Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. (Rom. 6:8)

AVERY IS A VIBRANT YOUNG CHRISTIAN. She sings on a worship team and helps out at an after-school center for at-risk kids. She’s passionate about these ministries because of her own background. Avery grew up with a single mom who was a drug addict. Their living arrangements were very unstable, with frequent moves and even a period of homelessness. Avery tried to escape her miserable situation by partying with friends. She was headed down the same road as her mother when God intervened. Compassionate Christians reached out to Avery and her mom and led them to Christ. Avery’s mom found freedom from drugs. Avery herself started a new lifestyle of worshiping God and serving others instead of partying. She’s preparing for a career in full-time ministry.

The apostle Paul explains what happened to Avery and her mom this way: Jesus was crucified and raised to life again to free us from slavery to sin. When we entrust our lives to him, our “old self” (Rom. 6:6) joins Christ on His cross. Just like Him, we’re resurrected into a new lifestyle of living for God. No longer chained by our past sin and shame, we’re free now to love God and people.

Never allow the enemy to shame you with thoughts the past. You have been raised to a glorious new life in Christ. Embrace that freedom.

Next time you see a cross, recall that the “old you” died there.

Jerome Van Kuiken grew up in the Philippines as the child of missionaries. He teaches Bible, theology, and apologetics at Oklahoma Wesleyan University, and serves in the children’s ministry at his local church.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.