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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Free Will

In the words of Martin Luther:

“If any man ascribes anything of salvation, even the very least thing, to the free will of man, he knows nothing of grace, and he has not learned Jesus Christ rightly.”

Are You Free?

Now he [Jesus] was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.” And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God. But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him. (Luke 13:10-17 ESV)

The verses above tell us about the power of Jesus to set us free. As He delivers this sick woman, we see an example of what He can do for us.

The woman was in severe physical pain. Her body was bent double at the waist. By her own power, she could not overcome her condition. Many are in a spiritual state like this. They are unable to see beyond dark times. This woman was an Israelite and a believer. However, she was under the attack of a demonic spirit! Even saved people can be attacked by such dark creatures (This is rare.). Satan is always seeking for ways to bind your life and to hinder you from service to God. Do you find yourself bound today?

This is one of the most powerful pictures of faith in the New Testament. She has been in this condition for 18 years! She has not been healed, still she believes in God! It looks to me as if she continued praying even when God was silent. I think she believed that God always makes the best decision for us.

Jesus saw her and called her to come to Him. Other people may have not seen her or ignored her, but Jesus loved her! Do people recognize your value? Jesus does! He sees you for what you can become through His matchless grace! Then He said, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.”

I don’t know what unclean spirits may haunt your life day by day (This is rare!). I don’t know your valleys and burdens, but Jesus does! Just come when He calls and He will speak the word of freedom.

Jesus Christ cares about you and He has a plan to help you. He wants to set you free. I also want you to notice that Jesus made the first move. He called her to come to Him. She responded to His call. Is He calling you today? Is there something in your life that has you bound? He will save you if you heed His call.

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