I was arrested once . . .

I was arrested once . . . for about 10 minutes. I didn’t like it much. It was all a brief misunderstanding when I was in the army. The other guys (who did deserve to be arrested) vouched for me to the captain and said I had unwittingly walked up at the same time the MPs did. Anyway – it was essentially over before it began.
 
Not many people like the idea of being held against their will – of being held captive. Not even for 10 minutes . . . let alone for a lifetime.
 
It is a travesty that throughout the centuries many cultures have been enslaved by another culture. Countless dreams and hopes for a bright future are shattered and lost forever. Such a waste . . . but it also happens on a personal level.
 
Here’s the thing:
“Many people today are being held captive
and may not even realize it.”
 
Oh, I am sure that many people do know they are living in an ongoing nightmare of bondage. But they have no idea how to escape their captivity. What kind of bondage might you ask?
 
The Bondage of:
  • Shame
  • Fear
  • Guilt
  • Unrealistic Expectations
  • Impossible Demands
  • Addictions
  • Failures
  • Rejection
  • Anger
  • Hatred
  • Depression
  • Discouragement. . . and the list goes on and on . . .
But they never seem to get victory.

They never seem to see a breakthrough.

They always seem to be stuck in a rut.

(You know that a rut is just a grave with no ending.)

I pray that this is not you . . . BUT if it is . . .

I have GOOD NEWS for you!
 

JESUS CAME TO SET THE CAPTIVES FREE!

You don’t have to carry that burden of shame or guilt or fear or whatever it is anymore! You can walk in freedom. True freedom.
 

Jesus said in Luke:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free.” I don’t know about you, but I want to be free . . . not oppressed. Paul says in Galatians that:

“It was for freedom that Christ has set us free.”

Why did Jesus set us free?

SO THAT WE WOULD BE FREE!

Here’s how we are set free:
  • When we repent, (that means truly turn from our sin)
  • ask for His forgiveness,
  • invite Him to be Lord of our life,
  • He comes into our life, declares us to be in right standing with God,
  • and releases us from the guilt, shame, heavy burden we have been carrying,
  • and makes us His children!
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Romans 5:1
 
I just preached about this a few days ago. I invite you to listen:
 
https://www.westsideinfo.com/sermons-2/
(just click on Galatians Freedom Series – Only One Gospel – Week 2 from January 13th)
 
 
Sure do love you guys,
(be free – stay free)
 
Steve

7 Responses to “I was arrested once . . .”

  1. Paul Wright says:

    Great message Steve.

    I would just like to add for those that are in bondage where it seems there is no way out, NEVER GIVE UP.
    God works in the “fullness of time” which means He’s never too early or too late.

    If you looked at my life for many years in the past you would probably say, does this guy really think he’s a Christian? Nothing I do or don’t do has anything to do with being saved, it’s all about the work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

    Remember this, Satan would love nothing more than to have you curse God and die.

    I never gave up on John 8:36 He whom the Son sets are is free indeed.

    All those years nobody had to remind me of my sinful life, though some did. The guilt and shame was horrendous the weight at times seemingly unbearable.

    I was never court ordered nor was it ever a requirement by my employer to get help. I voluntarily went to 3 different 30 day in house treatment programs. I went to teen challenge, in house a 1-year program. I also went to U-turn for Christ for over a year and a half. I worked very hard doing all the work, yet i still struggled for a few years after.

    Here’s the thing:
    God taught me things along the way that i use today that help me, all those years and “programs” weren’t in vain.
    Remember, God works in the fullness of time. I don’t understand fully why it took so many years, but I’m beginning to see how God using me to help others.

    NEVER GIVE UP! Even though for a season you feel dirty, ugly, hopeless, like no matter how hard you try that there’s no way out.

    Memorize this verse and hold on to it with everything you’ve got and never let it go. John 8:36 He whom the Son sets free is free indeed.

    Jesus paid the price with his sacrifice on the cross. He had his flesh ripped from his body, was spat upon, His beard ripped out. He wore a crown of thorns, was nailed to the cross, He did all this in my place. It’s Because of all this and the fact that He rose again and lives today, that in him, I walk free, live free and stay free.

    (FROM STEVE: Thanks for sharing Paul – so proud of you – I love being your big brother!)

    • Jaynee says:

      Wow Paul thanks for sharing. I understand you completely. I had no idea you are a shining light . Very encouraging. God is so good. These sermons on freedom have been life changing for me and I thought I was already top of the world (comparatively). Christ has set me free indeed and I can’t stop telling people!

      • Paul wright says:

        Thank you, Jaynee,
        The only thing good in me or about me is Jesus and His redemptive power, love, grace, and mercy.
        God has used my brother Steve so mightly in my life, as an example of who God is.
        Someone who is just, tempered with mercy, grace, and love. With the strength of character and integrity to be a shining example. When I think of Steve, this verse comes to mind. Micah 6:8 What does God require of you? To act justly, to love mercy and walk humbly with your God.
        Westside is so very blessed to have my brother Steve as Pastor.
        God bless you.

  2. Melissa Arcona says:

    Great message Steve!!! It’s amazing how blind we can be to our own bondage! Loved the words given last night at Worship by Matt S. The idea that some of us try to put the chains of bondage back on, after Jesus sets us free, is staggering, but so true. I am excited that we are speaking on Freedom! Thanks Paul, for adding about “Fullness of Time”! What great encouragement!

  3. Jaynee says:

    Great word Steve!

  4. Logan Lemming says:

    True words Steve. That’s why our theme this year is Freedom. It is from freedom that we’ve been set free. Praise the Lord!

  5. Charles Theuring says:

    To think of freedom this way is true freedom. It’s fully spelled out by what Jesus has done for us. Love seeing and hearing this is people’s lives. Loving these sermons Steve. Thanks for taking the time to share with us.

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