You Are Free Week 1 — To Be Free

I want to be free. Don’t you?

How did we get so confused about our freedom in Christ? It’s a concept that I used to take it at face-value, but now… life, and brokenness, and the burdens that have a habit of piling up smothered freedom somewhere along the way.

Is that true for you, too?

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. — 2 Corinthians 3:17

I hunger to understand God — who He really is (not my misperception of Him, the version handed down by culture, church, and family and reshaped in my own mind). Also, I yearn to know what His love is really like because I have a sneaking suspicion that my sense of freedom would change dramatically if I had a better grasp of who God truly is and how He feels about me.

Many of us in the church operate from a place of wounding. Some hide their wounds in shame. Others aim to prove themselves worthy. Many seek the approval of others; they take pride in the work of their hands. Consequently, we have created a culture of inadequacy and comparison in the body of Christ, causing many believers to feel a terrible pressure to strive. I wonder if Jesus looks at all our posturing, and says, ‘I didn’t ask you to do that.’ — Rebekah

Hi, I’m Laurie McClure, editor at FaithGateway, and I’ll be your leader for the next six weeks through this online Bible study, You Are Free. I’m thrilled to begin with you this week!

This six-session study of the freedom God has for us is filled with Jesus, where we’ll learn to walk with Him the way we were created to walk with Him – filled with hope and without the heavy weight of this word. Are you excited? I am!

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. — Galatians 5:1

This week we’re getting started with You Are Free session one, “To Be Free.”

Kick-off Event with Rebekah

Monday night, March 27th, we’ll kick things off with our chat with our new friend, Rebekah! You are going to love her!

Join us here:

http://www.faithgateway.com/you-are-free-study-home/kickoff-event

at 9:00 p.m. EST | 8:00 p.m. CST | 7:00 p.m. MST | 6 p.m. PST

Just click on the link above and you’ll be automatically directed to the kickoff! You’ll be able to watch our interview with Rebekah and chat live with the other OBS participants from all over the world. Our team will also be online to answer any questions you have about the study.

Don’t worry if your Monday is already booked! You can use the link above to go back and watch  the replay anytime after the chat and you can also read through the archived comments.

My friends, we’re going to have such a great time putting down old burdens and stepping into the freedom that Christ came to bring us… and learning to set others free, too.

…let us throw off everything that hinders… — Hebrews 12:1

What to Expect

For those of you who are Online Bible Study newbies, here’s what you can expect. I repeat this for every study because it’s so important — you’ll get as much out of the study as you put into it, so give it your all! My job as your leader is to be your own personal cheerleader rooting you on each week and helping you keep up, but the reading and study you put into each week on your own time is up to you. Whether you do your study in the morning, or evening, or in carpool lines, or on lunch breaks, you’ll want to set aside time for your personal study each week. Go for it!

This week for the study you will:

Watch the video for Week 1 – either on DVD or right here on FaithGateway and take notes in the You Are Free Study Guide on pages 15-20. Bookmark this page as your home for all the videos as they are released week-by-week: http://www.faithgateway.com/you-are-free-study-home/

2. If you’re meeting with a small group or in a church setting, go through the Group Discussion on pages 21-23.

3. For your personal study this week, I encourage you to spend a little bit of time each day going through the Between Sessions Personal Study in the You Are Free Study Guide (the blue sections) and meditating on the Scriptures. Let’s be praying for one another that we’ll be open to the Holy Spirit showing us the areas in which we are not living free and to begin to stand on the Bible verses about the freedom He offers us.

4. Recommended (but optional) reading for this week: Read chapters 1-3 in You Are Free – the hardcover book, not study guide.

5. Join us on Thursday, March 30th (optional) for a live chat to discuss this week’s study and enjoy and be encouraged by this community of believers.

Scriptures this Week

  1. Hebrews 12:1
  2. Galatians 5:1
  3. 2 Corinthians 3:17
  4. Matthew 20:29-34

And lastly for this week, I encourage you to buy yourself a journal. You’re going to want one during this study! It doesn’t have to be expensive — even a composition book will do. Just find something that you will enjoy.

Each week I also share my personal testimony and response to the study. If you’re a blogger and doing the same, feel free to share your link in the comments on the video page or on our Facebook group.

Rescue Me

Jesus.

My heart is desperate for Jesus.

I love you, Lord, my strength.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;

my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,

my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

In my distress I called to the Lord;

I cried to my God for help.

From His temple He heard my voice;

my cry came before Him, into His ears.

He reached down from on high and took hold of me;

He drew me out of deep waters.

He rescued me from my powerful enemy,

from my foes, who were too strong for me.

They confronted me in the day of my disaster,

but the Lord was my support.

He brought me out into a spacious place;

He rescued me because He delighted in me.

— Psalm 18:1-2, Psalm 18:6, Psalm 18:16-19

I love these verses, don’t you?

During battles and struggles, during seasons when we’re stunned by a sudden change, by loss, health problems, financial crisis, family troubles, or any other challenges, we have to remember who our allies are. That seems like a pretty basic idea, and yet we forget and need to be reminded!

God promised to be with us, right? So, He’s our ally.

It’s so easy during hard times to cast a suspicious eye at the Lord. What are You doing, God? Where were You when that happened? Why didn’t You have my back? Why did You let that go the way it did? Are You there? Do you even see me?

But, these verses promise us something that we need to brand on our brains — the Lord hears. He listens. Isn’t that amazing? And, what’s even more wonderful is that when we turn to Him in our trouble He will be our rescue.

Not only that, but it gets better. He will bring us into a spacious place. Doesn’t that sound good?

From the moment of our distress and cry, He hears, He delivers, He defends, He supports, He rescues… and He delights in us.

And, finally, completely beyond our ability to understand when we’re in the middle of hurt and confusion, He will redeem what we’ve been through. He will use that story of rescue in our lives to help, encourage, and strengthen others… to bring them into that same freedom.

I hung a print above my desk a couple of weeks ago. It’s a painting of Jesus. Someday I’ll buy the 4’x6’ oil painting, but since I’m a single mom living on two dimes (not really, but it feels like it) and a lot of prayer (yes, really), the print is perfect for now. I bought it because I need Jesus… constantly. So, when the day gets crazy, and pressures mount, and troubles rise, I can look up and focus on Jesus, my Rock who rescues me from deep waters and brings me into a spacious place because… He delights in me.

Just as He delights in you.

Prayer for the Week

Jesus, thank You that You came to bring us freedom, that You are with us and for us, and that You have good planned for our lives. Help us to recognize where we are bound, where we are trapped, and stuck, and discouraged, and help us lay down whatever we need to be freed from. We want to be healed and freed. Help us trust You even more! We love You, Jesus! Amen.

Have You Signed Up for this Study?

If you just stumbled on this today or a friend forwarded it to you, and you want to register for the study, we invite you to sign up here.

Let’s Chat

What are you most looking forward to with our study You Are Free? Where are you from and are you doing this study independently with our online community or are you forming a group in your church or home? Introduce yourself and share your comments on our blog this week and be sure to join our private Facebook group here! We want to get to know you!

You Are Free

You Are Free
Rebekah Lyons
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FaithGateway Price: $15.99
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You Are Free Study Guide

You Are Free Study Guide
Rebekah Lyons
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You Are Free Video Study

You Are Free Video Study
Rebekah Lyons
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You Are Free Study Guide with DVD

You Are Free Study Guide with DVD
Rebekah Lyons
Normal Price: $38.99
FaithGateway Price: $27.99
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Laurie McClure

Laurie is a Jesus apprentice, a single mama of five (three homegrown, one Kentuckian, and one Ethiopian), a writer, beach lover, and is addicted to radical grace, Perrier, and yoga pants. Here at FaithGateway she is the editor, the leader of Faith.Full, our women's community, and curator of Devotionals Daily.

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