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God’s Love Saves Us: Day Four of VBS in Martin, Slovakia

July 14, 2017

While I spent the day hobbling around on my bum ankle, the children of Martin, Slovakia were digging deep into the saving promises of God’s love made real for them in Jesus Christ.

Throughout the week, they’ve been visiting Paul the Apostle and his jailer, Brutus. Although Paul is the one who is bound in chains, Paul makes it clear that Brutus is the one who needs saving. After all, no chains can keep Paul from being free, and no prison cell can keep Jesus away from him. Slowing, Brutus is coming around. We’ll see if day five brings a conversion!

I’m struck by the notion that those of us visiting from America, where we have so many freedoms, have something to learn from the faithful Christians who were in bondage to communism in Slovakia and yet were able to appreciate the freedom they had in Christ. While I wouldn’t give up the freedoms we share in America (and while I’m equally sure our Slovak friends wouldn’t willingly give back the freedoms gained since the fall of communism), there is something to the idea that our worldly freedoms obscure our need to be saved by God. We think we can do what we want – that we our masters of our own destiny – while all the while sin, death, and evil continue to prowl. Whether we can to admit it or not, we are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves.

Throughout the week, we’ve observed what it means to move from slavery to freedom, from death to life. I’ve noticed that the sky is a little bigger here. There aren’t the big buildings of Chicago or the tightly packed houses of the suburbs to obscure the sky. It just seems to go on forever. Not a bad metaphor for the freedom and openness of faith that we experienced with our friends here in Martin. Christ has set us free. God’s love saves us. Whatever else may come, the blue sky goes on forever.

“But God proves his love for us in that while we still sinners Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

From → Slovakia 2017

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