I was moved last week watching Michelle Knight stand up in court and start the process of taking her life back. The words of power and forgiveness and hope that she spoke filled the courtroom that day. I was moved to tears to see her stand up to the man that took eleven years of her life and claim her life back from the demons of the past.

Witnessing redemption and hearing someone proclaim that they are free is a powerful thing to see and feel. Don’t we love to hear when others proclaim victory over habits, addictions and other obstacles of life?

“I have lost 60 pounds!”

“I have been sober for 6 months!”

“Smoke-free for a year!”

“I passed the exam for my _________license!”

“The surgery was a success!”

“Cancer free!”

“No drugs in my system for three months!”

I believe God rejoices at these announcements of victory and celebration of the dedication and hard-work, perseverance and commitment that is necessary for these victories to be achieved. But they do not happen alone. Each person in the above statements would have a list of people to thank for encouragement and support and love and direction to help them achieve their goals.,

God hates anything that holds us in bondage and takes away the freedom that is offered us through His Son, Jesus Christ. God’s desire is for us to experience freedom and abundant life in and through His Son.

“So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36 NRSV).

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy, I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10 NRSV).

God loves to rescue us from the things in this world that try to hold us captive. God loves to hear the cry of the “Redeemed!” In fact, Scripture states that, “there is more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance” (Luke 15:7 NRSV).

I pray that you may be one of those who can stand and say, “I am Redeemed! I have been set free!”

May the Joy and Freedom of the Lord be your hearts song and strength!

In Christ,

Pastor Eric

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