Thursday, May 16, 2013

Freedom for Captives

You already know the story of how Paul and I were saved from death by the love of a Savior, and the rescue mission of two of our four children that followed in His name. 

What is Your Story?

More importantly, do you know how it ends?

In every post, Paul and I try to share with you the blessed assurance that we have, but at this moment I would like to share with you how you can have this same peace, joy, and assurance.  

If you have followed our story from the beginning, you know that Jesus Christ changed everything in our lives and set us free from fear, allowing us to live recklessly for Him.  

What exactly does "believing in Jesus" mean?  

Many people think it means you are a good person.  Others believe it means that we are all forgiven and free to live as we choose; or that it simply means to believe He existed.  Far too many believe that belief in Jesus will prosper them in a material sense.

Paul and I look for these answers from the Bible.  We know that it means none of these things.  We know that we were lost, and that we are now called Beloved 

We were captives, and now we are free.

But are we truly good people? 

As an adoptive parent, this comes into question quite a bit.  It starts at the homestudy, and it NEVER ENDS!

One of the things people most frequently say to me in public after seeing my brood is, "You are a saint; what a special person you are.  God bless you!"

My response is simple:  

"I am NOT a good person."    

How about you?  Are you a good person?  Let's run a little test, compliments of Living Waters.

Have you ever told a lie?  Stolen anything? Cursed the Lord's Good Name?  Hated someone?  Lusted?  Coveted?

I'll answer.  I am a liar, a thief, a blasphemer, and since the Lord also said that hatred is equivalent to murder in His eyes, I am a murderer.

You probably know that those are the Ten Commandments.  And even if you don't, you know that these things are wrong inherently, because the good Lord God wrote them on your hearts and minds when He created you.  Ask a child, if you have any doubts of this.

The Lord gave us the 10 Commandments, and then He told us not to break them.  It's His Law.  He said that anyone who does not keep all of the commandments all of the time will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven...that same Heaven that so many people think we get into for being "good".  

The bad news is that none are good in the eyes of the Lord under His Commandments.  Not ONE.  

All have sinned...  
Especially this girl!  

How then, do we reconcile with God, when we are sinful in His sight, no matter how GOOD we are (kids we adopt, people we help, etc)?  If we picture Him as a judge, we have to picture Him as the most righteous and fair judge that ever was or will be, because He IS Righteousness.  He IS Justice.  

If you committed a crime and incurred a large fine and penalties, and stood before the most fair Judge that ever existed, and then simply told the Judge, "I'm really sorry; I know I am guilty of murder, but I also adopted some kids and am super nice most of the time.  I recycle, tithe, and am a responsible citizen.  It's just the one murder....." 

Would He let you free?  How can He?  Especially since HE wrote these words:

"The penalty of sin is death." - Romans 6:23 

What's worse, it's not the amount of sin we have committed (or even the type) that matters.  God says that if you have broken one law you have broken them all.

What, then, should the Good Judge do with you?

If you were "judged", based on your keeping of the 10 Commandments alone and God's standards for keeping them, would you deserve Heaven or Hell?

I would deserve Hell.  And Hell is eternal, permanent, and terrifying (especially since it equals separation from God).

While I stand with my head hanging before this Judge, a Lawyer who has never committed a sin EVER races into the courtroom and not only defends me before this righteous Judge, He takes ownership of my crime and pays my fine.  

Then I watch in horror as He takes my punishment.  


Justice is served, and I am free.    

This is what happened to me.  Jesus Christ took my sin and paid for it on the Cross.  

God is rich in Mercy.

He sent His own Son to suffer and die for the sins of those who will turn to Him in repentance for salvation, trusting in Him alone.  Then Jesus rose from the grave and defeated death.

He offers this gift of Life.  To you

Here's a quote from my favorite tract from Living Waters:

You can't earn Eternal Life, it is God's Gift to all who humble themselves to Jesus.  "Turn to God in repentance and have faith in the Lord Jesus." (Acts 20:21)  He will forgive your sins and give you a NEW HEART!  "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation!"  (2 Cor. 5:17)

Any good you see in me is the result of Jesus Christ, and is of no credit to me.  He did it, He does it, and He is Mighty to Save!

I am a new creation in Jesus Christ.  I have everlasting life, and nothing can separate me from the love of my God.  

If you want more information on accepting Christ as your Savior, on the Bible and what it says, or are already walking with Christ and want to learn how to share your faith with confidence, please visit (or reach out to us directly on the "Contact Us" page).

I have had many missions in my life that I have intended to be for the glory of Jesus Christ....orphan care, poverty, helping those with substance or alcohol abuse; but sharing the Gospel is the Mission that has given me a solid sense of purpose among all others.  

All other missions MUST be brought under the Great Commission; always sharing our faith, no matter how we serve.

Last week, we heard our oldest daughter approach a group of children, ask them their names, make small talk, and then ask them, "Do you know the Lord?".  She proceeded to do a full and accurate gospel presentation for the 5-year olds, passionately sharing what she hears from us.  She watches Mommy and Daddy, and she will not grow up fearful of sharing His Word. 

That was my proudest moment as a mother.

My heart is burdened for the lost, and it has been ever since I accepted Jesus can we keep this gift to ourselves?  I have to be honest and say that I had truly struggled with how to tell people on a day to day basis (outside of this blog) the truth about Jesus Christ, and the truth about WHY we adopted to begin with...

We adopted these children because the love, joy, and peace that filled our home after Jesus Christ entered our lives was so overwhelming, it brought us to our knees in humility and thankfulness.  Had we not adopted our children, He would love us still; and nothing Paul or I can ever do can add or subtract from that Love.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.