Photography: Sweet Memory Photography
So we’ve talked about what freedom in Christ really means, we’ve talked about why boundaries give us freedom, we’ve studied scripture about freedom, and we’ve heard from my beautiful cousin and her story with freedom. We’ve done a lot in our little month that flew by like the rest. I even added more supplementary material through the weekly bible studies I’ve been posting here. P.S. – they’re simple and will definitely leave you feeling a bit more encouraged and challenged!
Before we move onto a new month and theme I wanted to leave you with an honest reality of what life really looks like when you choose to live in freedom with Christ.
I had a dentist appointment this morning and had an hour and a half to kill before work so I obviously went to Starbucks. When I was sitting in my car in the drive thru line a certain phrase in scripture kept popping into my mind, “Well done my good and faithful servant…enter into the joy of the Lord.”
It’s Matthew 25:21, “His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” (NKJV)
I started thinking about that moment when we meet Jesus and He welcomes us to Heaven and just started to cry. Right there in the Starbucks drive thru.
Here’s the reality of life with Jesus:
You will not find a more fulfilling existence. You won’t. You won’t. You won’t. In every season of life, really great or really impossible, your life will be full. Only if you allow it to be though. Y’all, He’s literally always there. Always reminding us of His presence and His goodness. You do not have to feel alone, afraid, ashamed, or abandoned. No other possible life provides that. Not being the best, most charitable, kind, accepting human being. Only a life with and for Jesus.
The reality of living in freedom means that you will be stretched. It means that your gifts and talents will be absolutely used and strengthened. It means that people will disappoint you over and over again and you will have no choice but to love them back. Over and over again. Those people aren’t always going to be the difficult person at work or random man that snaps at you at Target. They are 100% going to be your best friends, your family, your spouse, and your community. Whether they move on from things and forgive you or not, you’re gonna have to forgive and love them. And TBH that bites. Sometimes it’s so dang hard. But I cannot tell you the joy that comes from it.
The reality of living in freedom means that you will hurt when others hurt. You can’t live this life without compassion. It’s our mission to love and care for those in the greatest need. People without resources, families, and the simplest love and compassion. Beyond that it’s our mission to live in community with people who will experience loss, grief, pain, and suffering of all kinds. Compassion is everything. Compassion is literally the Gospel. The tough part of compassion is that it works best when your wants and needs aren’t involved. Which means going through the daily battle of fighting your own selfishness. And if you aren’t aware that it’s a daily thing then you maaaaaaay be a tiny bit selfish. Oops did I just say that? Here’s the upside of this one: there is no other life that provides more joy and love. All of the compassion you give results in the sweetest joy. The relationships you build and the lives that God blesses through you results in the deepest love.
When you’re the one in a season of pain or grief or when you feel stretched and tapped out, your community and your people are there for you. That’s the amazing thing. When you love people like Jesus, your people love you like Jesus. When you give compassion like Jesus, your people give you compassion like Jesus. And even when you DON’T love people and give compassion like Jesus, your people still come through for you. Here’s the best part: whether you love or don’t love like Jesus, Jesus still loves you. And if every single person turned their back on you, Jesus still loves you. Unlike anyone else.
Knowing and believing all of this, I’ve been struggling with being faithful to God. Isn’t that terrible? I know God comes through on all of His promises and then some, and yet I still struggle with doubts. I still struggle knowing that God will workout everything for good. I still get discouraged. You know what though? The hope I have in Him is far greater than any doubts I have. I talk with Him every day. I know He is good because I read and study His word. On the days when I lack faith, He’s still there and He’s constantly reminding me of his presence and goodness. That’s my God. When I sin and when I struggle, He’s there. Providing everything I need. Providing all hope, security, and peace.
“His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” (NKJV) Matthew 25:21
The reality of living a life in freedom is just that. It’s because of Jesus. It’s because God loves us when He shouldn’t. It’s to glorify Him and make His great name known.
Anyone with me?