I once heard the story of a young slave boy who lived on a cotton plantation in the deep South. His parents had died, and an old man—who also worked on the plantation as a slave—had assumed the responsibility of raising the boy.
One of the boy’s daily chores was to get the newspaper from the front entrance of the plantation and bring it to his master’s house. In the process, he would stop by the old man’s slave quarters, where this elderly mentor taught him the alphabet, how to put words and sentences together, and eventually to read.
It was the time of the Civil War in the United States. Both of them were aware of the fierce battles being fought, and they often heard the firing of rifles and cannons in the distance. But the plantation offered a sense of isolation from the bloody battlefields nearby.
Then one chilly morning in January 1863, the boy opened the front page of the newspaper and saw two large words he couldn’t pronounce and didn’t understand. They were set in type about six inches high, so he knew these words must be important.
He ran to the old man and asked, “What do these words mean?”
The two words blazoned across the top of the paper read:
The old slave hesitated and then said firmly, “You don’t need to know.”
“Why?” the boy replied. “Those are big letters. Something very important must have happened.”
Finally, the man explained, “It says President Lincoln has signed an order to set all the slaves free.” Then he added, “But this is a trick. You can’t trust what the paper says. They just want us to become runaways so they can catch us and punish us more harshly.”
The young boy adamantly disagreed. “That can’t be true,” he said. “If it says in the newspaper that I’m free, then I’M FREE! I’m leaving this place today, and I’m never coming back!”
The old man tried to counsel him to stay, but the boy insisted, “I’m not staying here another day.”
The boy didn’t deliver the paper to his master that day. Instead, he placed it along with his meager belongings in a satchel and ran from the plantation as fast as he could, never to return.
The sad part of the story is that the old man simply couldn’t believe the headlines. He distrusted what the paper said, and couldn’t fathom that the blood of tens of thousands of young Americans, shed on his behalf, had truly purchased his freedom. Nor could he comprehend that a single order from the President could change his destiny forever.
So the old slave stayed behind and served his master for the rest of his life. Legally, he was a free man, yet he chose not to believe the proclamation he had read in the paper. Tragically, he lived and died a slave.
However, the young boy made a life-changing decision. He believed the words in the newspaper were true—President Lincoln had indeed signed a proclamation that set him free.
But not only did the boy believe in the President’s proclamation, he also acted on his belief. You see, faith is not just a fact—it’s an act!
It Is Finished
Today, you face a choice similar to the old man and the boy. You can choose to remain a slave to sin—or to whatever else is holding you in its grip—or you can choose to believe the proclamation of God’s Word that you’ve been set free.
Are you ready to believe the Good News of God’s Word? Here’s the truth:
Christ died on the Cross not only to pay the penalty for your sins, but He also came to set you FREE!
It took only three words for Jesus to announce His “Emancipation Proclamation” on the Cross of Calvary. He looked up to His Father and said, “It is finished!” (John 19:30). At that amazing moment, the cost of your freedom was marked “Paid in full!”
Because you were purchased out of bondage by the precious blood of Christ, Satan no longer has any claim over you. No longer does he have any right to interfere with your life or enslave you to sickness, poverty, depression, or addiction!
In Jesus Christ you’ve been declared “free indeed” (John 8:36). So if you’ve still been keeping one foot in the devil’s plantation, it’s time to leave!
Whose Report Will You Believe?
Your liberty begins when you believe in your heart the truth of what God says about you in His Word:
“You will know the TRUTH, and the truth will set you FREE.” – John 8:32
You see, the boy in the story chose to believe the report of his emancipation, and he took action accordingly. If you truly grasp the incredible price Jesus paid for your freedom, it will be impossible to remain in bondage to Satan’s snares.
Friend, today can be the beginning of your freedom from sin or addiction… from depression or despair… from toxic or broken relationships… from poverty or disease. And when you believe the truth about your liberation, you can get unstuck from whatever has held you back from fulfilling God’s highest purpose for your life.
Your life will never be the same!
Your friend and partner to win the Lost,
David Cerullo is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Inspiration Ministries, located in Indian Land, South Carolina – a ministry dedicated to impacting people for Christ worldwide through media. The son of international evangelist Morris Cerullo, David took a less traditional approach to ministry, graduating from Oral Roberts University with a degree in business administration and management. He has authored over 20 books, and operates a global media ministry that powerfully impacts the world for Christ. More from David on Inspiration.org.