Others Devotional, volume 10
Freedom by Jeff Atherton
Scripture: “So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” John 8:36
When I think of the word “freedom,” one picture comes to mind. Well, to be accurate, not just a picture but the full, Technicolor, widescreen scene with 5.0 Dolby surround sound. You may not remember it because, well, let’s face it, I’m old… I’m referring to the scene from Braveheart where William Wallace (played by Mel Gibson) arrives on the scene as an army of his countrymen are breaking apart and leaving the battlefield in the face of their enemy. He sits atop a semi-wild horse with painted face, wild hair and a bold, scratchy growl of a voice and makes an impassioned speech encouraging the men to stay and fight. My favorite part of the scene is his response to someone who points out that they would surely die at the hand of the British… “Aye, fight and you may die. Run and you’ll live — at least a while. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom!”
This was a scene that not only made me want to shout out and join the passion of the moment, but it also sticks with me to this very day. What is it about this “freedom” that captures our imaginations and drives us to pursue it at all costs? The thought of being free from anything that holds us back from accomplishing all we were made to be is a dream that has captured hearts and cost lives through centuries and generations. Why then, does it seem that so many are willing to trade their true freedom for momentary pleasure and the lifelong chains it will bind to us? Why do we shout for freedom but readily and easily take on the yoke of anything that culture seems to throw our way?
Jesus was trying to make the message clear as he taught in John 8:36 “So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” He wanted God’s people to understand that although their hearts craved freedom, just like the freedom of Wallace and his men hundreds of years later, they were looking to the wrong sources for their freedom.
We just lived through an election season for the ages. Many have been crying for freedom and making big promises of “hope” and “restoration.” Let’s not forget where true freedom originates and where our hearts need to find their comfort and strength as we move ahead. Instead, let’s fix our eyes on the work of the cross and the challenge that we have been given to “go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”(Matthew 28:19) Freedom can only be found in faith and trust and living in the wake of the work of the Son of God – Jesus!
May you and I live in that “true freedom” daily and may God give us the desire to reach OTHERS with the message of that freedom like never before. No, you and I were not called to save the whole world. Neither were politicians given the charge of rescuing a generation and making right all the wrongs of recent history. We are all simply called to live in His salvation and make known the message of Freedom that He has written on our hearts.
Prayer: God will you please encourage me today and give all of us the passion and strength to live freely. You promise that your rescue is all we need, and we believe that today. Would you make your name great through me and the testimony of my life. In Jesus’ good name, we desire to live for your glory as you work for our good. Amen.
About the Author: Jeff and his wife Cindy live in Visalia and have three beautiful daughters: Rylie (14), Rhayana (12), and Rowyn (8)- all the girls attend Central Valley Christian School and love serving at both school and church. Jeff is a passionate speaker who loves sharing from the word and working with just about any group that offers an opportunity.