“And he said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’…’Your faith has saved you; go in peace.'” ~ Luke 7:48,50 (ESV)
Read the story of the woman who was forgiven: Luke 7:36-50
It’s amazing to me when I think about the fact that I’ve been set free! No, I wasn’t in jail. Rather, I’ve been set free from the bondage of sin. To some, this may seem odd. To those that do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, they won’t be able to understand the freedom that takes place when you surrender your life to Him. It truly is the equivalent of having a tremendous weight drop off of your shoulders.
Because I’m a big guy who’s trying to drop quite a few pounds, I liken it to the process of losing weight. When you lose a significant amount of weight, you’re much more free to live your life without excess weight slowing you down. You enjoy life more. You feel better. You find and take opportunities to do more activities. You’re happier. Yet here’s the amazing thing. When you carry a lot of excess weight, you don’t think about how much better life will be if you were lighter. You think you are happy. The way you are, is simply the way you are and you deal with it. It’s your life. There is no realization of a better life because the life you have, is what you have. So what needs to happen in order for someone to realize they need to lose weight and live a healthier, happier life? They need to be told. They need someone to bring the reality of who they are to light. Sometimes, all it takes is for an overweight person to look in the mirror. Maybe it takes their own body to tell them through a heart attack or other weight-related concerns. Other times, the love and care of others telling them what life could be like is enough. It may even be a combination of the above. But I can speak from experience, that when I lost 75 pounds, I was a new man. I never felt better! I was set free from feeling insecure, unhappy, and trying to appear strong for the sake of my wife and children.
This is what sin does to us. It weighs us down. I remember a specific time in my life (during college), when I decided to allow a particular sin to consume my life. I was partying and drinking constantly. I remember a specific moment when I got so drunk, I passed out on the bathroom floor. When I woke up, my arms were wrapped around the toilet, and I was lying in my own vomit. It was at that moment that I decided I needed to return to my first love. I got cleaned up and immediately went to a place on our school’s campus where there is a large wooden cross. I found myself on my knees, weeping, at who I allowed myself to become. I was crying out to Jesus to forgive me. It was the only thing I could think to do. Having a relationship with Jesus, I knew He would forgive me. But I also knew I had to make a tremendous change in my life. I had to live for Him. I had to make Jesus first again in my life.
Unfortunately, most don’t even realize what life in Christ is like. As Jesus did for the woman in this story, He can do for you. She was seen as wretched. An outcast. A prostitute. Not worthy to be a part of society. Yet she humbled herself and threw herself at Jesus’ feet. She recognized her sin and knew that the only way to be set free from it all was Jesus Christ. She gave everything she had, especially her heart, to the only Way, the Truth, and the Life. And Jesus looked at her and said, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” There is nothing too big for Jesus. There is nothing that you have done that can outweigh His love for you. Will you let Him forgive you? Will you allow Him to set you free of the weight of sin that’s holding you back from true freedom?
I Am Forgiven. I Am Second.
*Learn more about Living Second: I Am Second
*Doug Bender’s new book, “Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First“