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Jesus, Friend of Sinners- No Lamp Needed

We recently took a family vacation to Walt Disney World. Because of this, we are stuck in Disney Princess mode with movie choices lately. Currently, it's Aladdin, which happens to be one of my favorites. More often than not my youngest daughter is watching movies in the van while I taxi her sisters to their many events. That means instead of watching the movies, I get to listen to them. Yesterday's snippet was when Genie and Aladdin were discussing Aladdin's first wish. Aladdin asks Genie what he would wish for and Genie is astounded. No one has ever asked him this. He then goes on to tell of his desire for freedom- true, unbridled freedom. Freedom for the confining space that is his bottle. Freedom from answering to others' wishes, and freedom to chase his own pursuits. This made me think. This is where I saw Jesus.

So many of us are locked in our bottles. We pop out and show a surface of smiles, laughs, wellness, but deep down we fester. We long for freedom from the shackles that keep us locked in our own self-loathing. Freedom from our past, from our mistakes, from our sins. There are hurting people out there- I was one such soul. Chains kept me tethered to my regrets and the enemy dangled the key with a smirk and an accusing finger. Whispers that I didn't deserve to unlock my past and walk away. Shouts that only the clean are worthy. Voices that were persistent in their chorus of my transgressions. Then I looked up. Too often our eyes are fixed down. Sure, we cast a sideways glance, but only to compare, only to point our own fingers at others to make ourselves feel better about whatever we are chained to. We forget to look up, to fix our eyes on Jesus.

Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, has given us the freedom we all pursue. All our transgressions, our sin, our shame- IT IS GONE- washed clean by His blood. He loves us in spite of all we have done. We are His children and like we do with our own, He picks us up, wipes our tears, and hugs us close. We don't have to wish for this. It is done. All we have to do is ask Jesus to come into our hearts and accept him as our Lord and Savior. That is freedom. No Genies, no wishing, no pleading. It is for you and for me. Freedom is ours.

Heavenly Father, we praise you and give all glory to you. We know that it is only through you that we have true freedom and we thank you for your son, Jesus, who washed our sins away at the cross. Lord, help us to continue to fix our eyes on you and you alone. Help us to silence the enemy's voice and sing your praises as we unchain ourselves and wrap ourselves up in your unfailing love. In your son's name we pray. Amen.

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© 2016 by Jennifer McAndrews