As we near the end of this 50 Days Freed journey you may have noticed that the last few posts have been aimed at freedom from sin. Each one with a call to repent and to accept the relationship that God desires to have with you. This is no accident. If you have been reading daily and do not have this connection with God, ask yourself why you keep coming back? It is probably not because of my amazing writing skills but a desire to meet with Jesus.
Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty, is divided between God and the world.
Here is James it is laid out quite simply what must be done to be free from the prison of sin. Everyone is born in this prison, Jesus broke the door and made a way for everyone to walk out of this prison, yet in our stubbornness, we refuse to accept his help. What a promise written here, ‘come close to God and he will come close to you’. What is clear is that it doesn’t put a list of things you must do first. It does not read, get your things in order and then God will come close to you. No, come as you are, stains, rips, brokenness and shame. Just like the Father watching for his son who had abandoned him, he saw him a far way off, ran to him and embraced him as he was. That seems like an okay response, but think about where the son just came from; he had been working with the pigs sitting in their pens, and he had just made a very long journey to return home. He would not have smelled very clean, he most likely didn’t stop to freshen up as he had no money left. But his Father embraced him as he was.
The second part of this verse is for those who have accepted Jesus as their saviour yet feel they can be living life in sin with no consequences. We as believers are called to separate ourselves from our old sinful ways. We cannot serve two masters. Washing our hands is symbolic of when Jesus washed the feet of the disciples. Peter in the moment asked Jesus to wash his whole body, yet Jesus told him he only needs to clean the dirty part. When we sin, we need to remove the dirt from our lives, clean the area where sin has invaded so that it does not infect the whole body. Some believe that once you have accepted Jesus you can walk in sin and it does not matter as Jesus has forgiven all our sins past, present and future, so we now have a free pass. This lie from the enemy is there to divide us, again you cannot serve God and the world. Make your choice.
Sin is a prison we need to be freed from. Inside the prison of sin separates us from God and leads to a death sentence separated from God. Do not despair, there is hope, Jesus came and died so you can be free and have that death sentence removed. Not only is it removed but replaced with a hope of eternal life living with the creator. The choice is yours, are you happy in your prison of sin, disguised as life or are you ready to experience a relationship with the one who created you?
Father, today there is someone reading this that needs to experience you. They are tired of living life in sin and the bondage it has on them. Show them that there is life in you. Use your believers to reach out and share the love of Jesus with them. Help them to understand what he has done so they can live. Help us as believers to be outgoing witnesses of your love. Opening our mouths to tell others about you. We want to be effective in helping free others. Amen