FREEDOM! (to be shouted as in Braveheart)

11:07 AMHeather

Lately, you can't hardly watch the local news without hearing of another convicted felon being exonerated through new DNA evidence. To date, nineteen men have been cleared of charges and released from prison through this DNA testing. The Dallas District Attorney, Craig Watkins, has been the subject of a great deal of media coverage, including a documentary and talk of a reality show. Watkins is so passionate about this cause that he desires to re-examine every pending death row case through this DNA testing process.

The latest case of a falsely accused man being freed from prison is Johnnie Earl Lindsey, currently age fifty-six. He spent twenty-six years behind bars for a crime he did not commit. He has always maintained his innocence. Last week, he finally walked out a free man. The dramatic news coverage included video of a twenty-seven year old son whom Lindsey had never known. It is mind boggling to consider all that this man has lost and can never regain. He lost being a dad to a little boy, and all the childhood joys of watching your son learn to walk, play ball, and graduate from high school. He lost years of potential and dreams, hopes and aspirations. It is truly amazing--particularly when you read the details of story after story of innocent men whose lives were stolen.

YOU are not unlike them. The Bible is clear in John 10:10 that Satan came to kill, steal, and destroy. He is the expert at falsely accusing you, and he loves to imprison you in the lies. He wants to steal your joy, kill your hopes, and destroy your life. Perhaps you are like Johnnie Earl Lindsey was just a few weeks ago. Maybe you are imprisoned by past pain, locked up in perfectionism, bound by seeking man's approval.

I have good news for you, my friend. Just as Lindsey was freed through the determination of the Dallas D.A.--you, too, have been freed through the determination of your savior. Jesus came to give not just life, but life to the FULL (John 10:10). You sat on death row yourself (or maybe you still do) before you accepted Christ's ultimate sacrifice for your eternal freedom. Yet, even those who walk with Lord wrestle with shackles. But, you see--Christ has DNA evidence that can ultimately and completely free you, and it came through his blood. Isaiah 53:5 says that, "the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed."

Even if you have lost years of your life and experienced estranged relationships--even if your potential has been stalled as you have been bound up--it's never too late. Quit wasting the years of abundant living that the Lord wants to give you. Spend time daily asking him to release you, basking in his presence because "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom" (2 Corinthians 3:17). TODAY, walk out a free man, start anew, and let your very soul shout out "FREEDOM!"

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