Free To Serve

Scripture: John 8:36 – “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

Greetings and blessings for all.

Happy 4th of July!

It is a joy to be with you. Pastor Greg, thank you for the invitation.

Before continuing, I would like to invite you to join us for a BBQ in the Spanish worship room after the service.

Introduction   

Today marks a very important national holiday in American history. July 4, 1776, was the day on which the Declaration of Independence of this nation was signed, thus establishing the proclamation of its formal separation from the thirteen colonies of the British Empire.

When I received the invitation to be here with you, the issue of freedom came to my mind. Perhaps because I immediately associated it with the holiday, we celebrate Today probably because we can return to parks, jobs, churches, and everyday life after a year of the pandemic. A pandemic that has made us value, even more, the freedoms we have and health, friendship, family, among many other things that we take for granted, sitting.

In April, I went with my grandchildren to the opening of Union City Little League Baseball. When I arrived at the park, I felt a feeling of joy and a lot of emotion that made me think about how beautiful and great it is to have freedom.  I thanked God.  I felt free even though I was never literally imprisoned.  

I think during this last year or maybe Today, some of you, in one way or another, can identify with what I’m saying because although we are physically free, we sometimes face situations in life that make us feel enslaved or captive: Slaves to the power, of fear, loneliness, drugs, alcohol, slaves, and slaves of some toxic relationship, shopping, pessimism, anxiety, depression. Slaves to a job, we beg for a bite of bread.  And that absence of freedom oppresses us, overwhelms us, and robs us of peace.   

The wonder Today is that there is good news from God for us.  News that fills us with hope: 

TEXT

In the gospel, according to St. John 8:36, the Bible tells us, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

The Apostle John refers to the true freedom that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, bestows upon those who believe in him.  To those who approach Him through his Word and his example.   

Perhaps you wonder what freedom the evangelist John is referring to? What do you mean by truly free if I am not a slave to anyone? How do you get that freedom?

The answers to these questions can be found in the testimonies or experiences of some brothers and sisters in our congregations. Many of them leave their countries in search of a better future for themselves and their families. However, when they come to this nation, some people’s prejudices marginalize them to the point of hopelessness. That is why when they come to our churches, many of them arrive confused and hurt. At that moment, we have the opportunity to support them and show you that only with God will you always have hope.   A hope that does not shame, hoping that even during difficulties, makes us know that we are no longer chained; we are free, worthy, and loved by God.

ln the dictionary, freedom is defined as the power or right to act, speak, or think without hindrance or restraint. That completely wraps up everything Christ has done for us. There is only one thing left for you to do. Live Galatians 5:1: It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (NIV) 

How can we be free from the chains that hold us back from the path of life, that consumes us, that wears us down, takes away our strength, and our spirit.  It is as simple as inviting Jesus to accompany us on this path. 

Don’t give up on following Jesus.  Get up, keep trying and fight with that bond that drags you into misery.  This time you are not alone on the road.  You do not have to face it alone. Do not give up.  

Stay close to those who hold you and take you by the hand so you do not fall. Avoid that which harms you. Be silent  stop, and look inward to follow the path that Jesus traced for you.  Learn from those promises that the Bible has for you.

Illustration– Jehovana  to be reviewed for grammatical errors

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

One Sunday a woman came to church, invited by a friend. This woman is a cosmetologist. A single mother of three children, she suffered humiliation and verbal abuse by the father of her children. She was rejected and marginalized by her family and friends because of her social status and her legal status in this country.  She felt  a lot of shame, she felt empty, meaningless and purposeless.  She started to smoke and drink alcohol trying to feel better. 

In one of her visits to the church, she heard that in Jesus she can find hope and peace for her situation. She heard that  in Jesus, there is the peace that no one can give.

This woman believed in Jesus and accepted him as Savior. She testifies that that day was an unforgettable day because she felt a great weight had been lifted from her and a tranquility and peace filled her heart and her soul that moment.

Eight months later she was baptized and opened her home to have a small groups with her family.  This past Easter, two of her teens accepted Jesus and were baptized.  

A few months ago he called me on the phone,  Pastora Mary  I have a surprise for you.  I want to obey and please God in everything He took refuge in alcohol g and as a result I went to the city hall to get married.  

This woman, at her work, listen many stories of people who need Jesus and she is tasking these opportunities to share her faith and her life story before and after Jesus Christ came to her heart.

And it is that……

I. TRUE FREEDOM is ONLY FOUND IN JESUS, and we find it through his Word, which is the truth.   In Jn 8:32, the Bible says, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. He is the truth. His Word is the truth and

True freedom comes from knowing Christ through genuine faith, which comes by studying His Word and obeying His commandments.

During the pandemic, we met three women who connected from Mexico weekly, and in one of the Bible studies of the small groups, these three women accepted Jesus as Savior. What a joy seeing people being free from bondage sin.  

It is the Bible that lifts, corrects, animates, and transforms.  This truth makes them free from sin.

 Being free in Christ means that sin no longer governs our actions; it means that Jesus is the Lord of our life; it means that we participate in the whole life that God has designed for us.  This woman has been free from shame, anxiety, and fear.

 As many people as you and I know Today need to hear this truth, need to receive the good news that Jesus the Son of God signed our act of independence against the adversary so that Today we may have access to the Father to obtain that freedom from sin, and the gift of eternal life.  Let us share this truth with others.

 A person who has experienced a relationship with Jesus is a free person, freed to live a life of love outwards toward the other people around him, serving God and fighting for justice for all.

II. FREEDOM IN CHRIST MUST BE LIVED BY SERVING OTHERS 

We have been created to live in a community, not to be lone rangers. In a personal way the freedom in Christ produces in me joy and love to serve others.   I love The Point Church’s work in the community helping with food distribution. The freedom that we have in Christ should move us to service, not to selfishness; it propels us toward love for others. Others who are immigrants, poor, fatherless, who are slaves in their jobs.

Galatians 5:13 tells us to serve one another humbly in love.

Let’s  think about how we are using this freedom .  Are  we taking it for granted or  are we sharing it with others?  Are we loving our neighbor or hating them.?  Are we rejecting the immigrants or are we loving them.?  `How are we living the freedom in Christ.? 

 Friends and church family, 

He gives us daily opportunities to say no to sin and no to selfishness and serve others with love. In short, we experience true freedom in Christ by knowing Him, walking in His ways, and committing to the changes He Makes in our lives as we focus on service to Him and others. 

Nicholas is a businessman, very sociable, with a very strong character.  In the past, work and money were one of his high priorities.   Also, he liked to have many meetings at home and liked to drink alcohol. When his business was prosperous, he said that he felt self-sufficient, and he didn’t want to have anything with God. God was not in his priorities.

His wife Aurora accepted Jesus as Savior first and she invited him to church, only sometimes he went with her.  In one of his visits to church he heard about Jesus’ love for him and the plans of hope that Jesus has.. He accepted Jesus as a Savior ..

 At first he came to church on Sundays, but he wanted the service to end quickly because he had his own business and wanted to go and open it  on Sundays.

In one moment in his life, He cannot explain how his love for work and money were diminishing and Jesus took priority over these.

Today Nicolás, the bossiness man who didn’t want to know or have anything with Jesus, now is teaching us to take care of the homeless. Recently part of the small group  went to his house to prepare burritos to take out for the homeless.  During the pandemic every week he was bringing food from the food bank to many families in need.  He constantly invites others to come to church, He has a servant heart.  He participates in the small groups and also, he is part of the Board at The Point.

 Now when he comes to church, he is no longer in a hurry to leave he is trusting God in everything.

 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

Wherever you are, talk to God and give him everything that does not let you be free. Your pain, your illness, your anxiety, your thoughts.  Rest on his promises and in his forgiveness and trust him to lead you out of slavery to sin and into freedom from sin in Jesus.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

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