Monday, September 19

Freely blessed

I've recently been on this kick of listening to old hymns. Pandora has everything, seriously. I grew up in a church that still plays the piano and where we sing out of hymnals. Every time I hear a hymn, it brings me back to a place that my heart so quickly recognizes. It's what I grew up on, it's the food that feeds my musical soul. There is nothing more glorious than hearing a verse of Amazing Grace, or my personal favorite, Pass it On.

So maybe I've just been missing home, or maybe my soul is craving some spiritually musical nourishment. Either way, there is something simple and classic about hymns.

Next thought: this past Sunday our church started a new sermon series on Romans Chapter 8. Just chapter 8...basically the good part.

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death."

Basically, what Paul is saying is that if you know Jesus, you're free. Free from guilt. Free from shame. Free from condemnation. Free from sin. Free from your past. Free from mistakes. Both now and in the future. You are free.

If you're anything like me, I have a really hard time wrapping my head around this. Free. Freedom. We live in a country where we are free. We have freedom of religion, freedom of speech, but freedom from our sins? For some reason, I still struggle with this idea from time to time.

I often find myself working for my salvation. Trying to do the right thing, say the right thing, do this and not that, be like this, be more like "that" person. But what Romans 8 is saying is that, that is nothing but a waste because there is nothing that I can do, or say, or not do that will earn my salvation. It is free to me. It's a gift. All I've got to do it take it.

Seems pretty simple, almost too easy. Right?!? But that's what happens when you have a God who loves you. He blesses you with gifts, and freedom from condemnation is probably the best gift I'll ever receive.

This message is something that is meant for me to go through right now. God's timing is so perfect. I don't know why it surprises me but sometimes it still does. We're starting a new small group this week, so I am encouraged with what will come of it. I'm hopeful for good fruit to continue to grow and blossom in my heart.

Thankful for freedom.

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