Eternal Freedom or Temporary Relief?

The world has many different versions of “freedom” that only lead to slavery. 

Many versions of freedom are only temporary relief from pain.   Other versions of freedom are an escape from the prison of daily life.  People seek relief in vacations, drugs, shopping, alcohol, other people, etc.   We think if we can just get away for a moment, then everything will be fine once we return.   Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth.   This kind of freedom gives less and less with each experience. In order to get what we want out of it, we have to give more and more of ourselves while receivETERNAL-FREEDOM-OR-TEMPORARY-RELIEF-Dont-need-relief-quote-photo-from-unsplashdawidzawilaing less in return.

The freedom that we can have in Jesus is exactly the opposite.

We believe in Him with mustard seed faith and we get everything we’ll ever need in Him.   In Christ we have the ability to have a life we don’t need relief or escape from.  Jesus saves us and truly sets us free.

“So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law,” Galatians 5:1 (NLT)

We only live this way when we know and believe the truth of God’s Word.

-ETERNAL-FREEDOM-OR-TEMPORARY-RELIEF-quote-photo-from-unsplashjamiestreetWe’re programmed to live like the world and the Word teaches us how to live freely. God sent Jesus not only to save us, but to be our perfect example of freedom.

Our Heavenly Father knows that if we follow Jesus’ example and allow our lives to be transformed by His Word, we’ll live as He intended. The truth of Jesus’ life and words are what set us free.  They are also what keep us free.

“If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free,” John 8:31-32 (NASB)

Understanding Value

Have you ever thought about what you value?

All of us know somebody who has spent what seems like an outrageous amount of money on something ridiculous. People buy boats, guns, art, historical pieces, custom made instruments, etc. because those items are of great value to them.  We would never spend what they spend on those things.  But we also don’t cherish and understand those things the way they do.  The worth of the UNDERSTANDING-VALUE-Father-Gave-Quote-photoobject comes from the value placed on it, and its value increases with love and understanding.

Our salvation and freedom was worth so much to our heavenly Father that He gave what was most valuable to Him.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NASB)

God loves us perfectly and understands our value, so He was willing to pay the highest price to save us.

This makes our freedom in Christ worth more than anything we could ever possess.  If we don’t understand that, we won’t value it.

It’s possible to receive salvation by the grace of God and then live as if it isn’t worth much.

That’s why our Father gave us His Holy Spirit and spoke through Paul in Ephesians chapter one:

“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.  I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.” Ephesians 1:17-19a (NASB)

Look at the words in these verses: “the riches of the glory of the inheritance,” and “the surpassing greatness of His power.”  These phrases show that God places the highest of value on our salvation. He gave the greatest thing He could give, Jesus Christ, in order to pay for it.  Now that He’s given it to us as a free gift, He wants us to understand what it means.UNDERSTANDING-VALUE-Quote-photo

The only way we can fully know what it is to be free in Christ is through the revelation of His Word given to us by His Spirit.

Spending time reading, studying and adoring God’s Word is never a waste of time.  Listening to solid, biblical teaching will always take us to a new dimension of faith and relationship with Him.

Understanding will open our eyes to the riches of His glory and the surpassing greatness of His power. Learn to value your freedom and you’ll experience it like never before.

Live a Life of Freedom

Freedom was God’s original intent for mankind.

LIVE-A-LIFE-OF-FREEDOM-CREATED-TO-LIVE-IN-FREEDOMWe were created to live in freedom, experiencing His love and exercising our authority over the earth. God didn’t fashion us to live under the power of sin and condemnation. However, Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden put all of mankind under that power.

God sent Jesus to save us from the authority of sin and an eternity separated from our Father.

“For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.” Romans 6:5-7 (NASB)

Once we are united with Christ we are free from sin and now are carriers of Jesus’ power and dominion.

We can’t lose our salvation or our power, but we can choose to live as slaves of sin. All power, wisdom and love reside in our spirits but can go untouched through our decision to live as slaves.

How do we avoid living as slaves after we’ve been born again? -LIVE-A-LIFE-OF-FREEDOM-WORD-OF-GOD-QUOTE

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2 (NASB)

One of the reasons people choose to live as slaves is they don’t know what to do with their freedom. The Word of God will teach us how to live a free life.

Our lives before salvation are conformed to the world we live in and we bring those mindsets to our new life.  It’s our spirits that are saved and sealed by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13), but our minds are still conformed to the world. The Word of God will reform our minds to think like Jesus, so we can live like Him.

Searching For…

searching-for-photo-of-magnifying-glass-on-bookEveryone is searching.

We are searching for love, acceptance and a myriad of other desires.  This is because everyone is born with a deep, inner longing for a relationship with God.  Sadly, many people don’t realize what the longing is for and try to satisfy it with other things.

We don’t realize that the desire of our heart is for our Father. Last week we learned that when we allow the pain we experienced from our earthly father to shape our view of God, we severely limit our relationship with Him.

Seeing our heavenly Father in the light of our negative experiences instead of the truth of His Word causes us to look for joy in the things of the world. We will never find joy apart from a relationship with our Father.

searching-for-photo-of-street-view-blurredWe are unable to find true, lasting satisfaction in the world because everything in it is only temporary.

Alcohol only numbs our pain for a short time. Drugs can make us forget for a night. The television shows we binge watch on Netflix will eventually come to an end. The distraction only lasts for a short time and we are left with our hearts still searching for something more. Until we find joy in our Father, we will take increasingly larger doses of the world in hopes of finding it there.

“Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever,” (1 John 2:15-17).

We should take note of these verses when they show us that if we love the world, then we do not have the love of the Father.

This does not mean that God does not love us.

searching-for-photo-of-hand-reaching-toward-blurred-windowIt means that we have not yet experienced the fullness and perfection of His love, because if we had, we would no longer need the fleeting pleasures of the world.

We should see this as a great encouragement, though. It’s a promise from God that His love will satisfy. It won’t just last for a moment, or a night, or a week. It will continue on forever. This will answer the cry of our heart. It will completely fill the void in us forever. He is the end to our desperate search for joy and satisfaction.

“Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth,” (Psalm 73:25).

If you’re one of the people who is searching for love and joy, God is waiting to be your Father. He’s not just the God who answers your prayers. He’s the God who is the answer to your prayers.