Freedom From the Slavery of the Past

We Americans love our freedom. We love to celebrate the anniversary of our country’s freedom with fanfare, fireworks, food, and family…all for freedom.

The origin of this celebration of freedom is, of course, our freedom from the British Empire. But no one really celebrates that particular freedom anymore. Instead, we celebrate freedom of all kinds. On July 4th we celebrate the bigger picture of freedom.

Ultimately, Independence Day is a symbol of freedom from the slavery of the past and freedom to start something new.

The funny thing is that, even though we celebrate freedom, we Americans still mistakenly believe that we are enslaved to our mistakes.  We celebrate the truth of our freedom while also believing the lie that we are slaves to our past.

Here are just a few of the enslaving lies we still believe:

  • Once and addict always an addict
  • I was born this way
  • I’ve always been this way
  • I can’t change

The beauty of Independence Day celebrations is that they remind us that we truly can be free from the slavery of the past and start to live a new life.

Freedom is at the core of Jesus’ message.

In Christ, we have the freedom to break from the past – from our past pain, from our past mistakes, even from our past identities. You don’t have to be the person you once were!

In Christ we are free from the slavery of the past. In Christ we are free to start a new life.

What past identity do you need to break free from?  What past mistake do you need to let go? What past sin do you need to experience forgiveness for?

This Independence Day, don’t just celebrate our country’s freedom; celebrate your own freedom in Christ.

“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.” – Galatians 5:1 (NIV)

Putting Country Before Christ

Country Before Christ

A transcript from an excerpt of the sermon entitled “The Resistance” based on Mark chapter 3, by Andrew Thompson at Grassroots Church on Sunday, October 23, 2016.

[Jesus’ enemies in Mark chapter 3] resisted Jesus because more important than following Jesus was their country.

My country comes first.

They were patriots. They believed in their country. This country, they believe, was actually God’s country…And they believed that it was their responsibility to keep God’s country alive — so that God’s mission would be accomplished in the world.

They put their country before their Christ.

Now, this is important, I think, for us to hear, especially because of the presidential election coming up, because we’ve got a very similar mistaken belief that our country is God’s country.

#Merica

But this country is not the Promised Land. Read more

Jenner and Our Longing to Be Made New

Bruce Jenner Vanity Fair

Once again the internet has become polarized by seemingly “trivial” news in light of the major issues facing our world. (How trivial was the dress-gate scandal that nearly broke the internet?)  However, like the dress, the “Trans-Jenner” story, is such a polarizing issue, not because of our differing views on sexuality but because of our similar longing to be made new.

Hidden in Jenner’s story is our common need for the Gospel.

Read more