Kevin Austin, Director of the Free Methodist Church’s Set Free Movement, will bring the message at CCC on “Freedom Sunday,” February 22. Here he shares about the evil of human trafficking and the FMC’s response to it.
There are more slaves in the world today than at any other time in history. Real slaves; unable to walk away; doing things they don’t want to do. They pick cotton for our clothes and chocolate for our desserts; they are forced to fight in wars, make bricks for homes, and mine minerals for our gadgets. They are used and abused in horrible ways. Slavery fills our closets, cupboards, and is infecting all of our neighborhoods and cities. People created in God’s image are being treated as things.
Free Methodists are confronting this evil. In ever increasing numbers we are serving with compassion and challenging oppressors. Launching safe houses, mobilizing every branch of society, teaching in schools, rescuing the oppressed, planting churches, and bringing hope and healing to the broken, we are following Jesus in fulfilling his mission. God has set us free. We now help others to be free.
One key way in which the Free Methodist church is engaging powerfully is through the annual observance of Freedom Sunday. Over the past four years participants in this important event have prayed, sung, proclaimed, and given in the direction of freedom.
We have helped empower leaders in India to give vulnerable people the educational tools needed to avoid traffickers. We have helped establish safe houses in the Philippines and Thailand as well as expanding the work of protecting the vulnerable in Colombia. We have funded work in Taiwan to protect the alien, the immigrant worker. We have empowered Kali Long in Athens, Greece, to create new futures for women set free from sex trafficking.
Not just internationally, but the annual observance – the prayers, singing, remembering, proclaiming, giving, and focusing on how God wants to set us all free – has catalyzed teams engaging around the U.S.
The awareness and mobilization is working. Slaves are being set free. The broken are being healed. The Holy Spirit is empowering us to be more and do more on mission with God.
On February 22, 2015 the fifth observance of Freedom Sunday will be the most powerful one yet. I encourage you to pray, proclaim, and worship in the direction of freedom. Live fully as true Free Methodists, embracing the freedom Jesus has brought and working for the freedom of others. Consider giving so that our leaders and projects can confront the evil. Be an agent of hope and healing.
Learn more at setfreemovement.org, fmcusa.org and www.freedomsummit15.org.
At the conclusion of his February 8 message, Pastor Keith read these words of truth over the congregation. May they be a blessing to you as you read and claim them for yourself.
The Cry of God's Heart, from Genesis to Revelation
My child ...
You may not know me, but I know everything about you (Psalm 139:1). I know when you sit down and when you rise up (Psalm 139:2). I am familiar with all your ways (139:3). Even the very hairs on your head are numbered (Matthew 10:29-31). For you were made in My image (Genesis 1:27). In me you live and move and have your being … for you are My child (Acts 17:28).
I knew you before you were ever conceived (Jeremiah 1:4-5). I chose you when I planned creation (Ephesians 1:11-12). You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in My book (Psalm 139:15-16). I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live (Acts 17:26). You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). I knit you together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13) and brought you forth on the day you were born (Psalm 71:6).
I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me (John 8:41-44). I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love (1 John 4:16), and it is My desire to lavish My love on you simply because you are my child and I am your Father (1 John 3:1).
I offer you more than your earthly father ever could (Matthew 7:11). For I am the perfect Father (Matthew 5:48). Every good and perfect gift that you receive comes from My hand (James 1:17). For I am your provider, and I meet all your needs (Matthew 6:31-33). My plan for your future has always been filled with hope (Jeremiah 29:11) because I love you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3).
My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore (Psalm 139:17-18) and I rejoice over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). I will never stop doing good to you (Jeremiah 32:40). For you are my treasured possession (Exodus 19:5). I desire to establish you with all My heart and all My soul (Jeremiah 32:41), and I want to show you great and marvelous things (Jeremiah 33:3).
If you seek Me with all your heart, you will find Me (Deuteronomy 4:29). Delight in Me, and I will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4). I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine (Ephesians 3:20). For I am your greatest encourager (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17).
I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you (Psalm 34:18). As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to My heart (Isaiah 40:11). One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes, and I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth (Revelation 21:3-4).
I am your Father, and I love you even as I love My son, Jesus (John 17:23). For in Jesus, My love for you is revealed (John 17:26). He is the exact representation of My being (Hebrews 1:3). He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you (Romans 8:31), and to tell you that I am not counting your sins (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). His death was the ultimate expression of My love for you (1 John 4:10). I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love (1 John 4:10).
If you receive the gift of My Son, Jesus, you receive me (1 John 2:23). And nothing will ever separate you from My love again (Romans 8:38-39). I will never leave you, nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6). Come home, and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen (Luke 15:7). I have always been Father and will always be Father (Ephesians 3:14-15). My question is: Will you be My child? (John 1:12-13). I am waiting for you (Luke 15:11-32).
Your Dad, Almighty God
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