When the Son Sets You Free . . .

“If the Son sets you free, you are free through and through” (John 8:36 The Message).

God cares about people in physical prisons around the world. That’s why we’ve made such an effort at Saddleback to get Celebrate Recovery—the Christ-centered recovery ministry we started—into prisons around the world. We’ve seen God do incredible work in the hearts of prisoners during the last 15 years.

God cares about prisoners, and so should we.

But when Jesus said in Luke 4:18 that he came “to proclaim liberty to the captives” (NKJV), he wasn’t just talking about physical prisons. He was talking about anything that keeps us from becoming all he wants us to be.

What are some of those prisons?

  • Addictions and Compulsions: When you say, “I feel trapped,” you’re talking about a prison in your life. Maybe you’re imprisoned to a substance, a person, an event, or pornography. You want to change, but you can’t.
  • Secrets: Whether it’s family secrets or personal secrets you can’t tell anyone about, they lock you up in self-imposed prisons. You hold them inside you.
  • Ignorance: Half of the world can’t read or write. Without proper education, they’re stuck in poverty. Even if the entire world was wired for the Internet, people would be stuck without literacy.
  • Fear: This is the big one. Fear keeps us from living up to our potential. When we’re afraid to try what we haven’t done before, we limit God and ourselves.

Jesus came to set us free from these prisons—no matter why or where we’re locked up.

Know this for sure: Jesus cares about you. He wants you to be free.

And he has incredible news for you. Jesus says, “If the Son sets you free, you are free through and through” (John 8:36 The Message).

That kind of freedom is available to you right now.

Every day of your life you’re either growing in freedom or growing in bondage. You’re never standing still. Your life is either getting more open or narrower.

Today, you’ll listen to the legalists, the perfectionists, or the conformists who want to take away your freedom. Or you’ll listen to Jesus, as he offers to make you “free through and through.”

Whose message will you listen to?

Talk It Over

  • Which of the prisons mentioned in today’s devotional has been the most difficult for you to escape? Why?
  • How have people in your life tried to take away the freedom that Jesus has given you?
  • What do you think it means to be “free through and through”? Are there any areas of your life where you’ve experienced that kind of freedom?

Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.