Recently, I was looking through one of my bookcases and I noticed a small ragged looking book that I didn’t recognize. I pulled it from the shelf and was captivated by the title, “What was it like in the Concentration Camp at Dachau?”. I did what most of us do when we pick up a book, I looked for the Contents page, yet not finding one I started reading the introduction. Well, it took me about two minutes and I was hooked, I had to keep reading. As I read the stories of the abuse that the Nazi’s inflicted upon the Jews, it was beyond my imagination. I never thought one human being could treat another in such horrendous ways. The abuse was shocking, inhuman, and to the point of execution. I wondered, if I were a Jew what would I do? Would I submit to the abuse and keep going or do what some of the prisoners did and simply run at the fence and let the guards kill me so I no longer had to endure the beatings and abuse?

After reading most of the book I then wonder about the abuse slaves had to endure. I know we have all heard many stories but again I wondered, would I stay on the plantation and keep working or would I try to escape? In both of these situations I tend to think I’d endure. But part of me says I’d run for the fence or try to escape.

The sad truth is that so many people are living just as the Jews and slaves lived – in bondage and abuse. While there are no Nazi guards or slave owners, we have an enemy who enslaves us and one who does everything he can to destroy us. Our enslaver is sin – our own sin. The song says, “No longer a slave to sin, I am a child of God.” The Bible tells us that we have been set free from that enslaver and yet day after day we submit to the abuse of sin. Sin separates us from the blessings of God, it destroys our relationships with others, and it makes us look at ourselves not as a child of God but as second class persons. Christ came to set us free and Paul said, “It was for freedom that Christ set us free, therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery”, Galatians 5:1.

Today, ask yourself this question – have I returned to being a slave to my flesh, my desires, and my sin?

The other abuser I see people submitting to is of course the devil. While people make fun of him the truth is that he is very real and he is very crafty in what he does. His desire is to destroy you – not to take your life but to make your life ineffective for the Kingdom. He may have lost your soul but he sure wants your testimony, your service, your energy, or your impact. Today after you search your heart to gauge your slavery to sin ask yourself if you’ve allowed the enemy to neutralize your witness for Christ.

We had a great start to VBS last night as we had 536 in attendance! I’ve got nothing but praise for all our volunteers who came and gave of themselves to share Christ with hundreds of children. By the way, if you don’t think VBS has the potential to impact lost families, nothing could be further from the truth. I talked to many parents as they were picking up their children who need to know Christ. So, pray for VBS, invite the children of your friends and neighbors who are not in church, and stop by and give us a hand.

Also, while I usually don’t place these type of requests in my emails, I’d like to help one of our staff members, Mike Saunders and give you an opportunity to bless his family. They are looking for a home to rent in either the Rustburg (Campbell County) or Bedford school districts. They are searching for a 3 bedroom home with 1 ½ or 2 bathrooms. Their price range is $750 – $900 a month. If you know of anything that would meet their needs, please contact Mike at msaunders@hhbc.net

Remember, MDWMD,

Pastor Carl