‘He set me free

He set me free

He broke the bonds of prison for me

I’m glory bound my Jesus to see

Glory to God he set me free’

Words of a song – beautiful words at that, but when sang by a believer they become words that do more than just sound good together. They become personal and take on meaning – a meaning you can feel – a meaning which evokes a memory of something you personally have experienced. I watched as this happened recently when this song began to play. Our entire congregation stood there together as one and were collectively taken to our own moments when we were set free by the One who saves. That remembrance was powerful, my eyes beheld, and my heart felt as though a mighty wind burst through the door and came rushing over every heart and mind of the individuals in that sanctuary. We stood there in unison, yet we began to personally declare ‘He set ME free, He broke the bonds of prison for ME, I’M glory bound MY Jesus to see, Glory to God He set ME free.’ I wish you could have been there to experience it – the foot tapping, hand waving, arm praising, joy leaping, Holy Ghost running, praise dancing that broke out – It was incredible.

In that moment, I couldn’t help but allow my mind to wonder to Acts 11:1-18 and praise God that this experience is available to all people.

Prior to this chapter, the Holy Ghost had been poured out in the Upper Room, but at that point had only been for Jews. It is important to understand that during that time, there was a prejudice between Jews and Gentiles one that drove a stake in the ground and withheld stories of God from the Gentiles. That was until God gave Peter a vision, and used Peter to deliver a message to Cornelius and his family (Gentiles), a message that would take them to a point where they too could be set free, and glory bound just as the song declares. During that message, God tore down barriers and preconceptions as He poured out the Holy Ghost just as He did previously in the lives of the Jews that had gathered together in the Upper Room. At that point what was once reserved only for the Jews became available to everyone – everyone at that time, everyone to this day, and everyone in the days to come.

He used that moment to teach us that the Upper Room experience wasn’t just for the Jews that sat in that room, but for all people and to be experienced in the exact same way, no matter the race, ethnicity, background, or belief system, and for that I am so thankful.

What a loving and available God we serve. I imagine as we all stood praising our Savior in that sanctuary that our minds were drawn to the day when we too stood as Cornelius waiting for someone to deliver a message to us. A message that just as it did for him, changed our lives and opened our minds to a piece of God that we never fathomed to exist as we personally encountered the One who stands arms opened wide so that the once lost – is found, the once abused – is cared for, the once drunken – is now sober, the once addicted – is now clean, the once adulterous – is now forgiven, the once depressed – is now joyous, the once misguided – is now set straight and all because of the powerful precious gift that God desires for everyone to experience.

I wonder today – Have you experienced this powerful reception? Have you experienced His saving grace, and the unlocking of the chains that bind? Do you realize that His desire is to fill you with His love and promise no matter the life you live or the sin you sin?

Or maybe you do know Jesus, and you have received His truth but you aren’t sure about sharing His word with others. If that is you, I encourage you to speak life to that person on your mind – allow God to use you. Peter did, and look what happened? A family and countless others throughout history have been brought to know the powerful Risen Savior that we serve, a door opened through his obedience. God longs for us to be obedient too, and to use us to draw His people into repentance, and seeking salvation that only comes through His name. Maybe God desires to use you, and your story so someone else can declare with a powerful personal experience,

‘He set me free

He set me free

He broke the bonds of prison for me

I’m glory bound my Jesus to see

Glory to God he set me free’

He wants us all – and is available to everyone no matter what but the first step requires that you choose to know that He is more than a story, and more than a piece of history. It requires that you realize that He is alive, and the same power that was experienced all those years ago can be and still is alive in us today, you just have to Choose Him.

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