Tag Archives: Freedom

A Justified Death Sentence

A guest post from @proverbsnwisdom 

As a Christian for many years, Ashley Ormon is fully conscious of the life-changing impact an individual can have in putting God first and developing a close relationship with Jesus Christ. You are welcomed to visit her website and community, Proverbs & Wisdom, where she writes to encourage you, empower you, and enlighten you on how to become a more successful and wiser individual. Please experience the lovingkindness her Facebook community entails and the encouraging words sent out by her on Twitter!

A JUSTIFIED DEATH SENTENCE 

Imagine this:

You’re in court being trailed. You’ve been accused by many, there are witnesses to your crime, you’ve been proven guilty and there is no escape. So what happens to you? What’s your punishment? Death.

The list of crimes you committed are as follows:

You lied
You cheated
You stole
You murdered
You lusted in your heart
You hated
You gossipped
You cursed
You walked with the ungodly
You were disobedient
You had a prideful attitude

You were selfish

And the list goes on. And on. And on. The end? Never.

You ask for another chance, but you are refused.
They lay you down on to a bed. You’re confined: strapped down and unable to free yourself. You’ve been given the death sentence. A lady comes over with a needle filled with poison that will be injected into your body, killing you slowly. It will be a long, tormented death. They take out your arm, in preparation to inject the needle and then…

A man shouts “WAIT!” Everyone pauses. “Take me instead. I am the guilty one…” he says, “this person has been justified.”

Justified? What does that mean? You’ve been absolved, proven innocent. You aren’t guilty. But if you aren’t, who is? He is. This man.
Quickly and willing this man unstraps you from the bed. He looks at you and says, “May you live in freedom. Go! Live life!”. The man then lies down, straps himself onto the table, holds out his arm, and tells the lady he’s ready, his life may be taken away…

As the needle is injected into this man’s arm you ask him, “Who are you? Why have you done this?” As he slowly dies, he looks into your eyes and says “I love you. I want to save you.”
You and others scream at he dying man, “Why have you given up your life for a guilty person?”
Again he replies, “I love them. I want them to be free.”

You ask this man as he grasp for air, his heart slowing, his mind shutting down, “Sir, is there anything I can do for you? How can I possibly live free and happily when you are here dying for me? What can I do as payment? Is there anything? How is it that I can be innocent?”

The man replies, “To live free from all hurt, all pain, all trouble, you have to love me. Accept me.”

“Is there any thing more?” you ask.

“No.” he says, “Accept me. Love me. And you shall live free.”
He closes his eyes. He’s on his last breath. “But wait,” you say, “how is it possible that I can be free?”

The man breathes in deeply and as he exhales his last breath says, “Because I have asked the One who can forgive all, for you to be forgiven.”

Now, you’re left wondering, who was this man? His name is Jesus. Except He didn’t die on a bed with a needle in His arm. He died on a cross: nails pierced into His hands and feet, thorns placed upon His head. He bleed, was slashed 39 times upon His back. Flesh ripping out, blood gushing out, pain everywhere in His body. He was hung for all to see: they mocked Him, they laughed at Him, they called Him names. And yet, despite it all, though His flesh was torn and others wanted His Spirit weak, with all He had within Him He said, “Father, forgive them.” He said this with you in mind. He said this thinking of every wrong you have ever done. He said, “God, take me instead. Let them live.” God answered Jesus and gave you the chance to have life.

But how can you receive this life He willingly gave you? What can you do? Accept Him. Love Him. And like the person charged guilty in the court, you too, shall be set free.

Permission to Speak Freely

 

The permission to speak freely by Anne Jackson is an awesome book that talks about how we let our fears stop us from speaking freely about anything.  Freely speaking on our thoughts and fears about church, relationships, addictions, depression, family etc.  Her single statement “Fear Won” caught my heart.  Fear wins out so often over so many things in so many of our lives.  This book reminds us that we may never be completely free of fear, but that we can live a courageous life, speaking freely about the issues we have faced or are facing.

 

Many people struggle with depression and seasons of depression, wondering why they still fight it or are fearful of what others will think about them taking antidepressants etc.  She sums it up nicely when talking about seasons of depression saying  “feelings of insecurity and worthlessness is a chain I may never be able to break.”

 

She generously gives the gift of courage by stepping out and speaking out about her addictions, abuse and fear of talking freely about them.   She says “something in us begins to come alive in us when we see people overcome fear.” We draw courage from others who, regardless of fear, stand up and speak up.

 

Sometimes our fears of living our dreams keep up from even taking the first step.  Anne puts it this way “Their hearts are fighting for their dreams, yet fear claws away at their spirits, telling them their dreams are impossible.”   Sometimes it doesn’t take much more than a single twinge of fear to hold us back.

 

This book is very uplifting and encouraging.  Whether you are fighting seasons of depression, feelings of worthlessness, or anything else that grips your heart in fear, Permission to Speak Freely is sure to encourage you and maybe you’ll find the gift of going 2nd is something you can give to others by sharing your story.

One of my favorite quotes by Anne:

I had now seen the redemption and freedom that occurs when the darkness is forced into the light, disguised as awkwardly spoken words

 

The audio book is read by Anne Jackson, the author.  I feel that we could actually feel more of what she was feeling as she recounts some of what was going through her mind and heart while she was retelling her story.  Very well done.

 

I’d like to thank Christian Audio for the complimentary copy of this book through their Reviewers’ program.  Follow Christian Audio on Twitter here. Check their site each month for a free audio book download.  Good stuff there!

{{HUGS}} yall

@spreadingJOY

Salvation!

There is a story in Chile that has been unfolding for months. It’s the story of more than 30 miners who have been trapped underground. It’s a story I have been thinking about as I watch the efforts to rescue them.

This story has amazing similarities to the dilemma the human race is in regarding sin. We, like those miners, have been trapped! In spite of our best efforts we cannot get out of this mess ourselves. We are trapped! We need someone to rescue us. That is the drama of the last few months as millions have been spent to drill down to them, to save them, to rescue them.

They are trapped in their cave. There is no way out by their own efforts. Someone has to help them, dig them out and save them. As I thought about these men and their helpless situation it struck me that the human race is in a similar situation. We are trapped by sin and cannot rescue ourselves. We need help! We need someone to save us.

That is what the good news is about- God’s rescue plan for the human race. Since we are unable to save ourselves he made his way to us and provided a way out…Deliverance! Rescue! Freedom! Salvation! It’s only when we realize how helpless we are that we look for help from someone else. These miners know they cannot save themselves and so they wait…they wait for salvation.

How many of them will take advantage of salvation when it comes? How many will get in the recovery pod to be brought back to life by someone else? Do you think any of them will decline? Will there be any who would say, “No thank you, I can save myself. I don’t need anyone else to save me. I’ll do it myself, thank you very much.” To even write these words is silly. None will remain behind. None will believe they can rescue themselves. All will respond to the saving work of others. All of these men will gladly say “YES!” to salvation.

Like these miners the human race is trapped and in need of salvation. God has come and done for us what we could never do for ourselves. He has rescued us, provided a way out….he’s sent the recovery pod for us. Why would any say no to his wonderful rescue plan? Why would any turn down God’s gift? Here is his salvation plan for mankind. Who wouldn’t want to be rescued from the dark pit of sin and death? Who wouldn’t respond to this free gift of life?

John 3:16-18 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.”