Encouragement for your daily walk with God
Yesterday, I started thinking about what I’m going to preach this Christmas to the congregation I pastor in Julian, CA - Hillside Community Church. For me, it’s a process. I start reading and re-reading the biblical record, the stories relating to the first coming of our Christ to earth as a man.
It was in my third or fourth reading that a phrase struck me. I don’t know if it will be the core of my sermons, but at least it’s the thought for today’s eDevotion. It comes from Luke’s account, and is a quote from Jesus. He talked about the Spirit of the Lord being upon Him, and as a result He came to “proclaim liberty to the captives.” [Luke 4:18]
When it comes to the real liberty we need, only He can provide it. We were captives to sin, and no one but Jesus can give liberty to people captivated by sin. Why by Jesus only, you ask? Because it has been dearly purchased! Christ can speak about liberty because He has the power to liberate, but He purchased our liberty by His blood. You are liberated from sin because He suffered in your place. And if the Son has liberated you, you are completely liberated [adapted from John 8:36].
The enemies of God and man may come against your liberation with fury, but if He has liberated you, who is he who condemns? [Romans 8:34]
Now comes the punchline. Our liberty must be exhibited in how we serve the living God. We serve Him with GRATITUDE and DELIGHT! “You have set this captive free. What will you have me to do?”
“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because
He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD. Luke 4:18-19