Jeffrey Fowle, a city worker from Moraine, Oklahoma, who was arrested after leaving a Bible in a nightclub in North Korea, came home on October 21st after being held for six months. Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American missionary, was released on November 8 after being held for nearly a year. And Matthew Todd Miller, an English teacher from California, was also released on November 8th after being held for seven months. Each of these men faced long sentences of hard labor in North Korean prison camps.
As you can imagine, the families of these men were ecstatic with joy and relief when their loved ones came home after being held for so long by a government that is not known for its kindness toward outsiders. The men, themselves, also must have felt good knowing that family members and friends from their home country had been praying for them and working hard for their release.
As I think about the human condition, I would like to point out a parallel in the stories of these three men released from bondage in a hostile country and the broader story of mankind. You see, the Bible speaks of us humans as being in bondage to our sins and wrongdoings. Jesus Christ said in John 8:34, “Verily, verily (truly, truly), I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” Acts 8:23 speaks of people as being “in the bondage of iniquity.” This slavery to sin is the cause of our decay and the cause of our eventual death.
Have you ever felt as if you couldn’t help but lie or steal or lust or do something you knew was wrong? That is what it means to be in bondage to sin or to be a slave to sin. So, if we are in bondage to sin, it is natural to wonder how we can be freed from that bondage. Thankfully, Scripture provides us the answer to this question. Continue reading “GLMX #225: How to Be Set Free”→
Have you ever asked someone to do you a solid? Have you ever heard someone else use this phrase?
According to UrbanDictionary.com, the term “do me a solid” became popular in urban communities during the mid-1980s. It gained even more popularity after it was used in a Seinfeld episode in 1991 where Kramer says to Jerry, “Hey. Hey, would you do me a solid?” Jerry says, “Well, what kind of solid?” And Kramer says, “I need you to sit in the car for two minutes while it’s double-parked. I gotta pick up some birds.”
You might remember it from the film American Hustle, where Pete Musane (played by Jack Huston) tells Irving Rosenfeld (played by Christian Bale), “my boss knows you did him a real solid.”
The term was also used in the movie Juno, where the title character asks a man who is about to leave his wife and put the well-being of a child they promised to take care of at risk, to “do me a solid and just stay with Vanessa [his wife].”
More recently, Dennis Rodman used the term in a Twitter message to the president of North Korea, saying: “I’m calling on the Supreme Leader of North Korea or as I call him ‘Kim’, to do me a solid and cut Kenneth Bae [an imprisoned American missionary] loose.”
The phrase “do me a solid” means to do a favor for someone or to help out a friend.
We could say that many years ago, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, did us a solid by showing grace and favor to us when He died on the cross for our sins so that we can be forgiven and be able to go to Heaven with Him one day. Let me explain:
1. Jesus did us a solid by loving us even when we were yet sinners and didn’t love Him. Perhaps, as a child, you heard or sang the chorus, “Yes, Jesus loves me, for the Bible tells me so.” God the Father expressed His love for each and every one of us by sending Jesus Christ to Earth to live and die for our sins. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son…” First John 4:19 says, “We love him because he first loved us.” As Jesus carried out His ministry on earth — healing the sick, raising the dead, feeding the hungry, and preaching that the kingdom of God had come — many people rejected Him, hated Him, and wanted to get rid of Him. However, Jesus continued to love and serve them anyway. Even today, there are people who speak negatively of Jesus Christ and do not appreciate what He did for us. Some people simply try to ignore Him and His influence on the world. However, Jesus loves us anyway. To use a Biblical phrase, He loves us “with an everlasting love.” Jesus did us a solid.
2. Jesus did us a solid by dying for us and taking the punishment that we deserve. Jesus did not just come to earth to tell us how much He loves us. He came to earth to show us how much He loves us. The Bible says in Romans 5:8, “God commendeth (or shows) his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus Christ died as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Without Jesus’ death on the cross — without the punishment for sin being poured out on the perfect Son of God — each of us would die and be punished forever in Hell because of our sins. The Bible says “the wages of sin is death.” If Jesus did not take our place and our punishment, we would be doomed to Hell forever. Jesus did us a solid.
3. Jesus did us a solid by making it possible for us to go to Heaven when we die. Even though Jesus died a cruel, painful death, that was not the end. Three days later, Jesus Christ rose from the dead demonstrating that He had defeated sin, the devil, death, and hell. In Revelation 1:18, Jesus Christ declared, “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection gave each of us the opportunity to overcome sin, death, and hell as well. If we believe on Jesus Christ and the sacrificial work that He completed by His death on the cross and by His resurrection from the grave, we will be given salvation from sin, deliverance from the punishment of sin, and eternal life with God in Heaven. As the Bible says, “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
My friend, Jesus Christ did us all a solid even when He didn’t have to. He made it easy for us to live a meaningful life on Earth where we can have a relationship with God as well as an abundant, joyous life in Heaven.
MUSICAL SELECTION: “How He Loves” by the David Crowder* Band