• Stefan Youngblood

Parole or Freedom: You Choose

Today’s news headline read, “O.J. Simpson paroled…but still not free.” I’m definitely not a fan of O.J. and really didn’t want to reference him in a blog, but the headline caught my eye. Paroled…but not free. I think that probably describes many people I know. Parole is defined as “The conditional release of a prisoner.” Freedom is defined as complete liberation and deliverance from bondage or confinement. When we choose Jesus, we choose freedom. When we choose to add conditions, good behavior, brownie points…to the finished work of Jesus, we’ve chosen parole. 

It’s not hard to find books, teaching, and preachers happy to keep a person on parole by leading them to believe that their works plus the cross may lead to salvation. Read the Bible more, pray more, study more, do more. The thing is, more always needs…more. The cross of Jesus is enough. Enough for complete freedom, total liberation, and the greatest incentive for joyful obedience in living and dying for the sake of the cross. The tyranny of the urgent has more than once driven me to seasons of restlessness. A friend once said “Sometimes more than a sermon you need a nap.”

One of our favorite new songs at church is “Break Every Chain.” As someone who’s seen the Lord break chains over my own life, I encourage you not to settle for anything less than freedom. We are no longer slaves. We are sons and daughters of the King. There are no reversals in this change. Jesus wants us unbound. In fact, what comes to your mind when you think about God is the most important thing about you. I pray that your first thought is one completely grounded in the truth of God’s word. Jesus came to set the captive free. And “He who the Son sets free is free indeed.”

So my friends, if you’re in Christ, you’re not on parole…You Are Free. Now that’s a reason to celebrate.

There’s no place like hope,

Stefan

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