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Our daughter might still be sucking on her binky if we hadn't negotiated a deal. She was very attached to that pacifier, long after she really didn't need it anymore. Then my wife struck that bargain - the doll that our girl really wanted in exchange for her binky. From that day on, the binky was no more. I kept it in a drawer for my tough days. Not long ago, our son and daughter-in-law had a similar crossroads moment with our granddaughter. She could not imagine life without her binky, until Mommy and Daddy announced her Bye-Bye Binky Party. Did you ever go to one of those? On that day, she would surrender her binky and there would be a party in her honor with cake, decorations and even little presents. And suddenly, she didn't need her binky anymore!
A child with their pacifier; Linus with his blanket - things they've depended on that they don't really need anymore. Even we grownup kids have things we depend on that are actually holding us back from what our life could be. But we hold on to it as stubbornly as a child to her binky or Linus to his blanket until someone comes along and shows us something better.
For me, for millions of people, that someone is Jesus Christ. He liberated people from what they needed so long when He was here on earth, and He's still doing it today. He wants to do it for you.
One example of how it works is recorded in Luke 5, beginning with verse 15. It's our word for today from the Word of God. "Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus." Then the Bible describes some extraordinary measures they had to employ to accomplish their mission, but they did get their paralyzed friend to Jesus. The story continues: "He said to the paralyzed man, 'I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.'" Can you imagine this? That mat has supported this man his whole life. It's been used to carry him where he couldn't walk himself. Suddenly, Jesus is telling him to get up and carry what's been carrying him all these years!
It says, "Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God." I could just imagine this man shouting, "I've needed this thing my whole life, but I don't need it anymore!" That is the kind of freedom Jesus wants to bring to you; freedom from always needing a man or a woman to make you feel valued and secure. Think of how they've let you down, freedom from being an approval junkie, from seeing yourself as a victim all the time, from trying to find your worth in your work or your performance, freedom from the bottle, the drug, the sex, or the applause that you thought you needed to complete you. They never have; they never will.
Then along comes Jesus, the Man who loves you enough to die to pay for the sin that keeps you from God; who's powerful enough to walk out of His grave. The Bible says of Jesus, "You are complete in Him" (Colossians 2:10) and only in Him, because the Bible tells us you were "...created by Him and for Him" (Colossians 1:16). Every other thing you've leaned on for love and significance and completeness is an unfulfilling substitute for the real thing - for Jesus.
And today, He's come to you and He's saying, "Get up. You don't need what you've used to support you for so long. I'm what you've needed all along." What a day this could be if you would make it your Jesus-day - the day you open your heart for Him to come in and forgive all the sin of your life and free you from the dependencies that have been holding you back. Just talk to Him where you are. Tell Him you're done driving your own life, that your only hope is Him and what He did on the cross for you, and that from this day on, you're His.
If that's what you want, I really hope you will check out our website. I've got a brief explanation there of just how to begin this life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ. A lot of people have found encouragement and help there. Maybe you will too. Just go to YoursForLife.net.
This can be your declaration of independence. The day you say, "The thing I've been depending on for so long - I don't need it anymore because I have Jesus now. I'm His, I'm complete, and I'm free!"