July 12, 2016

A New Master

Matthew 12:43-45

Now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.

—  Romans 6:22

Government reports about inmate releases can be discouraging. The percentage of released inmates who go back to prison for committing crimes again is as high as 60 percent in some states. This situation is often the result of poor government support after release, abandonment by family and friends, isolation and rejection from the community, and so on. Some inmates even lament that life is easier inside the prison walls. They struggle with their newfound freedom and instead go back to old ways.

In our Bible reading for today, Jesus talks about a person set free from an evil spirit. However, since the person did not have anything to fill up the void left in his heart, the evil spirit came back later with ­seven more spirits to fully exploit the person’s life. If someone’s life has been ruled by sin, they have to be changed internally, in their heart. Any external help will not have a lasting effect.

Many of us have never been in trouble with the law, not to mention serving time in prison. But we have all been imprisoned by our sin, and we are not free until Christ saves us (Ephesians 2:1-5). When that happens, the Lord himself comes to live in our heart. We have a new Master, the One who loves us—and our old sinful nature cannot come back to control our life anymore!

Lord Jesus, thank you for freeing us from our slavery to sin and giving us new life. Help us to live fully for you, the way you created us to live. In your name we pray. Amen.l

About the author — Jimmy Tai-On Lin

Rev. Jimmy Lin is the Chinese ministry leader of The Back to God Hour. With his staff in Palos Heights and Hong Kong, Rev. Lin has ministered to over 1.3 billion Chinese-speaking people around the world for 16 years through radio, literature, CD/DVD, Internet, and text message. His wife, Doris, is one of the translators of Today into the Chinese language, which now has a circulation of more than 45,000 copies.

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