It’s already August, but I’m going back for a moment: July 4th at Victory! We shared a special celebration of freedom that morning, but probably not the freedom you’re thinking of. We celebrated the best news ever: Christ came to set us free, and He paid the ultimate price to purchase us from slavery!
Slavery is not always physical. It can also be emotional, psychological, or spiritual. That’s why so many are enslaved to harsh taskmasters and don’t even realize it. Many of our chains are not visible to the human eye, and they may even masquerade as something desirable.
Remember the ghost of Marley, who was in chains when he came back to visit Scrooge in A Christmas Carol? He realized too late that he’d lived his life caring nothing for people, but instead was devoted to money. We are all in danger of being enslaved to things that appear harmless. Like money. Or a works-based faith. Or maybe the opinions of others. (I’ve been there.) Addictions enslave us, too. Addictions to television or drugs or pornography or self…. I want what I want. And that list could go on and on. But the fact is, all of those things rob us of our true identity in Christ.
So now, back to freedom! The message we long to live out and communicate to those we serve is ultimately a message of identity. When we take hold of our true identity in Christ, it is then we are truly free. Whom Christ sets free is free indeed!
Everyone can use a reminder, right? So we’re wearing new t-shirts to remind us! The front says, VICTORY. God made a way for me. I’m a new creation, forgiven and free! And God has good plans for me. The back says, THANKFUL, 1 Cor. 15:17. (“But thanks be to God, who has given us the VICTORY in our Lord Jesus Christ.” )
We have the BEST reason to celebrate! Light the sparklers, and let there be fireworks and singing and dancing and a “thank You!” so beautiful and irrefutable that the whole world will see Jesus! VICTORY. What a powerful promise. JESUS. What a victorious name!