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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Grin and Grow with Kathy 07/23/15

Let Freedom Ring!

church-bells

STORY: CRY UNCLE

All of us have a favorite uncle. The one who lived just a block away was my favorite, probably because he was in my life the most. Uncle Bill. Why did I love him? He made me feel special. He taught me things that my dad didn’t take time to teach me. His funny jokes made me laugh. I loved to climb up into his lap and whisper in his ear to ask if I could eat a snack cake from his work lunch stash. But as a teen, I became aware that Uncle Bill had problems. He was an alcoholic. And I began to see his abusive side. But that didn’t stop me from loving him. How I prayed for him! Those prayers were answered, as he finally overcame his drinking problem and lived a one-day-at-a-time sober life. But just a few years later, another need caused me to pray. Throat cancer stole his voice box. His jokes had to be told differently, as he learned how to talk with an artificial voice device. But he still made me grin. And I still prayed, until the day he died. 

We have another uncle. Uncle Sam. And although we all have fond memories of our country, we also know the country is tarnished by sin. Many are lost and can’t find their way in life. They need a leader; they need a Savior. Let’s never stop loving our country. And never stop praying that our world will have a renewal of biblical values. This freedom month is a good time to remember where we have come from, but pray for where we are going as a country.

STUDY: WHAT FREEDOM BRINGS

Freedom Brings Forgiveness

He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. Ephesians 1:7

  • What two attributes of God caused Him to want to purchase our freedom?
  • What was the price for our freedom?
  • What did this freedom lead to?
  • It’s reassuring to know all of this resulted from God’s riches. We never need to doubt He is able to free us. He has enough kindness and grace to free and forgive us from whatever holds us back.

Freedom Brings Joy

Father to the fatherless, defender of widows—this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy. Psalm 68:5-6a

  • Give two names for God’s roles in the life of the fatherless and widows.
  • How is God’s dwelling place described?
  • What does God do for those who feel alone?
  • What two acts does God perform for prisoners?
  • Who are the fatherless, the widows, the lonely, the prisoners? Anyone without Christ active and alive in his or her life is separated from the One who can make everyone feel like they belong. We don’t have to be behind literal bars to know what it’s like to be a prisoner. Isolated. Are you a prisoner of your sin or to your past? 

Freedom Brings Grace

Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. Romans 6:14

  • Who used to be your master?
  • Why is sin no longer your master?
  • What do you now live under?
  • To live under the freedom of God’s grace means you no longer have to live out the sacrificial law but instead Christ paid the price once and for all. 

Freedom Brings Glory

But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. 2 Corinthians 3:16-18

  • Where is freedom located?
  • Who can reflect the glory of the Lord?
  • What happens as we live in this freedom?
  • Who makes us more like the Lord?
  • To reflect the glory of the Lord means you have to be in His presence and allow your life to be transformed.

Freedom Brings Adoption

God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. Galatians 4:5

  • God sent Jesus on an errand. What was He to buy?
  • Before this purchase, we were slaves to what?
  • This purchased also allowed God to do what?
  • Think about this—what does it mean to know you are an adopted child of God and no longer a slave to the Law?

STEPS: WALKING IN FREEDOM

1. Overcome by your sin? Accept God’s forgiveness as He liberates you to walk in a new freedom.

2. Imprisoned by sin—Trapped by your past? Receive God’s gift of joy as you let go of your sin and your past to receive His freedom.

3. Confused by the Law? Learn more about what God’s grace means to New Testament believers and embrace grace in a whole new way.

4. Stuck in status quo? Become more like God and be receptive to reflecting His glory more so others see His image when they see you. Initiate this endeavor by striving to be transformed in one specific attribute of God’s holiness.

5. Enslaved to your imperfections? Celebrate freedom in Christ. Start by praising God right now for the gift of His grace to receive you as one of His own. 

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