Summary: Jesus has come to set us free from all of our prisons
The Joy of Freedom
On November 18, eight U.S. christian aid workers were released from a jail in Afghanastan. They had been imprisoned for three months by the Taliban for the crime of converting Muslims to christianity. I can only imagine what it must have been like for these workers as they were told they were free and could go home. Being in bondage to anyone, or anything is a frightful and frustrating situation. I am sure there were times when these workers wondered if they would ever walk out of that prison alive. There has to be no greater feeling than that of coming out of bondage into freedom.
The apostle Paul, writing to the church at Colosse, is full of praise and thanksgiving. At one time, he knew what it was like to be a slave, a slave to sin. However, on the road to Damascus, Paul encountered the Lord Jesus Christ, and he stepped into the light of freedom. His life had been changed forever, and he knew that he had been forgiven of all those times he had persecuted the Lord. This forgiveness that he felt gave him the freedom to do great things in the name of Christ. He now was living as a man full of Jesus.
We are like Paul. Before we meet Christ, we are slaves to all sorts of things. We have sins, or habits, that are displeasing to God, and no matter how hard we try, we just cannot seem to break free from our chains. We want to. We know that the path we are on can only lead to destruction. We know there is a better life out there, but we just do not know how to get over the walls. Some times it seems we are living in a spiritual alcatraz with no hope of escape. But, praise be to God, Jesus has broken in and made a jail break. By his stripes, freedom is possible. Paul wrote to the Corinthian church that we can come to Jesus and be made into a new creature. The alcoholic can be sober. The lying spirit can be truthful. The pornograhpy addict can now view people with dignity and respect. That critical spirit can now see all of the joys of life.
There are those who are in a prison of low self esteem. You know who I am talking about, those feel like outcasts of society because they do not feel like they can live up to everyone else’s standards. You can pick them out on any high school campus. They usually keep to themselves and are the brunt of everyone else’s jokes. They want to fit in, but comparing them selves to everyone else, they just do not see how they can. I was one of those people. I wanted everyone else to notice me, but I just did not have the personality to be one of the crowd. I wondered if any one even noticed me. But, when I met Jesus, I saw that He accepted me just as I am, and I can be a child of the King. That is sort of what Paul is saying in our Scripture passage. He has taken us from the bondage that we are in, and have changed our residence from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of God. But, not only has He given us a place, he has given us a purpose: to be ambassadors for Him.
Today, if you are in bondage to something, I will tell you that Christ has come to set you free. You no longer have to serve that master that has held you back from that abundant life that God promises that you can have. You can know the joy of being free, and if He sets you free, you can be assured that you will be free indeed.