Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s verses are John 8:34-36,
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
THE FREEING GIFT OF A LIFETIME!
In 1973 Gary Kildall wrote the first popular operating system for personal computers, named CP/M. According to writer Philip Fiorini, IBM approached Kildall in 1980 and asked him to develop the operating system for IBM PCs. But Kildall snubbed IBM officials at a crucial meeting, according to another author, Paul Carroll. The day IBM came calling, he chose to fly his new airplane instead. The frustrated IBM executives then turned to Bill Gates, the founder of a small company named Microsoft, and his operating system named MS-DOS. Fourteen years later Bill Gates was worth more than eight billion dollars. Of Kildal, Paul Carroll also said, “He was a smart guy who didn’t realize how big the operating system would become.”
It’s hard to imagine bypassing such a great opportunity. Kildall missed out on the chance of a lifetime, didn’t he? In our text for today, Jesus is offering something much more valuable than an operating system. He’s offering you a purposeful, eternal life that’s more precious than all the gold in the world. No one could have imagined how big and all-encompassing Microsoft would become. Even now, for those who believe in Jesus and His offer of freedom, we can’t fully comprehend how incredible and expansive that freedom is as well! We can only try to visualize the fullness of the kingdom of God and what it will be like when Christ returns in His glory. Jesus says of Himself, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” Lord, then set me free!
This is Reformation weekend for many in the Christian church. It’s a time when we remember the work of Martin Luther who reformed the church by reminding believers of this great freedom in Christ. The clear teaching of the Gospel is that Jesus Christ came into this world to save us all, to forgive our sins, and to offer us new life in Him by grace and through faith alone. In a country that values temporal freedoms, make sure that you don’t miss the eternal freedom that God wants for you now and forever.
I think about Gary Kildall, how losing focus—flying his new plane rather than making the most of his opportunity— prevented him from receiving the break of a lifetime. Jesus states things even more clearly for us today. He clearly reminds us of our sinful predicament. But more importantly, He then offers us a freedom that only He can provide. Don’t let anything in this world tempt you away from receiving what Jesus wants for you. Take a moment, then, this weekend and thank God for the temporal liberties that you have, especially as an election day draws near. But never forget the ETERNAL FREEDOM that is the foundation of them all, the one that comes from the Son. Don’t miss out on the freeing gift of a lifetime and of all eternity.
PRAYER – Dear Lord Jesus, what freedom You have for us to receive and to share. Continue to give us faith to receive it with joy and then to share it boldly with those whom You bring into our lives. AMEN.
 Craig Brian Larson. ed. Contemporary Illustrations For Preachers, Teachers & Writers. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1996 p. 197