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making the connection | July 2, 2017

June 27, 2017

One of the greatest privileges we have in America is the freedom we are given. And when used in light of the Golden Rule, (treat others as you want to be treated) freedom can be a great thing. However, oftentimes people can express their freedom with mostly selfish interests in mind.

Jesus was about freedom as well, but it’s found in a different way than just having freedom to choose what you want. Jesus knows all the things we could focus on in our lives. And some of these things might seem like the freedom we actually want, but rather lead to unhealthy dependence and not being life-giving.

In John 10:10b, Jesus said “my purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” Jesus wants to help every person discover the life they can have as a follower of His. The key in this is realizing that true life cannot be found apart from Jesus. Oh sure, you can find lots of versions of life that will work OK… for a while. But in order to find true life, peace and contentment – this kind of life is only found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it (Matthew 10:39). I love to be in control of my life and steer it toward my desired outcomes. However, when I have trusted God with my best in mind, I have experienced His freedom and love. When I face things in life apart from God and in my own strength, I might end up accomplishing something, but I am often left feeling tired and alone. God’s design is for us to join Him in His plan using the abilities and personality He has given us. He has daily roles for us to play in each other’s lives, but we have to take our focus off of achieving our goals and consider the needs of those around us. This is hard because it means we have to die to our selfish desires and put other needs ahead of our wants.

So, how about you? In what area of your life do you need to trust God’s lead more? Do you really believe He has your best in mind – that following His plan will ultimately be life-giving?

Talk to God about your responses to these questions. Ask Him to help you have more faith and belief in His goodness and that He wants to bring you a rich and satisfying life.

­– Scott Nieveen

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