december 18

freedom-1

The gift of freedom

It’s day 18, of my Advent reflections, and it is also my 37th birthday. Did I say 37? I meant 27… 27. With a nearly 16 year old daughter, who would believe that? In my 37th year, I have done a lot of extra reflection. I think mostly because that big number that I am not going to mention, is kind of beginning to loom large.

Have I done everything I wanted to do by this point?
Have I laid the groundwork for the latter part of my life?

The rapid pace of life is easy to ignore when you are in the first half of your life. No one turns 25 and thinks, man, life is really getting away from me. But as you creep toward that, what seems like your, “half way,” mark, you start asking some pretty serious question. There are a lot of things I am really proud of after 37 years. My family isn’t perfect, far from it, but dang man, they all care about all the right things. The Church I lead, Finding Life, we are constantly navigating the pitfalls of trying to be the church in a consumer culture, but, like my family, at the core, we are about the right things. More than that, when we get our eyes off the ball, which is inevitable, as a community we are so good at responding with courage, and righting the ship.

I am still growing
I am still changing
I am still pushing myself to get better. To be better.

I like much of who I am, but if I had a birthday wish, wanna know what I would wish for?

Freedom.

Real freedom.

Not the kind that comes through politics or legislation. The kind that no one can take, because it isn’t dependent on what anyone else does. The kind of freedom I am talking about is the kind that Jesus came to give the entire human race on Advent.

It’s the kind He believed was worth dying for.

When I was reflecting on freedom this week, I came across this passage…

It’s Paul, writing a letter to this group of new Jesus followers that had sort of lost their way…
Galatians 5:7-9 says…

You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom.

This question Paul asked, sort of got me thinking, and ultimately I realized something…

It’s me.

It is my willingness to listen to the other voices that want to tell me who I am that keep me from living in the freedom He has designed me for.

I am the Thief of the freedom that Jesus has given me. It’s me.

So, today,  just 7 days from Christmas day, 2017. My 37th Christmas, I only want one thing… to dive deeper into the waters of freedom. I want to swim in it until it defines me, until my entire world view is shaped by its incredible invitation.

Galatians 5:1
So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.

This Christmas I choose to let Jesus define my worth, let Him tell me who I am, and listen closely to His opinion of me, instead of the opinions of others.

In Jesus, I am Free.

PS. If you want to hear more, go to http://www.findinglifechurch.com, and click the sermons link. I flesh this advent gift out in great detail on the December 18th link.

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