Daily Devotional – 9/21/17 “You are free, now what?”

Now you have to choose. Usually when an inmate is released, they are given conditions. Well, today we change that to choices. See, no one should have to make you change, you should want to choose too. This is why, you was not released on probation where you are threatened into behaving. Neither were you given house arrest, you should not have to be monitored and watched. Ma’am/sir, these are simple choices, you can choose, to ensure you stay free.

  1. Remove the clothes of bondage – You are no longer a prisoner. Remove the clothes, discard the prison number, change your mindset and embrace your freedom. Galatians 5:1, “So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.”

  2. Be committed to remain free – According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 47% of prisoners who are released end back up in prison within three years. In my opinion, they have a hard time getting accustomed to not being locked up, especially if they started going to prison during the formative years of their life. This is why you must have a committed mind to be free. Romans 8:5, “Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.”

  3. Cut ties with those of your former – If you are surrounded by folk whose mindset hasn’t changed, you need to sever ties and be okay with it. 1 Peter 1:14, “So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then.”

  4. Forgive yourself – Yes, you have made mistakes. Yes, you have done wrong. Yes, you knew better but forgive yourself. There is an entire world you have yet to see, come out of the bondage, beloved. Ephesians 4:22, “throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception.”

  5. Stop allowing folk to call you by mistakes/condition – Sometimes you have to reintroduce yourself to people who only knew you by what you used to do, go through or be. Yes, you may have known me as this but I’m no longer that, allow me to reintroduce myself. Romans 14:16, “So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil.”

  6. Above all else, choose God – Yes, it will be hard. Yes, you will have some moments of wanting to give up. Yes, it may look like your past will never leave you alone. Yes, it may seem as if you cannot shake loose who you used to be. But choose God because He has the ability to use us and call us holy and it does not matter what we look like, what we’ve done or who we used to be. Ephesians 5:17, “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”

You are free and you can stay free because the bible says in Romans 6:16, “Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.” What will you choose today?

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Daily Devotional – 9/20/17 “You are free!”

When a man or woman has served time in a prison, for however long, there is a process they will go through upon their release. For some, it is easy but for others it can be traumatic. It’s almost like Stockholm syndrome, the difference, a prisoner begins to feel for their captor and in this case it’s prison. As a prisoner you are on a schedule, someone is preparing your food, you cannot go and come as you wish, there is a certain time to use the phone, scheduled times to see your loved ones, your money is managed, your mail is watched and you have no freedom. Depending on your sentence, you may find yourself spending year after year in this prison, getting accustomed to the yelling and the screaming of other inmates, the violence and being told what to do and how to do it. You get used to the food. You get used to the small cells. You get used to the little, if any, outdoor air you breathe. You get adapted to your prisoner. Now, release day comes and you find yourself walking out the doors into a world that is unfamiliar and it can scare you. Why am I sharing this? Especially since I have never been to prison or jail. Well, this morning, beloved, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I just want to help somebody today.

No, you may not have been released from the prison system but you have been in prison. Whether it was abuse, a dwindling marriage, an addiction, a job, a relationship, a place of worship or a sickness. And now you have been released and don’t know what to do with yourself. The doors have been opened and the shackles released but you still walk around like you’re bound. You’ve been healed and you still get up in the morning following the same routine you did when you were sick. Your abuser is gone yet you still walk around on egg shells. You left that place of worship yet you still don’t trust the one you’ve joined. Your marriage ended yet you still find yourself holding on to the hostility. The addiction, you still act like that alcoholic/drug addict. Baby, you’re free. Go to sleep in your bed, nobody will hurt you. Laugh, you won’t get hit this time. You can enjoy worship, nobody is talking about you. You can have that drink, you are healed. You can go on that vacation, your probation is over. Ma’am, sir; you are free now. – Happy Release Day!