Freedom

broken-chains-freedom-image-613x315

It is for freedom you have been set free…

I still struggle with some of the things that were part of the old life. When I fail I confess and receive the forgiveness that has been freely given, but many times the remnants like the bad taste left in your mouth after experiencing something unpleasant lingers.

Cheap grace. I first heard this term in connection with Dietrich Bonehoeffer. Cheap grace, Bonhoeffer says, is to hear the gospel preached as follows: “Of course you have sinned, but now everything is forgiven, so you can stay as you are and enjoy the consolations of forgiveness.” The main defect of such a proclamation is that it contains no demand for discipleship. In contrast to cheap grace, costly grace confronts us is a gracious call to follow Jesus. It comes as a word of forgiveness to the broken spirit and the contrite of heart. It is costly because it compels a man to submit to the Yoke of Christ and follow Him.”

As I considered the truth of this proclamation, I could not help but think ” have I been guilty of reducing this precious gift of grace to a safety net as I continue to live my life as I please?”

The truth is grace,and forgiveness although completely necessary are not the objective in the life of any disciple, any follower of Christ. The objective is freedom. Freedom from the old ways, the old life, the old thoughts. Freedom that we begin to enjoy here and now, a taste of what we will enjoy for eternity. Freedom that is mine and yours through the powerful love of Jesus Christ. The following is an excerpt from my daily devotional “Strange Kingdom-Mediatations on the Cross” by Ken Costa. It is my prayer it will encourage you as you refocus on the work and power of the Cross. That you would not settle for cheap grace, but instead powerful amazing Grace that will transform your life

Many of us feel trapped by what the Bible calls strongholds, an unusual word to describe patterns of behaviour and cycles of thought that seem to have us in their grip. We find ourselves obsessed by gaining status or possessions or power; or we feel permanently mean-spirited, insecure, and jealous, unable to rejoice at a friend’s success; or we know that we are addicted to pornography or even to work.

Even as Christians, we can continue to live bound up by these things, behaving as though Christianity is not good news. Are you constantly battling with anxiety, worry, lust, anger, a lack of hope, or despondency? Do these patterns of behaviour make you feel as though you have no control over your life? If you answered yes to one or all of these questions, then you need to come back to the reality of that freedom purchased for you at the cross.

The power of the Spirit flows from the cross, frees us from the chains of sin and death, and unlocks our prison door. The power of the Spirit is unleashed with astonishing force through the apparent folly of the cross. The prayer that rises from my heart is this: may you come to know for the first time or in a new way, in surpassing and abundant measure, the freedom that is yours in the powerful love of Jesus Christ crucified. Amen

Advertisements

About HCliffCraig.com

“Now at last they were beginning chapter One of the great story no one on earth has read: which goes on forever”. I love this line at the end of the Last Battle by C.S. Lewis. Everyone has a story to tell and ultimately we are all part of a greater story that someday will be revealed in full. “ For now, we can only see a dim and blurry picture of things”. ( 1 Corinthians 13:12). My story is not remarkable, although the events I have had the privilege in my life to witness have been. I grew up in the south “the land of cotton” and the old times there were definitely not forgotten. I remember where I was and what I was doing when JFK and Martin Luther King were murdered in Dallas and in Memphis. I remember the Civil Rights movement, a time of great unrest and change. I remember the dawning of the “Age of Aquarius” in the late 1960’s. It was also the dawning of my love for playing music, a love that has stayed with me throughout my life. If my life were chapters in a book one would tell of my precious bride of 20+ years who endured so much and stood beside me through the good and the bad. One would describe the blessings of being a father and a grandfather. One would tell about how despite being “the wretch” the song sings about God was able to change me, and use me to make a difference in others lives, make me a servant in His church, and surround me with friends all because of His goodness. All part of a story that has had many twists and turns. I think of the words Jimmy Buffet wrote in one of my favorite songs "As a dreamer of dreams and a travelin’ man I have chalked up many a mile Read dozens of books about heroes and crooks And I learned much from both of their styles" And so it is true for me. But in all of my travels and all I have read and experienced nothing compares to where I am headed. The place where my story here ends and the story that goes on forever begins! "" I am confident that He who began a good work in you will carry it on until completion until the day He returns". Philippians 1:6 My hope is that as we all run our race that in some small way my words will encourage and speak to you, as your story is being written. And draw you ever closer to the One who loves you. Further up and further in!
This entry was posted in A CLICK A BLESSING TODAY, Christian Teens Blog JF, CHRISTIAN TEENS BLOGS, Christian Teens Blogs - He is my Peace, Christian Teens Blogs - He is my Peace, Light and Refuge, SHARING STRUGGLES, TAPESTRY TREASURES. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s