Beliefnet
Next Steps

The following is a devotion from my message series 10 Steps to Freedom. I hope these devotionals help you experience lasting freedom in Jesus!

STEP TEN: day 5         

Give back and help others experience the freedom you now have

You can’t change your past, but you can keep it from defining your present and destroying your future. You are on the road to freedom. You may never fully arrive this side of heaven, but you are arriving. You are walking in freedom! At the very beginning of this journey we held onto Jesus’ promise that “if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed” (John 8:36). Now that you’ve begun to walk in freedom, now that you’ve begun to overcome the things that have held you in bondage for too long, and now that you’re beginning to experience the joy and the life that comes through freedom in Jesus, it’s time to look behind you and extend a hand to someone in need of that same freedom.

Your freedom was never meant to be kept to yourself. This joy by its very essence is designed to be contagious, to spill over into the lives of others and bring even more freedom in Jesus. You are at the beginning of a freedom revolution, a transformation that will affect not just your future but the lives of everyone you interact with from this day forward. You are free! Your freedom is important enough to safeguard, so stay constantly vigilant to ensure that your hope remains in Jesus, that you walk in surrender, that you cultivate a vibrant relationship with God and that you root yourselves in God’s Word, allowing it to continually shape your thinking. Never stop forgiving, never stop doing life together, never stop worshipping. Establish safeguards to protect your freedom and when you fail, repent and keep pressing forward. You have everything you need to walk and live in freedom, because you have Jesus. The Son has set you free, and you are free indeed!

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION

  1. Spend some time and thank Jesus for the freedom he has worked and will continue to work in your life.
  2. Write down the names of 2-3 people God is putting on your heart to give back and help journey with you into freedom?

You can read other devotional entries for 10 Steps to Freedom here.

The following is a devotion from my message series 10 Steps to Freedom. I hope these devotionals help you experience lasting freedom in Jesus!

STEP TEN: day 4         

Give back and help others experience the freedom you now have

How can you begin to practically give back and help others experience the freedom you now have? Here are four ways to get you started:

1. Own your past but don’t let it define you. You have to be willing to own what caused you to be enslaved for so long without letting it own you. Have you struggled with mental illness? Are you willing to talk about your journey? Have you struggled with an addiction to internet pornography? Are you willing to own it without it owning and defining you?

2. Share your story. Once you own your past you’re willing to share it with others, not to bring attention to yourself but to give encouragement and hope to others walking through the same journey.

3. Help someone who is where you were at your worst. You’ll be amazed at how God can bring some of your greatest purpose out of your greatest pain. You can’t go back and change the decisions you made ten years ago, but God will bring someone to you who is you ten years ago that you can help keep from making the same mistakes.

4. Start a freedom group. You don’t need to have ‘arrived’ to help others to freedom. You just need to be ‘arriving’ at freedom. Take what you’re learning so far and walk through this material with a group of people. As you share with others you will reinforce freedom in your own life.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION

  1. Can you say that you own your past and are willing to share your journey with others? Have you shared your story with others yet willingly?
  2. Who are 3-5 people you can invite to walk through this material with you in a Freedom Group? What’s a day of the week and a location where you can have it?

You can read other devotional entries for 10 Steps to Freedom here.

The following is a devotion from my message series 10 Steps to Freedom. I hope these devotionals help you experience lasting freedom in Jesus!

STEP TEN: day 3         

Give back and help others experience the freedom you now have

In the Old Testament book of Nehemiah, the people of Israel had been recently freed from exile in Babylon. Even though they were free from captivity, they were not living in freedom, immediately beginning to take advantage and enslaving their fellow man when possible. In Nehemiah 5, Nehemiah confronts the leaders of Israel and challenges them to overcome their self-centered tendencies and give back into the lives of others:

So I called together a large meeting to deal with them and said: “As far as possible, we have bought back our fellow Jews who were sold to the Gentiles. Now you are selling your own people, only for them to be sold back to us!” They kept quiet, because they could find nothing to say. 

So I continued, “What you are doing is not right. Shouldn’t you walk in the fear of our God to avoid the reproach of our Gentile enemies? I and my brothers and my men are also lending the people money and grain. But let us stop charging interest! Give back to them immediately their fields, vineyards, olive groves and houses, and also the interest you are charging them—one percent of the money, grain, new wine and olive oil.”

“We will give it back,” they said. “And we will not demand anything more from them. We will do as you say.” Then I summoned the priests and made the nobles and officials take an oath to do what they had promised. I also shook out the folds of my robe and said, “In this way may God shake out of their house and possessions anyone who does not keep this promise. So may such a person be shaken out and emptied!” At this the whole assembly said, “Amen,” and praised the Lord. And the people did as they had promised. Nehemiah 5:7-13

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION

  1. What are some of the biggest mindsets you’ve had to change as you’ve journeyed into freedom?
  2. What mindsets do you still need to change to live a life of freedom?

You can read other devotional entries for 10 Steps to Freedom here.

The following is a devotion from my message series 10 Steps to Freedom. I hope these devotionals help you experience lasting freedom in Jesus!

STEP TEN: day 2         

Give back and help others experience the freedom you now have

In Luke 17 we see a picture of what life should look like on the other side of freedom, and unfortunately what it ends up looking like for many of us:

Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”  When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” Luke 17:11-19

Jesus healed ten men of leprosy, a damaging skin disease that would have caused not only pain but social isolation. But of the ten healed men, only one came back to give thanks. All ten were healed, but nine of the men were still so consumed with themselves that they gave no thought to thanking or giving back to others. It was only one man, who was not just healed but free, who showed his freedom by coming back and giving thanks to Jesus. Addiction and bondage causes us to become extremely self-focused and self-centered as we battle with our demons. A sure sign of freedom is that we can now take the focus off of ourselves and begin to give back to others.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION

  1. Have there been moments when you’ve given back and helped someone, even though you’re still walking on the road to freedom? How did that encourage you?
  2. Can you say you’re at the place of freedom where you’re giving back?

You can read other devotional entries for 10 Steps to Freedom here.