“Accepting Christ doesn’t mean giving up your rights. It means gaining freedom in a new way.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – July 4, 2023
Because it’s the 4th of July holiday here in the United States, I’ve been thinking about freedom, and specifically about freedom in Christ.
There are some people who say they don’t want to accept Christ because of what they feel they will have to give up. They don’t want to give up sin because sin is fun. They don’t want to have to do things God’s way because they want to do things their way. What could be exciting or fulfilling about following a bunch of religious rules or a stuffy, mean, and judgmental God?
What these people are missing is an understanding of what it means to experience freedom in Christ.
When someone comes to Jesus and invites Him into their life as Savior and Lord, they aren’t giving up freedom. They aren’t becoming enslaved against their will to rules, regulations, and legalistic laws of man. Instead, they are experiencing true internal freedom for the first time.
Why? Because prior to accepting Christ, we are enslaved to sin because we are blind to sin. But when we come to Christ, the Holy Spirit makes us alive in Him, so we become aware of our sin. For the first time, our spiritual eyes are opened. And, when the Holy Spirit brings our personal sin to our attention, it’s impossible to not see it. And not only can we see it, we don’t want to do what we wanted to do anymore. We want to do things God’s way. We want to ditch the sin and embrace Jesus. The love that Christ pours out in our hearts transforms us when we come to Him.
So, unlike many people think, accepting Christ doesn’t mean giving up one’s rights. It means gaining freedom in a new way because our desires are transformed. We now want to do what’s right because the Holy Spirit changes us. We want our life to change, and we love Jesus too.
I received the Lord when I was in college. After I invited Him into my life, the Holy Spirit began to make me aware of sins I needed to relinquish. What was amazing was that what I wanted to do before I came to Christ was suddenly repulsive to me. I no longer wanted to walk in sin. I wanted to do things Jesus’ way. God’s transformation and sanctification of my heart had begun!
Now that I have been walking with Christ for over 30 years, He is still transforming me by making me aware of my sinful attitudes, habits, or actions. He is still convicting me to change because He loves me. This is still part of the transformation He is doing to make me more like Him. I am so very grateful that His transformation of my heart and mind will continue to happen until I go home to Heaven. I pray I always say yes to Him when He asks me to follow His ways.
The process of sanctification and transformation isn’t always easy. The good news is that when we heed the Holy Spirit’s callings and convictions and say yes to Him and no to sin, we will always experience joyful internal freedom! Such good news!
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1).
Lord, I commit to always say yes to you when you convict me to let go of sin in my life. Help me to allow you to be my Lord in all things. Help me to remember that saying yes to you and no to sin always means that I will experience joyful internal freedom. Amen.
Has the Lord convicted you about a particular sin? Follow Him in obedience in the matter.
Jesus Culture feat. Kim Walker-Smith: Freedom
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