Set Free

The voices carried across the yard; a mixture of children by age and children by choice.  As I washed windows to the sound of their laughter, the game they were playing resonated with a familiar note, but I couldn’t quite recall it.  That’s when the distress call went out:  “Help, I’m frozen!”   Ah, Freeze Tag. I had almost forgotten the game and the fun it was.  They had me.  I put down the bucket and took in the moment.

The “frozen” was a little girl in a contorted, motionless position, waiting for the touch of one who could release her from the icy tag of “It”.  From my vantage point, I could see an adult was “It” and five energetic children delighted in getting as close to him as possible without getting caught ~ a risky miscalculation as evidenced by the call of the “frozen” little captive who was waiting to be set free.

Set free.  Even the words stir the soul.  While it is exhilarating to be a captive set free in a game, it is imperative in life.  Distorted by our enslaving contact with sin, we are entirely dependent on the freeing touch of the only One who has the power to release us.

The 8th Chapter of John records a dialogue of Jesus in a mixed gathering of Jews who believed in him and those who did not.   “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  They answered him, ‘We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone.  How can you say that we shall be set free?’ Jesus replied, ‘I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.  Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”  (NIV)

Jesus made it clear that truth and freedom are synonymous and His words met with immediate protests. They still do.  Why does truth meet with such opposition?  It’s not as complex as some would have us believe.  Truth is resisted because it represents Sovereign Authority.  Since there is truth, then there is a Truth-Giver and that means we are accountable to examine our hearts and motives against the integrity of His Word.  Truth places boundaries to our behaviors and attitudes and confronts us with error.  It goes beyond superficially measuring ourselves one to another and moves us to the depths of who we are in the sight of Holy God.

We live in a world that seeks to replace truth with non-offending philosophy.  It distorts the nature of sin and misrepresents the consequences of acting on it.  It has from that moment in time when the Adversary of God enticed Eve to believe a lie and share it with her husband Adam. The lure was to take what God had forbidden, but the goal was to question and disregard the authority of His Word.  They flirted with temptation they should have run from and the deceiver successfully tagged what he had set his sights on; the image-bearers of the Creator; the object of God’s love and affection.  Captured by the lie and contorted by their contact with sin, the couple became prisoners of disobedience, unable to release themselves from the bondage of suffering and death.  They hadn’t become like God, as the Enemy had promised, they became separated from Him and unwittingly bestowed that helpless condition upon every generation to follow.  Until Jesus.

The Truth-Giver came to save sinners and set prisoners free.  In that mission, He offers a gift and a choice.  The gift is salvation to all who believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God and receive Him as Lord and Savior.  The choice is to embrace a life of freedom, but it comes with a condition … “If you hold to my teaching …Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”  John 8:31 (NIV)

Have you been captured by sin and you just can’t free yourself?  There is One who can.  Call out to Jesus ~ just as you are ~ and He will extend His nail-scarred hand to touch your soul, reveal the truth of His Word and set you free.

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