48: 50 Days Freed

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


29: 50 Days Freed

If there is one man in the Bible who knows what it means to be in bondage and in jail its Joseph. Sold into slavery for just being him, no crime committed, just his jealous brothers who couldn’t contend with the fact that daddy loved their little brother more. Joseph in that moment of slavery like many before him could have broken him. If it did then it would have been the end of his story. Never mentioned in the bible. But it wasn’t, we read of how Joseph acted in spite of his situation.


Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there.

The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favour in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.

Now Joseph was well-built and handsome.

Genesis 39:1-6


Joseph became a valuable resource to his master because he trusted God. We don’t know for sure but we have to assume that Joseph did not hold this turn of events into a chance to curse God. Maybe like Job, he questioned the turn of events, but like Job kept his faith in the one who created him. This would explain why the Lord was with Joseph not because he was the golden child but because Joseph was trusting God with everything. He was trying to live a life that honoured God who had made many promises to his father and his family before him.


In this slavery, we can see that Joseph was free. He may have had to follow the rules of being a slave but he made every effort and decision to live his life pleasing to God and we see how he was rewarded. All too often we try to follow the rules of the world around us to get ahead in our careers and our lives. We become ensnared in these things and we wonder why we sometimes do not get the advancement we want. We can learn a lesson here from Joseph, following the advice of man will only get you so far, but following God and his nature in our work and lives will return blessings.

How are you acting at work? Does your work ethics reflect that you are part of the family of God or just another worker? To be put in the position of leadership in Potiphar’s home Joseph would have gone beyond what the rest of the slaves were doing. He would not have been known for punching in, doing what needed to be done and punching out.  He was noticed because he displayed love in his work, he went above and beyond working hard to be the best worker he could be. Although Joseph was a slave he was free in God allowing him to outshine the other slaves. As believers, we were once slaves to sin, but we are free in Christ. Are you working now as such? Or are you working as if you are not different then the others alongside you? What would happen if we honoured God with our work every day, not treating it as a job but as a way to thank God for providing for us?


Father, today as we are at work I pray that you will give us a new perspective on how we work. Let us see our job as a way to honour you in everything we do there. Like Joseph, we want to let you shine through us in the job so that in the annuls of time it will record that the Lord looked at us with favour and blessed everything we touched. We were once slaves but we are now free, help us to work as free men and woman, so that our lives will reflect you, drawing others to the same freedom. Give us opportunities even today to share your love. Amen