Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are my disciples indeed.  And you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”  They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendents and have never been in bondage to anyone.  How can you say you will be made free?”  Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.  And a slave does not abide in the house forever.  Therefore if the son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8: 31 – 36)


                Although slavery was common in the ancient world, the men Jesus spoke with were not slaves.  Rather, being free men, they did not understand that they were slaves to their individual sinful appetites.  Often sin is a far crueler taskmaster than a man holding a whip.  So many people are hopelessly ruled over by addictions; some are addicted to drugs and alcohol, some to pornography and sexual deviancy; many are in bondage to cigarettes, gambling, food, laziness, video games, television, money, etc.  No matter how vast the number of sins might be, Jesus Christ has been setting people free from them for nearly 2000 years.

                One day I visited Venice Beach; as I walked amidst the shops and street performers I happened across a young couple.  They were homeless; their hair was tangled and matted; their clothes were riddled with holes and despite being raised in the United States, they spoke with a heavy Jamaican accent.  They appeared to be practicing the Rastafarian religion; a religion that promotes the spiritual use of marijuana.  Their bondage to marijuana was so terrible that they had adopted an entire lifestyle that would allow them to continue smoking it without conviction.  Although they believed themselves to be free, they were in fact slaves; slaves whose master had caused them to lose nearly everything.  I was able to tell them how God had transformed my life; how He had relieved me of my addictions.  I would like to tell you that they received the message and were reborn, but I cannot.  I can only pray that Jesus Christ eventually set them free.

                If you are in bondage to some sin, turn to Jesus Christ fully and he will relieve of your burdens.  He will set you free from your addictions; he will heal your mind and your Spirit.  Invite him in to your heart and he will be your master; he will protect you, he will guide you, he will mold you and shape you in to his image.  You will know true freedom, and as the love of God fills your heart, you will experience genuine gratitude and eternal peace.  [Note:  If you have never received Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior and would like to be set free, contact me and we can discuss how you might make that decision today.]

                “Lord Heavenly Father, we desire to be set free from the bondage of sin and death.  Heal our hearts and minds; give us hope.  May our addictions be relieved, and may our fleshly desires be destroyed.  May we serve You in sincerity of heart; may we never stray from Your paths of righteousness; and may we dwell in Your presence forever.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.”  God bless all of you.

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