But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. ROMANS 5:8
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.JOHN 8:36
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove your stony heart from your body and replace it with a living one. EZEKIEL 36:26
Mark Allen heads up Refuge, PC3’s addictions ministry. When he shared his story from the stage last Sunday as part of a special message on Wilmington’s opioid epidemic, I was in awe of two things: the depths to which he spiraled during his addiction to heroin, and the tenacity with which God pursued Mark despite his rebellion.
“I couldn’t change my past, but God had a plan to save me from it,” Mark said. That is the Gospel, right there! For everyone has sinned. We all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (Romans 3:23) We’ve all messed up. Some in shocking, obvious ways. Others in insidious, hidden ways.
My own journey with addiction took the form of an eating disorder that nobody knew about. From age 18 to 28, I was enslaved to food and a distorted body image. Bulimia didn’t place me around drug dealers or in dangerous situations. But it consumed all my thoughts, kept me from being truly known and smothered me in guilt and shame.
Amazingly, Jesus came to my rescue while I was still a stony-hearted unbeliever who used His name in vain and scoffed at His church. It would be 15 years before I realized Jesus was the One who had resurrected me from the spiritual death of bulimia. But now I have all of eternity to praise His name.
Christ wants to unshackle each of us from whatever bondage we’re in. As Mike Ashcraft shared last Sunday, the Gospel is the power of God to change our identity from death to life. It’s the only power that can truly set us free.
- Is there anything in your life that’s making you feel trapped?
- Have you ever asked Jesus to deliver you from it?
- What would life be like if you were free of this bondage?
Dear Father in Heaven, the enemy tells us we’re unworthy of Your love because of what we’ve done in public or in secret. He also whispers that we should handle our sin by ourselves. But Jesus proved Satan wrong on both counts! He died and rose again so that we can have new life. Remind us that no addiction or life-dominating sin can enslave us when we turn it over to You. In Christ’s holy name we pray. Amen.
PC3 writer Katy Davis wrote today’s devotional.