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But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.

Romans 6:22


The Lord Jesus Christ came into this world as a human for the purpose of redeeming/saving sinners, which all of us are. When Jesus comes into our soul by the grace of God combining with our faith in Him, we are indwelt by His Spirit and sealed for Him for eternity. We now have His presence in us to give us the power, for the first time, to break the bonds of sin which hold us captive, and to be able to overcome the wiles of the devil and the influence of the world and our flesh/pride. When we start walking by faith and trusting the Lord, we are letting Him do “sanctification” work in us whereby we become more of “His” in how we live. We all alike as believers can “grieve” and “quench” the work of the Holy Spirit in us by our disobedience or lack of faith (Ephesians 4:29-32 and 1 Thessalonians 5:11). God sent His Son to set us free to live for Him and to make a difference for Him in this world and in eternity. We must choose to allow Him to use us in this fashion. God does not make us into robots once we are saved and forgiven, it is a relationship we now have with Him that involves choice and a desire to know and please our Lord. We are to be enslaved/committed/dedicated to the Lord because of His great love and mercy He has shown to us.


July 4th is a major holiday for us in the USA as we celebrate the birth of our nation which has given us great freedoms to enjoy. A quick look at the history of our nation though, will show it wasn’t freedom for everyone as the evil of slavery was being practiced and great wickedness was be done to the Native Indians who were already living here. That seems to always be the case in this life and in this world, even the best of things are very flawed and corrupted. What is there to keep us from being totally jaded and embittered with the realities of this life? Well, the purity of the love of God and His incredible sacrifice for us should be the driving force of our existence. There is really nothing that this world has to offer that compares to the sacrificial love of God who created all that exists and gives us our every heartbeat and breath. If we can focus on Him in the midst of the troubles of this fallen world, we can find peace and joy for ourselves; this is freedom indeed! If we choose to focus on the evil and failures of others and ourselves, death is the only outcome. The satanic mass shooting and murder that was done not many miles from our church this 4th of July reminded me of this very fact. This world is not our eternal home. We must do all the good we can while we can in this life, but to set our hopes on this world becoming a utopia is a certain failure. The bible reveals that what we are seeing in the news today will increase in the future; this should cause us to draw ever closer to Jesus Christ and put all our hope in Him. This is why Jesus came into this wicked world that deserves judgment, to save and change each of us! Will you let Him have all of you for this purpose? It is the very reason of our Savior’s dying on the cross. Let Him have His way and you will find a life that can overcome all of the darkness around us. Blessings!


Love in Christ,

Pastor Gary Houdek