All too often we think of freedom as something we must earn to have. Slaves had to have in many cases have someone fight for their right to be free and even in others, wars and battles were fought to make them free. An innocent man who is wrongly convicted requires someone on the outside fighting for them. We can then understand why mankind has this notion that the freedom that Jesus offers must be earned. Battles must be fought and wrongs made right before freedom can be achieved. Jesus defeated sin and death on the cross so we could experience freedom, there is nothing else we can do, he offers freedom for any who would just ask for it.
“Fear of the LORD is a life-giving fountain; it offers escape from the snares of death.” Proverbs 14:27 NLT
Living without Jesus is an eternal death certificate. There is no other way to escape this sentence then through Jesus. Sure, many people will say there is, but in reality, they are snake oil salesmen who just want to make a quick buck and are in the same situation as their customers. When we add strings to salvation we risk tripping ourselves up and falling flat on our own strength. Anyone who tells you that you need Jesus PLUS_________ is selling you a phoney faith. As the song reminds us ‘Christ is enough for me.’
We need to provide our families, friends, co-workers and strangers with the free gift of life. A way to remove the eternal death sentence that everyone has. A lot of people think it is just too good to be true. That Jesus has strings attached. Well, it will cost you everything that is attached to that death sentence. But the exchange for life is more valuable, they need to see in you what the love of Jesus produces. Love joy peace. Some say that they will have to change who they are as a person, Jesus made you the way you are for a reason, your personality and traits are what makes you who you are. To think that God wants to change that is absurd, he uses each individual talents and traits to reach the world. If we were all the same, it wouldn’t speak well of the creative God we serve.
If you claim to follow Jesus but are bitter, mean and cranky all the time, gossiping, not being trustworthy, do you think that is the life they want to be living? Of course not. They are watching you. Are you displaying Jesus? We need to daily represent the love that is growing inside us, given to us with the forgiveness we received through salvation. If we want to share the mission of freedom to those around us we need to start acting like we are freed. How we react to situations might need to change, forgiveness, mercy and love should flow freely from us. We need to be Jesus.
Father, we need to love others like you love them. Help us to be more like you. Let out old ways that may discourage others from following you be set aside and replaced. We need to be instrumental in helping others come to know you. Daily. Let our lives reflect your life-giving fountain. Use me to show others the freedom in you. Amen