FREEDOM IN CHRIST [Advent: Day 10]
When I need clarity I go outside. It is nearly fool proof. I love everything about being in the midst of nature. I love the sights and the smells. I love how fresh air energizes me, and I love the perspective of feeling like we are part of something much bigger than ourselves. It’s been pretty cold in Nashville this past month, so I’ve been spending less time outside.
Today I felt anxieties well up and that feeling of being in a funk came over me. I knew I needed to get outside, so I bundled up and headed out the door. We live in a neighborhood adorned with oversized trees, most of them completely bare giving way to the transition from fall to winter. But as I kept walking I noticed that some were still hanging on to leaves that are already dead. I was wondering how they could hang even as the wind was sweeping those hundred plus year old tall oak trees.
Then it occurred to me that we do this in our own lives. We often hang on to what is already dead. Jesus was born a man, walked this earth and died for our sins to set us free, not to hang on tightly to what brings death. The visual lesson of a simple tree was a powerful reminder for me today.
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galations 5:1)
Though the winter can be a harsh time of year, I find beauty in it. There is something about the stripped down trees and the hard ground that point to the hope of what is to come. Even as we speak, the ground is being prepared for the spring bloom. There is beauty in the process of showing ourselves completely to Christ. Stripping down, letting go of what is dead, and preparing for what is to come.
So I simply ask you this question today. What are you hanging onto that is already dead? How is that weighing you down and keeping you from freedom in Christ?
He came and died to set us free and so that we could bring that news of hope and freedom to others. You don’t have to be entangled by your sin, by your thought patterns, even by your negative relationships. He died so that we could let them go.
Jesus, we thank your for your birth, your life and your sacrifice. We thank you that in you we have freedom, and that strongholds surrender in your name. We thank you for your mercies today and your open arms of grace. So today we let go of what is dead and look to you Lord. Search our hearts, strip us down. We fix our eyes on you and you alone in whom freedom exists. In your powerful name we pray these things. AMEN!