Pastor's Pen: Saved-Released-Freedom

Pastor Ron Witbeck

Pastor Ron Witbeck

Courtesy/Ron Witbeck

Our acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior ‘releases’ us from all past sins, no longer having to live under the shadows of condemnation. We are now responsible for this new ‘freedom’ provided for us. It can be scary at times, the flesh wants to control us, but we have the Holy Spirit as a guide now!

Just as Jesus has rescued us, a few weeks ago I told you of our new family member Chella, a female dog, who we ‘saved,’ bringing her into our home. All of her fears are now behind her. We have shown her a love that she had not experienced, there is always food and safety within our walls.

Soon there will come the time that we have to take the leash off of her while outside with some fear of how she will react. Will she stay with us or with the ‘Freedom’ run away from the bond we now have?  It will be a tense moment as we watch in the hope that she will stay with us.

Isn’t this similar to the saving Grace of Jesus?  He ‘saved’ us, brought us under His wings of protection, fed us with His Word and then was ‘released.’ Do we then remain with Him or run never looking back to that safe haven ‘freedom,’ the choices He has given us?

I think that just like Jesus, whether it’s the removal of a leash or letting someone (or our new dog) free to roam. Will the love shared with them be enough to have them return when we call out?

In the Book of Revelation 3:20, Jesus tells us:

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”

Similarly, as we stand outside and ‘release’ the leash, will our beloved Chella stay with us and as we call out to her, will she come, staying within our protection as we watch over her? Will our love for her overcome her past where she was able to enjoy her own ‘freedom?’ The only hope we have is if she decides to run there is a ‘chip’ that she now carries that identifies our ownership. We also have been ‘chipped’ with the Holy Spirit showing we belong to the Family of God.

Like the prodigal son that demanded his portion of the family's riches to be ‘released’ to him, as found in Luke 15:11-21, where he left to live in the world of lust and temptation, losing all that was given to him, then feeling the loss of that temporary ‘freedom.’ He realized that his father's house was the place of security and true love, setting out to return home. The father was watching for his return, saw him coming and ran out to embrace him. Welcoming the rebellious son home!

We have experienced ‘Saved-Released-Freedom.’ We’re believing that with Chella we will never experience this loss, but if we do we would welcome her home with open arms!

— Ron Witbeck is an associate pastor at Resurrection Life Church in Big Rapids.