There is nothing comparable to finding and following Jesus.
Following Jesus is not about finding religion; finding Jesus is about discovering an incomparable relationship.
Serving Jesus also has benefits. We do not serve God for the benefits; we serve God because we love Him, and He loves us.
But God is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so much that even though we were dead because of our sins, He gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved! (Ephesians 2:4–5, NIV)
A relationship with Jesus is not about having benefits. Jesus is more than finding a new friend. Jesus is a friend, but He comes to live in us. Jesus makes our body his temple.
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? (I Corinthians 6:19, NKJV)
Accepting Christ as the Savior is the open door to our salvation — being born again.
Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:5–8, NKJV)
Being born again means your Spirit unites with God’s Spirit. As born-again believers, God lives His life through us as we surrender our ways to Him, which always leads to freedom.
God’s word reveals finding freedom comes from knowing the truth. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.
This means that our freedom comes from and through Christ.
“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will be made free’?” Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son endures forever. Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” (John 8:30–36, NKJV)
Notice the contrast — freedom, and sin. In other words, the presence of active sin opposes the possibility of us living in freedom.
As Christians, we should and can live in freedom. Freedom is a process and not a destination; freedom is a promise from God’s Word and a lifestyle that requires choices to maintain our freedom.
Struggles and challenges will come. Life is like playing cards. It’s never about having the best hand but playing the hand we were dealt. Humans are created in sin — all of us. Sin creates bondage, which is a type of slavery. We were born into slavery to sin. Sin is like being a slave to a master. Every slave hopes to be freed.
Our freedom depends upon learning how to conquer sin, defeat Satan, and put the flesh to death. We are no match for the enemy alone. We must be aware of God’s power and the weapons that God has provided. Using our weapons is necessary to experience genuine freedom.
Trained soldiers know their weapons. The purpose of military training is to learn the weapons at our disposal. Learning how to use our weapons is the surest way to return from battle.
Many believers are wounded or dead because they failed to learn to use their weapons effectively.
Our weapons include:
- The power of faith
- The name of Jesus
- The armor of God
- Hearing God
- Obeying God
- Fervent prayer
- Faith-filled words
- Gifts of the Spirit
- Fruits of the Spirit
- The Word of God
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and Spirit, and joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12, NKJV)
Using God’s weapons and His authority is the key to living a victorious Christian life.
Holy Spirit Joy
Joy is to the Spirit what oxygen is to our body, and joy is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10, NIV).
Many people wish for joy, but few choose to rejoice.
Joy follows, rejoicing.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (I Thessalonians 5:16–18, NKJV)
This verse has a rhythm and a rhyme — it’s easy to memorize. Like other portions of the Bible, it’s easy to read and hard to live. I cannot say that “rejoice always” is easy for me. Most of the time, I initially fail that command and come back full circle to thank God for the hardships. This is a part of Kingdom living.
For God’s Kingdom is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of the righteousness, peace, and joy that the Holy Spirit gives. (Romans 14:17, GNT)
There are no comparisons to having an intimate relationship with Jesus, freedom from sin and self, and the joy of the Lord.
Is this your experience?
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