Freed FROM to be Freed TO
by Sharon Leaman
“It is for freedom Christ has set you free.”
My Sunday School just finished studying Galatians and our Pastor’s sermon series is on Hebrews. These two books dovetail together beautifully because both have a central theme that Jesus’ work is greater than the Law’s work in our lives.
Just like the believers the two books were written to, I think it is safe to say that we all can fall back “living by the law” at times. “Living by the law” can mean that we trust more in “doing everything right” in the “right way” instead of trusting in Christ’s redeeming work of our feeble attempts at anything. Jesus’ redeeming work is greater than any method of living.
One question that was posed in my mind as I’ve participated in these studies is this: What do I trade for freedom? What do I hold onto so tightly and personally that I would rather have than the freedom found in Christ? When Jesus saves us, he frees us from wrath of God’s judgment by being the object of that wrath FOR US. I am freed to live by the Spirit, unshackled from the weight of the “should ofs, could ofs, would ofs and if only-es” — not only from God’s law (as if that is not enough!) but from MY OWN laws that I impose upon myself and those around me. I can find myself waiting and looking for the fruit of the law (i.e., the result of my proper actions or MY faithfulness). And tragically, God’s word says that the fruit of the law is death. (Romans 7:10)
In the Gospel, Jesus has set me free from the daily death of living in this type of expectation. I am freed not only FROM something, but I am freed TO something. I am free to love. Free to experience joy. Free to experience peace. Free to be patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self-controlled. There is no law against these (Gal 5:23). I am freed from the shackles of expectations. Jesus’ work on my behalf has met every expectation from the Father and is complete.
How do I live out this truth? That is a daily question. One question I can ask myself is “Where do I trust in my own abilities, my own methods, or personality, to satisfy an expectation from God, myself and others?” Where am I not experiencing the fruit of God’s freedom (love, joy, peace, etc.)? Looking at these areas is a start. For example, when discord rocks my home, what expectations are afoot that may be contrary to the gospel? Since the fruits of the spirit are gifts from the Spirit, then my expectation comes from Him, not in the ability of myself or another to satisfy my law. I am then freed up to love while waiting and to experience the joys of resting in His work in my own life and others.
What are you trading for freedom? There is no greater prize than knowing Jesus’ complete redemption and saving work. (Phil 3:14).
About Sharon: Sharon is the wife of Bruce Leaman, and mother to four beautiful children, Daniel, Emilee, Kathryn and Nathan. She has been a covenant member of New Life for 23 years. She serves as a teacher in Christ Covenant School and Pioneer Girls. She loves to think, sing, and love on her family.
Furniture and other smaller items needed to equip the Missionary Apartment by April 6th
Check out what you might have in the basement or attic to help prepare the apartment for the Clarks and other missionaries in the future. Some items are small ones you can pick up at Walmart or Target while running errands. Sign up to donate items HERE.
“Pounding” and Welcome for the Clark Family by April 6th – They arrive April 7th
Lucinda Lorei has created a list of food items needed to equip the Clark’s apartment behind the church. Non-perishables can be dropped off in the apartment trailer closest to the church (key in the office). Perishables can go in fridge at church on Sunday, April 6th and transfer to apartment following service. Sign up HERE to let her know what you can bring.
Matt and Amanda Oberlin’s baby girl arrived this morning! – Lucinda Coordinating Meals
Savannah Grace Oberlin was born at 10:13 this morning at 7lbs 3 oz. Mother and baby are doing fine.
Contact Lucinda Lorei at if you would like to bless Matt and Amanda with a meal in the coming weeks.
Help with morning coffee treats for Sunday mornings during Missions Month.
Consider contributing a treat the last Sunday morning of Missions Month. Sign up HERE.
Church Work Day this Saturday, March 29th from 9am-2pm
All kinds of work available for all kinds of abilities – contact Craig Cuddy and let him know if you can help so that he can plan to keep you busy for whatever time you can share that day.
Baby Shower for Laura Heflin, Saturday, April 5th from 2-4pm in the Fireside Room
Plan to share a Bible verse or word of encouragement as Laura prepares for motherhood. Laura is having a girl and is registered at Buy Buy Baby and Babies R Us.
By Design Spring Women’s Sunday School Class beginning Sunday April 6th
“It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
We are excited to have Men’s and Women’s Sunday School classes for the coming Spring quarter. It will be an opportunity to examine the distinctive plans and purposes of the designs stamped upon men and women at Creation and how they relate to our personal lives and the church.
The Women’s class “By Design [by Susan Hunt] is not about answering feminist arguments or exegeting biblical passages on traditional roles, submission, or headship. Instead, it is an uplifting and practical introduction to God’s wonderful design for women. It is a challenge to women everywhere to explore the significance of your distinctiveness and return to your biblical calling. And it is a plea to the church to equip and mobilize you to help a hurting world and capture a culture for Christ through ministries of mercy and compassion.” (from the back cover)
Books are available from Christine in the office if you are interested in purchasing your book now. They will also be available in the class in April. Reading is not required, you will still be encouraged and challenged from the discussions in class. We look forward to seeing you and being together as the women of the church Sunday mornings this spring!
Talents to Treasure mini-conference, April 12th, 8:45am-1pm, lunch included – Last sign up in the foyer!
“As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”
1 Peter 4:10
Learn something new! Join us for a fun time of fellowship and learning as we enjoy the talents of our sisters in Christ. Various small group sessions will be offered. You will preregister for 3 classes offered in 3 different time slots. The sessions include knitting, photography, jewelry making, healthy eating, gardening and more. No cost, but preregistration is required and will be held this Sunday. If you would like to contribute to the lunch, please sign up HERE.
Baby Shower for Laura Scrivener, Monday, April 14th at 7pm in the Fireside Room
Please join us as we celebrate the upcoming birth of baby Noah! Laura is registered at Target, Babies R Us, and Buy Buy Baby. Contact Annie Page or Julie Root if you have any questions.
Fall Women’s Retreat, October 24-26 at Blessings Lodge, Camp Overlook
“All the paths of the LORD are lovingkindness and truth
To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.
The secret of the LORD is for those who fear Him,
And He will make them know His covenant.”
Psalm 25:10 and 14
- Retreat theme: “Sovereign God of the Covenants“
- Teaching by our own Marcia Vastine
- $120 includes 6 meals and hotel style lodging with four singles per room, private baths
- Reserve your spot at the signup table in the foyer this Sunday with a $40 deposit to NLICC, additional $40 payments due in June and September
- Questions? Contact Connie Both
Office Help Needed
Do you have a couple hours on a Friday afternoon you can spare? Sign up HERE to fold bulletins after 1pm some Friday. Takes about 2 hours (faster if you bring a friend!) Questions? Ask Pam in the office.
Do you have information you’d like passed to the women of the church? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
in His grace,
Women’s Ministry Committee
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