You may have heard the verse found in John 8:36…“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” So what is it all about?
Legend has it that the great Houdini, a master magician, and a great locksmith, once bragged that there wasn’t a jail cell in the world that he couldn’t escape from, provided he could go into the cell dressed in his street clothes and work in complete privacy. A small town in England had built a new jail that they believed to be escape-proof, so they invited Houdini to come and try to break out. Houdini accepted the challenge. They put him in the cell and closed the door. He was left alone. Houdini took off his belt and took from it a tough, flexible steel rod. Then he went to work on the lock. He worked longer than it had ever taken him before, and he still couldn’t get the lock open! As time passed, he was becoming exhausted. He was stumped! Finally, after two solid hours of work, Houdini collapsed from exhaustion. He fell against the door to the cell, and when he did, the door swung open! It had been unlocked all the time!
You probably chuckled at the ending of that story, but I would contend there is a valuable lesson to be found there.
We are all held captive to our sinful nature. Try as we may, by our own power, we can not escape. The good news is that Jesus already opened the door to forgiveness and eternal life through His death in your place.
Maybe you feel like you are “locked up”…and on your own…try as you might, you can not free yourself.
- The bondage of an addiction to drugs, pornography, eating disorder, shopping, or many other things that have control over you.
- Overwhelmed by an unreasonable schedule.
- Trapped by poor choices relationally.
- Isolated and alone…compounded by the Covid world we live in.
- Financially trapped and getting deeper into debt.
- Maybe you feel like a loser and you have made a mess of every area of your life…and your friends hold you prisoner to a low self-esteem?
- Do you sometimes feel like Charlie Brown? Poor Charlie Brown can’t do anything right. Lucy doesn’t help. On one occasion she puts her hands on her hips and says, “You, Charlie Brown, are a foul ball in the line drive of life! You’re the shadow of your own goal posts! You are a miscue! You are three putts on the eighteenth green! You are a seven-ten split in the tenth frame; a love set! You have dropped a rod and a reel in the lake of life! You are a missed free throw, a shanked nine iron and a called third strike! Do you understand? Have I made myself clear?”
We are all prisoners of bad choices, weaknesses, faults…and most of us have “friends” eager to dismiss their own and point ours out (like Lucy). Truth is that this is not the garden of Eden…nor is it heaven! We live in a sin-stained world….trying to break free from those things that seem to hold us as prisoners can be exhausting.
John 16:33… I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
We cannot overcome sin in our life…and it’s collateral damage by our own efforts. There will be trouble, but did you catch the end of that verse? But take heart! I have overcome the world.” When we admit that we are helpless, cry out to the Lord, and turn to God, He will set us free!!!
John 8:34, 36… Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin….So, if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Like Houdini, you may be fighting and struggling to be free from the collateral damage of a sinful world…, when all of the while Jesus has set you free…. when you lean on the door (Jesus), you will find the freedom you desire. I love Galatians 5:1… It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. The Message translation puts it this way… Christ has set us free to live a free life. So, take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you. So…ask the Lord to free you from whatever has imprisoned you. When you confess your sins, He is faithful…He will forgive you…release you! Set you free! Then ask Him to give you His peace.
Philippians 4:6-7 (msg)… Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. So…now that you know the secret to being freed, released, made whole…now what?
George Sweeting, in his book “The No-Guilt Guide for Witnessing,” tells of a man by the name of John Currier who in 1949 was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Later he was transferred and paroled to work on a farm near Nashville, Tennessee.
In 1968, Currier’s sentence was terminated, and a letter bearing the good news was sent to him. But John never saw the letter, nor was he told anything about it. Life on that farm was hard and without promise for the future. Yet John kept doing what he was told even after the farmer for whom he worked had died.
Ten years went by. Then a state parole officer learned about Currier’s plight, found him, and told him that his sentence had been terminated. He was a free man.
Sweeting concluded that story by asking, “Would it matter to you if someone sent you an important message, the most important in your life, and year after year, the urgent message was never delivered?”
God’s Word is that letter to you…you are free!
And then, we who have heard the good news and experienced freedom through Christ are responsible to proclaim it to others still enslaved by sin.
Are we (you) doing all we (you) can to make sure that people get the message? Who can you share the Love of God with?
- Take time to ask God to free you from the wages of your sins. Ask Him to free you from that which has imprisoned you. Read God’s Word to get your marching orders.
- Take time to see who you can share the freedom that the Lord offers to them, and then reach out to them with the power of God’s Word.
Humor for the day… A man went fishing one day. He looked over the side of his boat and saw a snake with a frog in its mouth. Feeling sorry for the frog, he reached down, gently took the frog from the snake, and set the frog free. But then he felt sorry for the snake. He looked around the boat, but he had no food. All he had was a bottle of bourbon. So he opened the bottle and gave the snake a few shots. The snake went off happy, the frog was happy, and the man was happy to have performed such good deeds. He thought everything was great until about ten minutes passed and he heard something knock against the side of the boat. With stunned disbelief, the fisherman looked down and saw the snake was back with two frogs!