Escape! … I can say ‘No!’ (November 11th)

From ‘promises’, this month we are moving on to look into ‘freedom’. 

If you are not free, you’re a slave!

Slaves have to do what someone else decides.  They are not free to choose.  They can’t say ‘No’. 

Castle DoomThe Israelites were slaves in Egypt.  Jesus saw that people were still slaves – in a deeper sense.  They weren’t truly free to choose and live God’s kingdom life.  He said he was like someone going into the house of a strong man – an evil giant – and tying him up so his prisoners can escape.  We built a ‘Castle Doom’ in the hall and played at escaping from the giant.

Three big things Jesus wanted people to be able to be able to say ‘No’ to were:

  • Slavery to money
    We brainstormed things we would do if we won the lottery.  Then instead we listed things we value more than money.  So many bad things happen because people put money first!  Jesus said, ‘You can’t serve two masters, God and money’.  Which comes first for you?  (Matt 6:24)
  • Slavery to friends and family
    We played another game, this time in pairs. Crouching with palms together, we tried to push one another over.  Is what your friends and your family expect from you sometimes different from what you know is right for you?  Jesus said you may have to turn your back on them to be free … but don’t worry, you’ll find many more good friends and family both in this life and into eternity. (Mark 10: 29-31)
  • Slavery to our own bodies
    We ate hot cross buns and had a drink.  It’s good and natural to care for your own body.  But what when its needs and desires seem to take control? – can you say ‘No’.  What do you find hardest to do without?  Are you free and really in charge of your choices? (Matt 18: 8-9)

Jesus used another picture to explain how he was setting us free from these slaveries: he was like the Passover lamb, sacrificed and eaten before the Israelite slaves walked free out of Egypt

Trust in Jesus, and you really do have the freedom to say ‘No’ to everything that threatens your freedom to live as a child of God.

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