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Freedom from My Silly Little Self

Is being free only doing what we want, when we want?

Freedom is a great Christian word. In the first sermon he preached, Jesus quoted from Isaiah 61 that he came "to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed." Later in his public ministry, he said, "So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free" (John 8:36).

But true freedom is to be who God created you to be. Take a fish, for example. God created fish to live and thrive in water. It's limited to water, but in that limitation is liberty.

Suppose a fish swam round and round his bowl until its frustration became unbearable and it made a bid for freedom and leapt out of the bowl. If it landed in a pond, it would increase its freedom because there would be more water to swim in. But if it landed on the concrete, then its bid for freedom would spell death.

So what does that mean for us? God made human beings for loving, but loving is self-giving. In order to be free, I have to serve. In order to live, I have to die to my own self-centeredness.

Most people think freedom is to be free from responsibility so that I may live for myself. But that isn't freedom. That's bondage to my own self-centeredness. True freedom is to be set free from my silly little self in order to give myself in love to God and my fellow human beings.

[Q] Read Matthew 10:39. What did Jesus mean? How would giving up our lives ultimately lead to our freedom?

[Q] What practical ways can we lose our lives for Christ's sake?

Make a Change: Write down anything that's holding you back from "losing your life" for Christ. Pray that God will give you courage to give those things to him.

for an expanded version of this study, download "John Stott on Reaching Out."
To download more studies like this, go to ChristianBibleStudies.com.

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Courage; Freedom; Self-control; Self-righteousness
Today's Christian Woman, July/August , 2012
Posted August 9, 2012

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