DONE: You are No Longer a Slave… You are a Friend of Jesus

I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me (John 15:15).

Deep in the American South, toward the end of the 1800s, some folks in a small town were getting ready for an event taking place that afternoon. This wasn’t a typical event like a carnival or a wedding though. No, these folks were setting up for a slave auction.

As hard as it is to look back at the reality of something as shameful as a slave auction, at this time they were still lively affairs—at least for those who were only there to observe. Many of the townsfolk would come to watch the wealthy plantation owners arrive in their fancy coaches and bid on new workers for their growing operations.

The work on these plantations was physically demanding, so the strongest and most muscular slaves would fetch top dollar.

Elijah, however, was not one of these powerful men. He was a small boy who was sure to be overlooked by the majority of the bidders. He knew before he even stepped in front of the crowd that he would likely be purchased by one of the smaller farms—if he was purchased at all.

The small farms, because of their reduced resources and income, were notorious for demanding impossible amounts of work from their slaves. Sometime, the owner could only afford one slave, and he would be isolated much of his life. Worse yet, many of these owners were known to beat their slaves violently if they couldn’t keep up with the demands.

Elijah was understandably frightened as he was forced onto the bidding stage.

The auctioneer held out his arm out towards Elijah and shouted, “Do I hear a dollar for this… this… runt of a boy?”

The crowd jeered with laughter.

“I need something to replace my mousing cat,” shouted a man in the front. “I’ll pay a dollar.”

“I need someone to clean up under my horses. He’s just the right size! I’ll pay two!” another man yelled.

As the auction progressed, the bidding climbed slowly but still remained far below the price of a typical slave. Elijah became more and more embarrassed as the crowd continued to belittle him.

He was ashamed.

He felt worthless.

The life of a slave was horrible enough, but adding public ridicule was almost too much. Elijah wished this life of torment forced upon him would somehow end.

But then, a man from the back stepped forward. “I will pay the highest price for this young man. I see value in him that none of you see, and I must have him as my own.”

Everyone, including Elijah, was shocked. But the man was indeed serious, and he took Elijah home with him that day for a sum far exceeding what anyone had expected.

As soon as they arrived at the man’s sprawling estate, Elijah asked him what his first job would be. He knew there would be nothing but endless work for him on a plantation as large as this man’s.

“No, Elijah. I did not purchase you to extend your slavery. I purchased you to set you free from your slavery. From now on, you will live not as my slave, but as my son—and as my friend.”

You and I may never have suffered the cruel fate of slavery in the American south, but we all were slaves to something far more sinister.

Every one of us was born under slavery to sin (see Romans 6:17-23). And if we wanted to overcome this sin, we became slaves to the law (see Galatians 4:1-7).

We had to endlessly strive toward overcoming our sin and reaching a point of perfection—a job that none of us could ever fulfill. We were like the young Elijah, unequipped for the demands forced on us.

We faced a future without any hope of freedom.

Thankfully though, God loves you far too much to leave you hopeless. He bought your freedom, knowing that you would never be able to pay for your own release from slavery. He paid your ransom—at the unthinkable cost of His Son’s blood—to purchase back the right to your soul for eternity.

Now, because you are set free in Christ, you are no longer a slave.

You are no longer chained to the impossible yoke of a cruel taskmaster.

You are God’s friend, and He has set you free.


Done Cover MockupThis post was an excerpt from my book, DONE. 52 Amazing Things that Became True of You the Moment You Trusted Christ.

The entire book is available as individual posts here, but if you prefer a good old-fashion paperback, you can purchase a copy from Amazon.

Smart Quote: D.L. Moody

“Some people think God does not like to be troubled with our constant coming and asking. The way to trouble God is not to come at all." —D.L. Moody

Thoughts on this quote? Feel free to discuss them in the comments below.

Weekly Web (W)roundup

weekly_roundup-img-640x290

Each week, I round up the best resources, articles, and videos I find that are relevant to finding freedom from porn addiction. Please note that by posting a link here it does not mean I agree with everything in the linked article. It just means I found it interesting enough to share.


XXXChurch: Porn Isn’t the Problem. So What Is?

“So, as I have said so many times before, we are free to ask the only real question: What do you want? Because you can have whatever you want – seek it and you will find it if you seek it with all of your heart.”

Tim Challies: The Character of the Christian–A One-Woman Man

“Thus this qualification is a call to devotion—devotion first to God and then to a God-given spouse. It is a call away from adultery to be sure, but also from a wandering heart, wandering eyes, or wandering hands.”

Dave Willis: The 4 steps to forgiveness

“We’ve ALL been hurt before, and we don’t always know how to deal with the pain of heartbreak or betrayal in a healthy way. Most people want to live a grace-filled life free from bitterness or grudges, but they aren’t sure how to do it.”

Christianity Today: Raising Kids in a Confused Culture

“The reality is, we as parents have an obligation to teach our children, in the midst of a culture that is confused, to have confident values that are based on both a Christian worldview and the teachings of the scriptures.”

Lauren Chandler: Sharing Your Past Struggles in a New Relationship

DONE: You Have Been Adopted by God

But to all who believed him and accepted him, He gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12).

You know what’s absolutely amazing? The God of the universe, Creator of Earth, the One who holds everything together, has adopted you as His child.

Think about that for a second and just try to comprehend what it means.

If you’re a parent, consider how much you love your kids. As much as you love them, though, it’s with an imperfect, human love.

God loves you even more than you love your kids, because He loves you with His holy, unconditional, and righteous God-love.

Jesus tells us an amazing story of God the Father’s love in the parable of the lost son (Luke 15:11–32). In the story, a rebellious son demands his inheritance from his father immediately. Culturally, this was the same as telling his father, “You’re dead to me now.” But rather than yelling at his son or punishing him, the father gives his son the money, lets him leave, and waits in anticipation for his return.

Every day the father looks off into the distance, hoping to see his son returning. When the son finally does return, the father doesn’t even give his boy a chance to grovel. He runs to him with open arms and tackle-hugs him at full speed! No matter how much the boy rejected or disobeyed His dad, there was nothing he could have done to make his father stop loving him.

Do you realize this is actually a story about God’s love for you? No matter how much you’ve messed up, He will always be standing there with His arms wide open—just like the father in the story—waiting for you to come home to Him. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or where you’ve been. None of it will make any difference in how much He loves you.

I never understood the depth of a love like this until my daughter was born. I can say without a doubt that there is nothing my girl could ever do to make me stop loving her. No matter how many times she hits me as a toddler, yells at me as a teenager, or disowns me as an adult, I will always be there waiting for her with open arms. I simply cannot fathom living my life apart from my favorite girl no matter what she does. Honestly. I’m even getting a bit choked up now just typing these words and thinking about how much I love her.

But as much as my daughter means to me, you mean even more to God as His adopted son.

He loves you to the same extent that He loves Jesus.


Done Cover MockupThis post was an excerpt from my book, DONE. 52 Amazing Things that Became True of You the Moment You Trusted Christ.

The entire book is available as individual posts here, but if you prefer a good old-fashion paperback, you can purchase a copy from Amazon.

Smart Quote: Francis Schaeffer

“Biblical orthodoxy without compassion is surely the ugliest thing in the world.” —Francis Schaeffer

Thoughts on this quote? Feel free to discuss them in the comments below.

Weekly Web (W)roundup

weekly_roundup-img-640x290

Each week, I round up the best resources, articles, and videos I find that are relevant to finding freedom from porn addiction. Please note that by posting a link here it does not mean I agree with everything in the linked article. It just means I found it interesting enough to share.


Lucas Gifford: The Real Reason We Look at Porn

“That moment as a little boy was the beginning of my relationship with sexual energy. Before I ever became familiar with the anatomy of a real girl, I became very familiar with pictures of girls—just like most men in our modern world. The original conditioning to sexual release for most boys comes from pictures and movies, and the euphoria and release from visual stimulation drives us back time and again, until unfortunately, addictions form in many of our lives.”

Relevant: How Do I Deal With My Partner’s Sexual Baggage?

“…no matter what we’ve done, Jesus loves us unconditionally, takes us back again and again, and empowers us to live holy and righteous lives in the here and now.”

Fierce Marriage: Eliminating “Should” from Your Marriage

“When I find my marriage struggling; when Ryan and I aren’t seeing eye to eye and I feel our agreement and intimacy being chipped away, it’s time I go back to my Savior. I’ve strayed too far and have forgotten His Words that eliminate the pressure and burden of what I should be doing.”

Micah J. Murray: Confessions of the Older Brother

“Always, I was waiting for the day — it was coming anytime now — when my Father would give me his approval, his metaphorical robe and ring. Any day now, he’d throw me a party and say, ‘You’ve finally made me proud.’”

Sean McDowell: Did Jesus Exist?

DONE: You Are Delighted In by God

For the Lord your God is living among you.
    He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
    With his love, he will calm all your fears.
    He will rejoice over you with joyful songs” 
(Zephaniah 3:17).

I love my daughter.

Yeah, I know, she’s my kid so I kinda have to love her, right?

But I genuinely love her. I’m crazy about her. In fact, I’d rather spend time with her than anyone else. You might even say I delight in her.

Last weekend, we celebrated my birthday. And like any 34-year-old, I rented a bounce castle for the afternoon.

Did I actually want a bounce castle for my birthday?

Well, yeah, I kinda did.

But what I wanted even more was to see the smile on my daughter’s face as the castle began to inflate and take its shape. I wanted to hear her laughter and shouts of joy as she bounced for hours.

I delight in my daughter’s happiness because I delight in her. Her joy is my joy.

In the same way, God delights in you as His adopted son. Sometimes, He chooses to bless you for no other reason than to delight in your joy with you.

He did that for me at my party last Saturday. When all the kids ran inside to gorge on cupcakes, I stayed back to lie down in the middle of my little inflatable kingdom and rest for a few minutes. In that moment, engulfed in the warm sunshine and inflated vinyl, I heard the Lord speak to me:

The angels and I are having a great time up here watching you kids have fun. 

Oh, and I gave you this sunshine as a gift to show you my love.

Happy birthday, son.

You are my joy.

I delight in you.

Don’t ever forget it.”


Done Cover MockupThis post was an excerpt from my book, DONE. 52 Amazing Things that Became True of You the Moment You Trusted Christ.

The entire book is available as individual posts here, but if you prefer a good old-fashion paperback, you can purchase a copy from Amazon.

Smart Quote: Oswald Chambers

“Obey God in the thing he shows you, and instantly the next thing is opened up. God will never reveal more truth about himself until you have obeyed what you know already.” —Oswald Chambers

Thoughts on this quote? Feel free to discuss them in the comments below.

Weekly Web (W)roundup

weekly_roundup-img-640x290

Each week, I round up the best resources, articles, and videos I find that are relevant to finding freedom from porn addiction. Please note that by posting a link here it does not mean I agree with everything in the linked article. It just means I found it interesting enough to share.


Relevant: The Youth Group Lessons I’ve Had to Unlearn

“I always stood there, blinking at that question. I still don’t really know, and I’ve been around the whole thing long enough to know that there’s no formula, no exact equation. But I think there are some problematic messages I learned growing up in church that we’re communicating to our youth still today.”

Intentional Warriors: To Beat Porn, Reclaim Desire

“Unless we live out of the promise and reality of a healed heart which is good — flowing with rivers of living water — we are merely holding on, trying not to sin. But that’s not what Jesus is after. And anyway, a life of trying not to sin is a sure way to fall back into sin.”

XXXChurch: 4 Unexpected Things That Happen When You Quit Porn

“When you quit porn, it means you risk the unpredictable maze of the human experience. I’m not overstating the case here. There are plenty of developmentally stunted young adults who cannot bear to endure rejection or even a friend who’s having a bad day, because they’re so used to clicking the kind of ‘friend’ they want to have. While it sounds safe to stay in a cave with a computer all the time, porn only makes you less human, and not more.”

CCEF: Engaging Our Emotions, Engaging with God

“If you are surprised to hear that God actually wants you to draw near to him when you feel like you are an emotional mess, remember this: the Bible views emotions as fundamentally good. How do I know this? Because we are image bearers of God and he has emotions. His joy, hate, wrath, compassion, jealousy and love are the model for ours.”

Rob Bell: Open

DONE: You are Loved with an Everlasting Love

“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love.
        With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself 
(Jeremiah 31:3).

If you’ve ever seen the classic 70’s film, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, you will undoubtedly remember the scene where Wonka unveils his top-secret new creation: The Everlasting Gobstopper.

The Gobstopper, for those of you who didn’t grow up pretending to be an Oompa Loompa, is a funky looking jawbreaker that never gets any smaller. In the words of Willy Wonka himself: “You can suck them and suck them and suck them and they’ll never get any smaller. Never!”

A single piece of this magic candy would last you the rest of your life because it would never diminish in size…never be reduced…never shrink in the slightest.

In other words, it would be everlasting.

ev·er·last·ing
     adjective
     1. lasting forever; eternal: everlasting future life.

The Lord uses this exact same word when He describes His love through the prophet Jeremiah, which means nothing will ever make His love for you stop, shrink, or be reduced in any way.

The moment you put your faith in Christ, every barrier that ever stood between you and the everlasting love of God was removed forever:

  • Your bad decisions will not reduce it.
  • Your stubbornness cannot stop it.
  • Your sin will never block it.

Or, to (loosely) paraphrase Willy Wonka, no matter how much you feel like you suck, God’s love for you will never get any smaller.


Done Cover MockupThis post was an excerpt from my book, DONE. 52 Amazing Things that Became True of You the Moment You Trusted Christ.

The entire book is available as individual posts here, but if you prefer a good old-fashion paperback, you can purchase a copy from Amazon.