February 27, 2023

Teri Brushaber
"So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."
John 8:31-36

Legalism. A critical spirit. Measuring. Perfectionism. Judgment. As heavy as these chains of bondage are, I was completely unaware I wore these ugly shackles daily.

For many years following my acceptance of Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I walked my own path with no regard for God. As a young adult, I joined a church and poured myself into what I believed was service to Him. While the things I did for God were good things, I was solely focused on the things. You could say I had a close relationship with doing things for God, but not a close relationship with God. As my pride fed feverishly upon my accomplishments, the sins of legalism, a critical spirit, measuring, perfectionism, and judgment began to grow deep, strong roots in my heart. Looking back, I now understand why there were times I doubted my salvation; it was because my identity was tied up in things, not in Jesus.

Praise be to God, for His way is perfect! God used an event in our lives to shock us into the reality that He had a better plan. It was as if He was saying, “Wake up! Drop those chains and follow Me! Come see the abundant life I have for you!” When we found ourselves at Cypress Creek Church in March of 2011, God blew the doors off my old self and revealed to me His way. Through His people, His word, His truth, and His love, God showed me what it was like to live the abundant life He has for each of us.

Love. Joy. Grace. Mercy. Forgiveness. These are life-giving gifts of God through which I now live the abundant life of freedom in Christ!