30 years ago, John and I attended a wonderful Bible based church in Sierra Madre, California. A young man also attended there who had an amazing spirit and an even more amazing testimony. He hadn’t grown up with the freedoms I take for granted. He was from Uganda. He had been in prison there because he was a Christian. He had been brutally tortured and had the scars to show for it.
His days were spent being beaten. During one of his trials there, he was chained to the ceiling - hung by his hands with his feet grazing the floor. His guard’s job was to whip him. Beatings lasted for hours. After a few days, this young man was aware of the guard cleaning up his “tools” preparing to leave…and he said to the guard, “Have a nice evening.”
Seriously. He blessed him. Have a nice evening. Which of these men was free? Truly free?
The guard was undone. He was angry. “How can you say that to me? How can you say that?” Our friend told him how. He told him about Jesus – about the price that Jesus paid to win his heart – about the freedom he knew in Christ. He told him about being LOVED and FORGIVEN and ACCEPTED and KNOWN perfectly. A few days later, that guard helped him to escape. But before he helped him leave the country, he first took him to his home to treat his wounds, feed him and have him share the Gospel with his family.
Have a nice evening?!?!?! This young man was free. The guard became free and so did his family. In Christ, we too are free.
We are no longer slaves. We have been freed. We are no longer in bondage to sin. We have been released. In Christ, we have the freedom to choose life, choose not to sin, choose good, choose to give our sons the mail in ballot thing. We are free to choose to believe God, to become who we were created to be, to not be afraid and to not be overwhelmed by anything or anyone.
Yes there is sorrow in our lives. But we will not be overcome by sorrow.
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