If Jesus sets you free, you will be really free. ~ John 8:36
Think about the word “free.” It can mean you get something without paying for it. You see a sign that says “FREE PUPPIES.” “Can I have one, Dad? Please, pretty please? It doesn’t cost anything!”
“Free” might mean you get to do whatever you want to do. Mom says, “You have fifteen minutes of free time. I’ll call you when it’s time for dinner.” In the same way, some kids whoop and holler on the last day of school, “Yay! No more homework! We’re free!”
On the 4th of July, we celebrate the birthday of The United States of America. “The Star-Spangled Banner” is the special song of our country. The song ends by saying that our flag (the Star-Spangled Banner) will keep flying over our “free” land. What do you think it means to live in a “free” country?
Now think about the word “sin.” Even if we live in a free country, sin keeps us locked up like animals in a cage, or like someone in jail. Sometimes we are mean or don’t tell the truth. That’s called sin. When we forget to be helpful and kind, that’s sin, too.
Sin is always trying to trick us. No matter how hard we try or how much we want to be good, we can’t stop sinning all by ourselves. We can’t get out of that icky cage. The verse above says that Jesus can set us free. When we ask Jesus to be our Savior, he washes away the bad things we have done. He has the key, and he unlocks the door of the cage of sin and sets us free. Then he teaches us to love others, to be helpful and cheerful, and to be honest and kind.
If you have Jesus in your heart, sin isn’t the boss anymore. You can say to yourself, “Hey! I don’t have to be mean to that bully down the street.” “I’m not going to sneak an extra cookie.” “I’m going to be friends with the new kid in Sunday school, even though it’s kind of scary.” You are free because Jesus paid for all your sins. When you feel like doing something mean or naughty, or just plain wrong, don’t let sin win! Ask Jesus to help you do what is right. Then you will be free…really free!