveness. Thank you that my sin is eternally removed from your mind. You are a great and wonderful Savior. Amen.

 

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