Friday, January 15, 2010

Free, Indeed

"To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

33They answered him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?"

34Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." John 8:31-36

Jesus sets us free from a life of sin. Just like that, all we have to do is believe, and we no longer have to be a slave to sin. I think so many people forget that- or they miss it completely. For too long, we've been in church services where we are told that it's okay to do wrong and to sin- we can always come back to the cross and be forgiven. And while that's true- God doesn't withhold forgiveness- it just doesn't have to be that way! It IS possible to live without sin. It IS a fact that when Jesus died, He redeemed us from our sinful nature- if we only choose to accept it.

Therein lies the problem- choosing to accept it. Do we choose righteousness and holiness and say yes, Lord, I choose to live a life without sin? Or do we choose the path of less resistance? Choosing to live righteous is tough stuff- and I certainly am far from perfect, but I happen to have the perfect example of choosing to live righteous.

Let's talk for a moment about the lying tongue. Let's talk about telling lies- it's something that even a young child learns to deal with, as they lie about breaking something or not doing homework, or things like that. How about simply embellishing the truth, which while there may be good intentions there, when you scrape down to the very core of what you're saying- you're actually lying.

"He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies." John 8:44

Satan is the father of all lies. So when I make the choice to tell a lie- whether it be with good intentions or bad intentions- I'm actually listening to the devil. Jesus never told a lie, and spoke straight up about lying being from the devil. Living without lying can be very tough indeed! What do you say when someone asks you to do something you really don't care to do? Sometimes we make up excuses- well, we might get together with so-and-so, a child hasn't been feeling the best and so on, but when we decide to live righteously, that lying tongue has to go. Which means the truth needs to be on our lips at all times. Or in some case, the truth needs to come out of our fingers into our e-mail or Facebook or text messages.

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14

"Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6

Truth is Jesus. So if we are going to put on the robe of righteousness and try to live more like Him- we need to cut off the lying tongue completely- for every reason. As a mom, that can be difficult because the last thing I want is for my kids to repeat something to someone I don't want to hear. There's a popular TV show that I choose to not let the kids watch. I've watched it with them, and the content is not good for a Christian kid, in my opinion. But I don't tell them I don't want them watching it because it could lead them down a dark path I don't want them going. Instead I simply tell them I just don't like the show and would rather they didn't watch it. That way, when the subject comes up in conversation with other kids, and they hear the other kids asking or talking about the show, MY kids won't jump in and say something crazy like "my mom says that show is from the devil".

But the whole point here is the fact that Jesus has set us free from a life of sin- we just need to accept it! And then we need to confidently walk forward as a child of God. Once we have accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior, sin has lost its hold on us. We don't have to be swayed by a sinful nature, because our nature has been redeemed and washed in the precious blood of the lamb. We are free! My husband likes to say that so many churches today are in the business of sin management. Well, I say that it's time for the church to embrace the idea of sin banishment! Sin has no place in the life of a follower of Jesus! Sin has no hold on me and has no part in my life. I have been set free from a life of sin, and I choose the way, the truth and the life. He is the only way.

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