Friday, July 25, 2014

Freedom Friday + Free Printable!

Happy Friday!

When we are children we can't wait for the freedom to be an adult and operate our lives the way we want! When we become adults we search for financial freedom, freedoms in our careers, and freedom of judgment from our friends and families. Freedom is something we all desire. Some long to live in a country with freedom of speech, thoughts, and rights. 

Yet so many of us live in bondage. We are bound by our environment, bound by our jobs, bound by our families, and even bound to our own thoughts. Bondage is a true reality for so many and freedom is a hope, a dream, a parallel universe where everything works out, and every day is a good hair day! Freedom can seem so far for so many of us. 

In my life I experienced bondage like many and I saw it as well. I saw bondage to religion and religious standards and ways. I saw bondage of routine, same ol' same, everyday living for a God. After watching so many living for Christ that were not genuinely happy, I questioned it. I was bound by the idea that my own works/merits were what drove the love that God had for me. I was bound to the idea that if I ever made a mistake, I would be sent to hell, sins in hand, never to return. Bound by the idea that God was waiting for me to mess up, and when I did my world would be over. I would no longer be close to Him. I was bound to the pressure of pleasing people and going along with what people thought, instead of finding Jesus for myself. 

Oh, but He found me. He chose me. Right in the middle of my mess, he looked up on me and told me I was His. At that moment, I knew my life would never be the same. I did not understand how different my relationship would be with Him than it was before. I soon realized, I never had a true relationship with Him. Or not as deep as He would have wanted it to be. I had a relationship with religion. Each week I went to church was to please my parents and those in my church. Each time I prayed was because of a routine practice. I became so routine in my ways that I was knowing religion vs. knowing Jesus. 

What opened my eyes was when I started to truly read about how Jesus was so different than religion. How he walked and talked with those who were in sin. He truly came to give life and to open the eyes of the blind - spiritually, and naturally. The more I read, the more I started to think He was pretty cool ;)

What I have learned about Jesus is that He is love. He is true divine agape love. That's a deep love that never fails, never quits and covers a multitude of mistakes, failures, and mess-ups. I learned that He is always standing with arms wide open to pick me up when I fall, dust me off and tell me to keep my focus on Him. He knows the deepest parts of me and would never want me to think I had fallen so far that I couldn't call on Him. He wants me to call on Him in those moments - so He can show me how much He cares!

 I learned that He is abounding grace and is truth and can be nothing other than just that. I came to know that He is strength in my times of darkness or sorrow. He is joy in my life every day. He is an escape and refuge from this destructive world.

And He is Freedom. 
While religion was bondage; Jesus is always freedom. 
Choose life. Choose Joy. Choose Freedom. Choose to have a relationship with Christ.
I promise He won't let you down. 

Hope you have a great weekend! Enjoy the free printable!
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