Christmas and Freedom

December 2018: A Word From Dr. Stanley

When you hear “Christmas,” what comes to mind besides gifts? Most believers probably think of a baby in a manger and the story of His miraculous arrival. But as wonderful as the virgin birth is, that was just the beginning of the most incredible life ever lived—and it led to the best gift we could receive.

Sometimes we mistakenly think the sins and weaknesses that used to plague us should have disappeared instantly when we were saved.

As Jesus began His ministry, He entered the synagogue and read Isaiah’s words: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me ... He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives ... to set free those who are oppressed” (Luke 4:18). Perhaps you, like the Jews of that day, are wondering what He meant. After all, many of us live in a free country and are at liberty to make our own choices. Jesus wasn’t talking about physical slavery or imprisonment—He was referring to the condition of our spirits. What He offers us is freedom from the guilt and power of sin.

Does any habit, emotion, or thought pattern still have a grip on you even though Christ is your Savior? Sometimes we mistakenly think the sins and weaknesses that used to plague us should have disappeared instantly when we were saved. Though this may occasionally be the case, for most of us it’s a process.

If you find yourself in this latter group, take heart. Christ’s promise is still valid. Each person’s path is different, yet the One who leads us to freedom is always the same—faithful, powerful, and true. I pray that the devotions in this issue will help you explore and experience true freedom in Christ.

 
Related Topics:  Gods Love

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18 THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED,

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