Fear Vs. Freedom

Sunday, October 17, 2021
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Listen while you read: "The Beautiful Garden Of Prayer"1 (Lyrics)

John 3:16 – 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. (NIV)

We live in scary times because of all the uncertainty that we're experiencing. We try to live our lives as normally as we can, but currently, there seem to be so many setbacks that none of us can find a "normal" routine. As creatures of habit, who have mostly relied upon things being stable, we find this deeply troubling and worrisome. As our worries increase, so do our fears, and as our fears increase, our freedom diminishes. Fear is the opposite of freedom. Why? Because fear imprisons us.

Freedom, however, is not the right to do what we want and act recklessly — that's actually foolishness. Freedom is the God-given ability that human beings have to do the right thing at the right time, but not to do what we want just because we desire it. Sadly, so many people mistake selfishness for freedom and confuse their rights with their faith. Christ used His faith and freedom to save the world, which involved sacrifice, humility, and love. So shouldn't we as Christians be willing to show and do the same?

God was not obligated to send Jesus into the world to become the cure for our sins, but His love for us compelled Him.

Jesus was not constrained to give up His life to grant us forgiveness, but our freedom required Him to die as a sacrifice for our sins.

We don't have to care for one another, but our faith expects it, so we, who call ourselves "Christian", should be at the forefront of doing what we can for others, not just for ourselves. If we are more concerned about our individual rights than the common good, then we need to get back to the cross and look up at Jesus and ask ourselves this: what rights did He give up to fix our wrongs?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, release us from fear by showing us the freedom that love provides. In Your holy name, we humbly pray. Amen.

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About the author:

John Stuart <traqair@aol.com>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Well said. Thank you.

    Well said, John. Thank you.

    Thanks John, helpful.

    Well said, John, and something we need to be reminded of.

    Great devotional. Hope it speaks to the people that need to hear it.

    A lot of truth in this short writing, John. Thanks for sharing it. Helps me.

    Again John, you have written a ‘heads up’ and inspiring message! Thanks!!

    Good morning
    Thank you for this beautiful devotional. God bless.

    Thank you, John for some good Scot’s common sense.
    God Bless.

    Amen, John! Well said and written. May our lives be a continuous witness to Christ Jesus! Blessings.

    Rev. Stuart, Thank you so much for this devotion. It is really appropriate for these times. Everyone needs to hear it. Thank you again.

    Thank you for your thoughtful and timely devotional.
    God bless.

    Thanks for this email! I liked the last sentence, “what rights did He give up to fix our wrongs?” Thanks and have a great week.

    Your last paragraph nailed the current vaccine situation! It upsets me to hear ministers pushing for their parishioners to rebel against closures, masks, vaccines etc. Hard to believe that they are modelling their lives on Jesus! Thank you.

    Beautifully stated!
    Many “Christians” in our mutual societies need this message. Freedoms always come with, and are balanced by, responsibilities.
    Thank you.
    (SK, Canada)

    Hello John,
    As usual, you are “right on.” Thank you. I read a “devotional” writing recently by Janet Denison. She wrote about “Churchianity vs. Christianity” and how we often confuse the two. When I read your devotional today, it reminded me of her article.
    Thank you.

    Greetings John,
    Thank you for this very deeply meaningful devotional today. Our loving Lord certainly gave up His very life for us and we should honour Him by doing every possible effort to be of service to others in our lives. Following in the steps of Jesus brings much harmony, not only in our own lives, but also to those we help. Blessings for the writings you submit.

    Good morning, John,
    What a well-thought and timely reflection. I am so sad to see that a number of people are choosing not to attend worship because of mask mandates. There are several in my tiny congregation!
    I try to keep in touch and to encourage them but sense they won’t be back until our mask mandate is removed – and perhaps they will not return at all.
    Perhaps I will share your reflection with them.
    Keep writing. Your words are always inspiring.

    This is a very excellent and timely message not just for people who profess to be Christians, but for people of all religions, especially during this time of the COVID virus and its variants as they use what they believe to be their religious teachings as an excuse to not be vaccinated.
    There are so many people with compromised immune systems and other legitimate reasons who would dearly love to be vaccinated but cannot.
    Very selfish and sad situation. Begs the question that was such a popular phrase a decade or so ago … “WWJD”?
    Take Care, Keep Healthy and Stay Safe.

    Excellent message Rev. John – especially in these troubling times!

    Amen and very well put. Thank you!

    Dear John,
    This certainly speaks to today’s situation. I agree that the common good supersedes our individual rights.

    Good morning, John,
    Reminding us of the importance in our faith to care for one another is so important at this time. It is difficult to understand the protestors against wearing masks and getting vaccinated and know that some of it is being promoted by Christian churches. Thank you for comparing freedom and fear in a very impactful way. Thank you always for sharing from your heart and helping to clarify situations for the rest of us. Blessings.

    Well said brother. Thank you for your wise words. We truly need to put others first. As believers we need to appreciate what we have in Canada and the United States. My husband and I went on several Short Term Mission trips over the span of 25 years. We were in countries that were very poor compared to our situation. I received a letter from the Mission we worked with and read “The Peoples Vaccine Alliance estimated that at the current pace, it would take 57 years for low income countries to vaccinate their entire populations.”
    Christians need to live as godly ambassadors for Christ daily. Our words and actions need to show Christ to others to attract them to our Savior, not drive them away. May God bless you John as you witness in your part of God’s vineyard putting others first. Keep well, keep safe.
    By His Grace Alone.

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