Free to be Free

This morning I received a text from my oldest daughter who is in college down in Minneapolis. The college has prepared an early warning system to contact students if it looks like the election is going to result in riots. She has her things together as a precaution in case she has to leave the city for a time. I cannot even express how I received this news. I am thankful that Angel has a safe place to go, but I am pained by the circumstances our nation is finding herself in.

My children and I read in Judges 1 & 2 today. God brought Israel into the promised land, but they had to drive out the people who were living there before they could live in peace. God told them not to make any covenants with the people there, and to tear down all of their altars (to false gods); but, instead Israel allowed many groups of people to stay and co-habitat with them instead of driving them out. In Judges 2:2, the angel of the Lord said to them, “But you have not obeyed me; what is this you have done?”

I have said this to my kids… “What did you do?”

Then He told them, “Therefore I will not drive them out before you; but they will become as thorns in your sides and their gods will be a snare to you (verse 3.)” And so they wept.

We know how the story ended. We know that over the years Israel was influenced by the pagan ways of their neighbors, and they were led into worship of false gods. In response to their disobedience, God allowed Israel’s enemies to subject them and place yokes upon them, making their lives miserable. When they turned back to God, he heard them and rescued them time and time again.

Israel was free to be free, but they chose their own way and suffered the natural consequences.

You and I are free to be free. Sin results in bondage and suffering for us, separating us from God and dooming us to eternal hell. But God offers us an escape. He sent His perfect son to suffer our consequences. Jesus’s body and his blood satisfied our death penalty, and then he rose again and is alive with his Father in heaven. Jesus is this beautiful, perfect door to God and an eternity in heaven with him. Jesus is the way and the truth and the life we need, and he offers each one of us a key. We can believe him for that, and trust him for it, and Jesus saves us. Or we can choose to disregard His offer, and suffer the consequences like the Israelites did. Either way, we can choose freedom. God is so good.

Americans are free to be free. We have enjoyed a free nation since its inception, though many have fought wars to preserve it. Today America finishes this election. Who will we elect? Who will we make covenant with? Will the majority choose leaders who will continue to safeguard our freedoms? Or will they not? Only God knows. I pray we never find ourselves weeping at our choices and the consequences. I pray we continue to covenant with leaders who honor God.

Tonight our family is joining others in praise to our God. We are going to raise the roof with worship in song, because worship is where it all starts. Our spiritual choices eventually shape our physical circumstances. Sometimes the change is sudden, and other times it takes generations. In worship meetings, I have seen God heal people, and I have seen others begin walking in new spiritual gifts. God is alive, and his promises are true.

You are free to be free. Have you trusted Jesus Christ to be your sacrifice to God for your sin and asked Him to forgive you and save you? You have the key. I’m encouraging you right now to use it. You don’t need a special formula or prayer. Just tell God you’re sorry for your sin, tell Him you believe Jesus died for you, give Him your burdens and your hurts, give Him your hopes and your dreams, and ask Him to use your saved life for His glory. He will bring you into His kingdom, and you will become His child. His Holy Spirit will come to live with you, guide you, teach you, grow Godly character in you, and activate you in His special gifts to help you walk into the good plans He has for you. We are not saved by what we do. We are saved by faith, which is believing God that this is a free gift through Jesus Christ.

Will you elect to be free?

God makes people right with himself through their faith in Jesus Christ. This is true for all who believe in Christ, because all are the same. 23 All people have sinned and are not good enough for God’s glory. 24 People are made right with God by his grace, which is a free gift. They are made right with God by being made free from sin through Jesus Christ. 25 God sent him to die in our place to take away our sins. We receive forgiveness through faith. And all of this is because of the blood of Jesus’ death. This showed that God always does what is right and fair. God was right in the past when he was patient and did not punish people for their sins. 26 And God gave Jesus to show today that God does what is right. God did this so that he could judge rightly and also make right any person who has faith in Jesus.

27 So do we have a reason to brag about ourselves? No! And why not? It is the way of faith that stops all bragging, not the way of following the law. 28 A person is made right with God through faith, not through what he does to follow the law. 29 Is God only the God of the Jews? Is he not also the God of the non-Jews? 30 Of course he is, for there is only one God. He will make Jews right with him by their faith. And he will also make non-Jews right with him through their faith. 31 So do we destroy the law by following the way of faith? No! Faith causes us to be what the law truly wants.”

Romans 3:22-31 ICB Version

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