Advent Study – DAY 7
HOPE GIFT #2:
the Gift of Freedom!
How to catch a monkey: 1) Make a small hole in a coconut the just the size of a hand. 2) Put in it something a monkey really wants. 3) Chain the coconut to a tree. 4) Wait for a monkey that does not understand freedom or bondage! It will not let go to be free. You have your monkey!
“Catching Freedom” - Learning to “Giving Up” Sin: Freedom requires surrender of your will, and obedience to the TRUTHS of God’s Word. To be free, you have to “let go” of what is in your hand if it is not in God’s will for your life. Sometimes they can be very good things. Jesus offers us the Christmas Gift of Freedom from spiritual death, sin’s bondage, and shame – all things the world’s brightest cannot understand about this gift. They can understand some obvious things, but why would God have us give up good things. They cannot see that a life of HOPE is one that pleases the Father over self, and like the sitcom, “Father Knows Best”. We are here to bring glory to Him.
The Rewards are Worth It: When you repent, seek God’s gracious forgiveness, and “give-up” your will to obtain His freedom, your first reward is a “get out of judgment” card (so-to-speak) This is linked to the next bulb, # “8”, the Promise of Resurrection. Jesus’ grace allows for you to have the Father’s forgiveness and you are then free from condemnation for your sins. Your second reward is “freedom from sin’s bondage” – surrendering your obedience to follow the Word of God frees you to make righteous choices, even when sinful choices seem more powerful or alluring. The third reward is “freedom from shame”, as can be seen when Jesus forgave a sinful woman of adultery. Others tried to shame her, but Jesus removed her shame forever! The maintenance of freedom requires continued obedience. The fourth reward is “freedom from spiritual death” – it is the reward of resurrection. Whenever we fail, and we will, we can immediately apply the first step of H.O.P.E Formula – “Hook-Up” again to your loving Father. It will keep your relationship “alive and well”. No more hiding necessary.
Messages of HOPE:
- Freedom from Judgment: John 3:16-17 NLT “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”
- Freedom from Bondage: John 8:34-38 NLT “Jesus replied, ‘I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. Yes, I realize that you are descendants of Abraham. And yet some of you are trying to kill me because there’s no room in your hearts for my message. I am telling you what I saw when I was with my Father. But you are following the advice of your father.’”
- Freedom from Shame: John 8:10-11 NLT “Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, ‘Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?’ ‘No, Lord,’ she said. And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I. Go and sin no more.’”
- Freedom from Spiritual Death: John 8:52 NLT “The people said, ‘Now we know you are possessed by a demon. Even Abraham and the prophets died’, but you say, ‘Anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!’”
The HOPE of Freedom:
Freedom helps “Keep us Connected” in relationships: On the Advent Card, the Gift of Freedom, bulb “7”, is nested between bulb “6” the Gift of Forgiveness and bulb “9” your Resurrection Promise. When reading Jesus’ Freedom Messages of HOPE above, and the Other Freedom Messages of HOPE at the end, you can see how Jesus wants you to live free, and “stay free”, from condemnation, bondage, and shame. You can also see how important it Is to obey and follow TRUTH. In Romans 8:2, the apostle Paul notes we have been set free from the law of sin and death and can now choose a pure and righteous relationship with our Creator (Romans 9:12-15). Freedom also links us to John 14 and 15, noted in bulb “4”, Joining a Forever Family. When we accept this gift we “remain in Him” and “bear much fruit” – to be discovered in bulbs “23-25”.
Messages of HOPE:
- Romans 8:1 ESV “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
- Romans 8:2 ESV “For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”
- 1 Peter 2:16 ESV “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.”
- Ephesians 2:1–3 ESV “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience among whom we all once lived in other passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and power by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.”
- Hebrews 11:6 ESV “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”
- Romans 8:28–29 ESV “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many …”
Bethel Music Kids
He Leadeth Me
Fighting For Me
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