Freed to Flee

Author: A. W. Smith — Host: Natty AndersonPosted on: May 10, 2024

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
Freed to Flee

READ: 1 CORINTHIANS 10:13; 2 TIMOTHY 2:22; JAMES 1:12-15; 4:7

What sins do you struggle with the most? In other words, in what situations do you find it’s harder to love God and your neighbors through your words, thoughts, and actions?

In Matthew 22:37-40, we see that the life Jesus invites us into is one of love. But sin distorts love, so we end up loving the wrong things—or loving the right things in the wrong way. And the result of sin is always death, decay, and brokenness.

Yet, so often sin seems so appealing. Do certain sins seem to tempt you more than they tempt other people? That can be such a discouraging experience. But the good news is, it’s also normal. Every person has different weaknesses and different strengths. And Jesus “understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Isn’t that a comforting truth? And it gets even better. Because Jesus was sinless, He was able to pay for all our sins when He died on the cross—He took the whole of our sin upon His own body (1 Peter 2:24). This was the ultimate act of love. He went through all that undeserved pain and sorrow and ridicule…because He loves us. He wants more than anything for us to be with Him. He invites us to come to Him with all our failures, weaknesses, and shortcomings…to come and receive His free gift of salvation. Instead of being trapped in guilt and fear, we can rest knowing that we are held in His love, because He has secured our forgiveness by dying and rising again for us. And since He loves us, we can love Him and others.

So, when we feel tempted to do something unloving against God or our neighbors, we can remember that we don’t have to give in to any sin because Jesus has already freed us from sin’s power. We can trust Him to help us resist every temptation we face—no exceptions. And when we find ourselves believing lies that make it easy for us to act in ways that are unloving toward God and our neighbors, we can turn to Jesus. Through the Holy Spirit, He will help us reject those lies and instead rest in His great love for us—a love that is far more powerful than sin.

The next time you’re tempted, remember that God knows your weaknesses, and He can help you be strong when you feel yourself wanting to give in. Once you know Jesus, sin holds no power over you. You don’t have to give in, even when something is especially tempting, because God gives His people the ability to resist every temptation. But when you’re tempted, don’t try to resist on your own—instead, depend on God. Since you belong to Jesus, you have been freed to flee temptation and run to Him. In His arms, you will find the strength to love God and your neighbors—no matter what. • A. W. Smith

• Jesus came to save us from sin. Why is sin something we need to be saved from? (If you want to know more, check out our “Know Jesus” page.)

• When is it hardest for you to love God and your neighbors well? Consider taking some time to talk with God about this in the space below. Remember, even Jesus was tempted, but He never sinned. Yet, He understands all our weaknesses and He empathizes with us. So, once you’ve put your trust in Jesus, you can approach Him with anything, knowing that you are held securely in His love. (Hebrews 4:14-16)

• We live in a broken world where we are constantly bombarded by lies that make it easy to act in ways that are unloving toward God and our neighbors. Here are just a few examples of lies we might believe: God doesn’t really love me. God doesn’t really care about me. God won’t meet my needs. I’m worthless. I’m bad. I’m unlovable. Other people are worthless. Other people are bad. Other people are unlovable. What I do doesn’t matter. My life has no purpose. My needs don’t matter. Other people’s needs don’t matter. I’m trapped, and sinning is the only way out. If I don’t sin, I’ll be alone and vulnerable. This thing God calls “sin” is actually good for me and other people. God can’t be trusted. I’ve already sinned, so it doesn’t matter if I sin more. (Etc.) Does one of these lies stick out to you in particular? Why? How can resting in Jesus’s love for us help us combat these and other lies?

• In addition to talking with Jesus, it’s also important for us to spend time with fellow Christians who we can be honest with about the temptations we struggle with. Jesus calls us to confess our sins to each other, remind each other of God’s great love and forgiveness, and encourage each other in our walks with Him. Who are trusted Christians in your life you can be open and honest with? If no one comes to mind, you can ask God to help you identify someone in the future.

So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7 (NLT)