Bible Reading: John 8:21-36
Everyone has to deal with sin. We are all sinners. The problem is that sin is more powerful than we are. The only answer is to have God’s help. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, the Holy Spirit enters into our life and gives us everything that we need to live in a manner that is pleasing to God…and beneficial to us.
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:
This is a list of the 6 largest cities in the United States ranked by the size of their population.
#1 New York City, NY 8,550,405
#2 Los Angeles, CA 3,971,883
#3 Chicago, IL 2,720,546
#4 Houston, TX 2,296,224
#5 Philadelphia, PA 1,567,442
#6 Phoenix, AZ 1,563,025
Notice that their total population is 20,669,525. That rounds off to 20.7 million. That is a lot of people…a whole lot of people.
But let me tell you something very, very sad. It is estimated that there are 20.9 million people worldwide who are trapped in some form of slavery. That is more than the total population of those 6 cities.
Slavery. Today? In our world? I know…it sounds impossible. How could someone be a slave in our modern world? Slavery comes in a number of forms…and it’s not always easy to recognize.
The United Nations defines human trafficking, or slavery, as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons by improper means (such as force, abduction, fraud, or coercion) for an improper purpose including forced labor (agricultural field workers, cooks, janitors, cleaners, mechanics, etc.) or sexual exploitation. There are a number of different ways that modern slavery happens…
- Domestic Servitude…people who are forced, or intimidated, to work in private homes…they are often convinced that leaving is not an option.
- Forced Labor…people who are forced to work for no pay…they are threatened with violence if they refuse to do so.
- Child Labor…any use of children for purposes that they are unwillingly forced to perform.
- Sex Trafficking…people who are forced into the sex industry.
- Bonded Labor…people who owe money to someone and are forced to work in order to pay off the debt.
- Forced Marriage…people who are forced to marry someone without wanting to.
Slavery is nothing new. There was slavery in the days of Jesus. People then, understood that slavery meant that a person had no rights of their own, they were under the control of someone else, they could not make their own decisions, everything in their life was determined by their master. Bondage. Control. Domination. Command. Authority. Each of those words describes the result of slavery. A slave had to do exactly what the master said and any objection would be met with punishment.
With that understanding of slavery…Jesus said that people who do not accept Him as their Savior are “slaves of sin”. What did He mean by that? Bondage. Control. Domination. Command. Authority. The same thing that slavery meant in its normal use. A person who has not accepted Jesus as Savior…is a slave to sin. Here’s how. When we sin…we are doing something, engaging in a behavior, that goes against the way that God made us to live. And each time we do it…we are giving ourselves over to the power and control of that behavior. Each time we do it…we lose our own power and control over that behavior in our life. And get this…sin is like a cancer. It doesn’t just infect one cell…but it spreads from cell to cell, on its own. That’s what sin does. It spreads. We may think that we can sin one time and control it. But sin spreads on its own. We don’t have to do it over, and over again, in order for it to spread. Sin spreads on its own to other parts of our life. And before long, often without our even realizing it, sin is affecting decisions and actions in our life that we had never thought about doing, before. And as it does…sin takes over our life. Instead of us controlling sin…sin controls us. We become slaves to sin. And, we have no ability, no power, to regain control of our life. Sin gains too powerful of a hold on us. We are slaves to sin.
But we can have freedom from sin. When we accept Jesus as our Savior…He sets us free from the power of sin. The Holy Spirit comes into our life and breaks the control that sin has over us. The Holy Spirit gives us the freedom to make decisions and to live in God’s power.
Have you ever heard of a person who did something wrong and then said, “I couldn’t help myself”? Well, they may not be able to help themself…but the Holy Spirit can help them. No matter what they have done. No matter how difficult it may seem. No matter how long it has been going on. The Holy Spirit can set them free from slavery to sin.
When you are struggling with something…some habit, some attitude, some thought, some behavior, some guilt…and you just can’t seem to do anything about it…turn it over to Jesus. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you His wisdom and strength. He will set you free.
Love you more than bunches and bunches,