Do you remember when our country turned 200 years old? I think I was ten. It was a big deal.
Our little farm town boasting of 1500 residents pulled out all the stops. There was a parade and picnics, and homemade ice cream contests. We had three legged races, bicycles decorated for the parade, and turtle races to boot! It was a great celebration. And of course, there were fireworks–not just the ones in our backyard either. The Kiwanis club lit up the sky with bursts of red, white, and blue.
I’ll never forget the first year I lived in a foreign country (thanks to the military), and I realized that the only time they celebrated with fireworks was New Years Eve.
Our freedom is like no other in the world.
Yet we forget the price paid. We are 241 years removed from the sacrifice of our forefathers. We’re used to it. It’s all we’ve known. How would it change our country if we could go back in time and experience what it was like before freedom.
I think our faith is like that too. We may remember what we were like before Christ, and I hope we never forget, but none of us know what it was like before the Cross. So, we don’t realize what we have. We need reminders.
Christ did what Isaiah prophesied. When He read these words, they were personal. The Savior in the flesh proclaimed:
“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach 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” Isaiah 61:1
A little word-study may help this verse feel closer to home or more relatable to our hearts.
- The word “poor” is a Hebrew word that can also mean “depressed.” Anybody struggle with that? Hello? Honestly, I think 95% of us struggle with it on some level.
- To “bind up” comes from Habas which denotes binding up a wound with a cloth, stopping the bleeding. Has Christ bound your wounds? Has the bleeding stopped?
- “Brokenhearted” comes from sabar which means shattered, smashed, crushed. It’s not just a little broken heart, but one that’s smashed into many pieces. It also means to tear into pieces and often appears in the context of violence. Life can do that, can’t it? It can tear our hearts to pieces one rejection, one disappointment, one hateful word at a time.
That’s who Jesus came for.
He came to heal us, but He also came to set us free from our captivity and to bring us out of our dark prisons into the light.
Let’s study our spiritual freedom this week.
Bite of Bread Bible Reading Plan
Pour your coffee, grab a journal and Bible, and let the Lord love on you this week with these verses about freedom. You can join me every morning M-F at 8:20 ET in my kitchen as I teach on each bite on the Daily Broadcast via Facebook Live or my You Tube channel where it’s posted after the live broadcast. Bring your coffee, Bible, and a journal for notes. There’s plenty of room around my table. :)
2 Corinthians 3:17: Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
John 8: 36: So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Galatians 5: 13-14: You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh ; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Galatians 5:1: It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Ephesians 3:12: In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
Colossians 1: 21-23: Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
Romans 8:1-4: Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Take some time each day to:
S- Read the scripture a few times.
O- Observe the verses around it- the context.
A-Apply the verse to your life.
K- Kneel in prayer.
This is a great way to study the scriptures. Our hearts find more freedom and healing as we allow the Word to penetrate our minds and hearts.
You can also download this printable with the verses and extra questions/prompts for each verse.
May I pray you up?
Grab my hands.
“Lord, I know that many of us walk around still wounded and chained. We know you; we love you, but we have not completely accepted or discovered our freedom in you. Some of us are still trying to be good enough while others are still allowing sin to keep them bound in the same stinking thinking and habits. The enemy is afraid of us. He knows we are dangerous when we are walking in the freedom of Christ. Holy Spirit, speak boldly to our hearts through this reading plan. Break the chains. Renew our thinking. I proclaim breakthroughs this week! In Jesus’s name. We will no longer live as if You died in vain. We will live empowered and unshackled for Your glory! Amen.”
Living Fully because I’m Free!