Prayer is a spiritual discipline that most Christians are familiar with but most of us are frustrated with at times. Why don’t Christians pray more? We don’t know how. If you didn’t grow up in church, or even if you did, praying can be incredibly intimidating, especially if you grew up in a formal church where the pastor […]
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
- What are some of the biggest mindsets you’ve had to change as you’ve journeyed into freedom?
- 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.