Thursday, October 1, 2015

Free - Martin Wiles

For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. Colossians 1:13-14 NLT

The letter said he was in prison-for what I didn’t know. The return address was unfamiliar. 

As the contents fell out and I began to read, Jason* told his story. He had read one of my devotions in a publication distributed at the prison. His life had been a wreck. He was there because of bad decisions—which ones didn’t matter. 

Jason merely needed someone to listen and encourage him. While there, he had chosen to surrender his life to Christ, but the darkness surrounding him was depressing. He tried to be a light but wondered whether he was making any progress. 

Over the next year, we corresponded monthly. He told me about the dreams he wanted to fulfill when his prison stint was over. Then the letters stopped. Recently, I received another letter. He was out and working—but still struggling to find his way in a cruel world. 

Millions celebrate Independence Day in America. Even more have given their lives for the freedom Americans enjoy. From the initial War of Independence through the many that have followed, Americans have fought to maintain their freedom and that of others. 

True freedom, however, can be enjoyed even if I’m behind bars or the subject of cruel rulers. Christ made this type of freedom possible when he died on the cross and paid for my sins and the sins of humanity. Bars may hinder me from doing what I want—as they did Jason, but my spirit is free. 

Oppressors may forbid me from worshiping Christ publicly, but they can never imprison my soul. What has been set free by Christ is free forever. Jason and many others have discovered this while in prison. Christians living under oppressive governments have as well. 

When I asked, Christ forgave my sins and cast them as far as the East is from the West. He no longer requires that I pay for them. 

I am free—and so is anyone who asks for the same. Are you free?

Prayer: Father, thank You for the freedom found through forgiveness.

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