Today marks 25 years since Jesus Christ saved my life!
Incarcerated in jail in Cyprus, my life hit rock bottom. It was here through the visits of a missionary called Michael Wright where I was introduced to the reality and life-changing power of Jesus Christ. On the night of the 3rd May 1991, through repentance and faith, I surrendered my life to God, and my life has never been the same. Two treasured Bible verses that had great impact on my life record our Lord Jesus Christ saying:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
“Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son (Jesus Christ) sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:34-36
Though the prison walls held me captive, I found myself experiencing true freedom!
We read about freedom, dream about freedom, rejoice in the notion of freedom, teach, advocate, and hope for freedom, but what do we mean by freedom? Freedom means many things to many people. We can view freedom politically, as having the opportunity to vote for particular ideas, people, or parties which best represent our views. Closely tied to this is the notion of freedom of speech, where one has the liberty to voice their personal opinion or perspective. Others understand freedom in a financial context, where people seek to free themselves of financial debt, outstanding credit, and burdensome loans.
In our postmodern world, freedom to change is a treasured commodity. It goes hand in hand with individual rights. We see freedom as the liberty to follow our preferences, the ability to do whatever we want. No constraints. No rules.
The Bible reveals that this is not real freedom. In John 8:34, Jesus asserts, “Everyone who sins is a slave of sin.” In other words, leading a self-centred life – to do our own will, to follow our wilful desires and preferences – will lead to bondage to sin. Not freedom. But if we remain faithful to God’s teaching, then we “…will know the truth, and the truth will set us free” (John 8:32).
Satan has switched the price tags in the world. He makes the priceless stuff that brings eternal joy look worthless, while the junk that leads to addiction and enslavement he presents in attractive packaging. We desperately need God’s truth – truth that enables us to see things in their true perspective.
The apostle John, in chapter 8 of his gospel, presents an interesting cause-and-effect pattern. To experience freedom, we must first know the truth. To know the truth, we must first obey God’s Word. The initial step to freedom begins with obedience.
Counterintuitive? Yes. But the fact remains that true freedom is only possible when we live under God’s loving authority.
It has been such an honour to minister the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the last 25 years, and I shall continue to do so until the Lord calls me home. The Gospel simply put is the Good News about the gift Jesus has made available to every human being. To view this short message about this good news in other languages, choose one of the links below:
God bless you and keep on keeping on…