It is for freedom Jesus set us free! What a wonderful statement from the Bible. Think about it, why did Jesus die for us? Why did He suffer the loneliness, rejection, betrayal, agony, death and weight of all our sins? We all know the Sunday school answer that God loves you. And God does love us, thank the Lord God almighty that He loves us! The demonstration of that love was in Jesus life, death, and resurrection. The result of that merciful gift is freedom!

Freedom tends to evoke two opposite paths of thought. One being that freedom is dangerous, easily abused, and some will take advantage or be in fear of others taking advantage. The other path is toward joy and peace as you recognize the humbling effect freedom has on the deepest parts of your soul which God created for freedom.

My pride wants to compare myself to others and clean up my mistakes to be digestible to others. No matter how well you spit shine Sh*%, its still Sh*%, the stench is only increased. "All things in comparison to Christ are Rubbish(Sh*%)". This is so true! The one thing the King of the Universe wants to give me is the free gift of forgiveness, and the one thing my pride so stubbornly can't accept is a gift I did not earn. Only in humility can I lay down myself, my pride, my need to earn, my fear, my desire to appear good. Only in humility can I receive the freedom I have not deserved. Once this free gift(grace) is received, then the softened heart is crushed by love. Love led Jesus to the cross, love led God to give His only son to die and love propels the Holy Spirit to empower us to freedom! This is freedom nails our past to the cross and allows Jesus payment to pay for sin in full. Not paid partially, not pick up half the tab, but paid in full(Tetelestai). This applies to the moment you trust in Jesus to forgive you the first time and every time after when we sin and are in need of remembering His gift of forgiveness that frees us.

Freedom brings with it joy and peace, and the desire to love. Love succeeds in living out the commandments we tried to follow on our own. Freedom is recognizing it has nothing to do with us and everything to do with Jesus. Freedom stands tall in the identity of Jesus and not on ones own merit. Freedom fuels passion, purity, and faith. Freedom sees Jesus and Jumps out of the boat, runs to Father of love, embraces the hurting. Freedom is not worried or anxious about circumstances which can not destroy our souls, our souls will always be free! Thank you Jesus!

I encourage you that I have been learning every day from the best teacher. I am so very stubborn and still God teaches me so generously. If I can learn and my heart change, then you can. I have attempted to disqualify myself, my calling to ministry, and my responsibility to live as the man God made me to be. I have wallowed in self condemnation and doubt, calling myself unclean and hiding from God's love and grace. God is faithful, He is strong, and I cannot disqualify what He qualifies, I dare not call unclean what He has cleaned and in faith I leap into the freedom of the identity of grace, the identity that is totally about Jesus and not myself. Be encouraged! God is faithful! If you believe that Jesus died and rose from the dead to give you life eternal and the forgiveness of sins, then embrace that free gift! You are a child of God, always clean, always forgiven, always clean. Stop piling up your rubbish as an offering to God. Just take the free gift and live in FREEDOM! Trust that freedom rescues you from the pain of your mistakes and brings you into a place that desires true love over all that junk. Be loved and you will love, receive grace and you will give it, live free and you will lead others to freedom.