Living Free: Free From Punishment

Freedom.  It seems everyone wants to be free yet we often struggle to even admit when we are not.  When Jesus stated that holding to His teachings would lead people to know the truth that would set them free, the religious leaders bristled at even the hint that they had ever been slaves to anyone or anything.  Over the next 13 days I will be sharing the daily devotions from the book, “Living Free”, that I wrote several years ago to help you discover a life of freedom found through a consistent gazing into, and practice of, the perfect law of God’s Word.

Here is day twenty with an important reminder that living free in Christ means that you, and those around you, have been set free from punishment.

Free From Punishment

“Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished, but those who are righteous will go free.
Proverbs 11:21 (NIV)

What is the difference between discipline and punishment?  Do you enjoy either of them when they happen?  Why?  What makes one more acceptable to you than the other?  If it is not you they’re applied to, which one do you generally want applied to others?  Why?  Are there times you know you deserve to be punished?  How does it feel if you receive discipline in those times instead of what you deserve?  How does God’s Word help you to live a life that can be free from punishment?

Most, if not all, of us have experienced punishment at some time in our life — often well-deserved.  But as Christians, we can live with the confidence that the punishment for our sin has already been laid upon God’s Son so that we can be free from its bondage.  Yes, God disciplines His children — those that He loves — but we have been set free from the punishment that we deserve.  As you pray, ask God to free you from the fear of punishment that sin can bring.  Pray that you would not fear God’s discipline, but grow from it.  Pray that you would live free, not only from punishment, but from the felt need to punish others.

In prayer,

Tom