“Ten years ago I traveled to the Amazon Rainforest in Peru. That experience changed my life forever. Never will I forget the first time seeing a family of macaws flying high up in the sky above the canopy. It never dawned on me what people have done to destroy the rainforest and its wildlife until I got back. One day while passing by a pet store, I recognized a sound I had heard in Peru. It was the macaw, like the beautiful parrot I saw in Peru. It was confined to a cage with barely enough space to spread its wings fully open. Upon closer examination, I saw that its wings were clipped. This macaw was born in captivity, truly in bondage, because it would never have the freedom of the birds I saw in Peru.
One might say “Ignorance is bliss” and I would agree that the macaw has no clue what it is missing, but because it was meant to be free, and not captive, I believe there is a void and a longing to fly as birds are supposed to. Occasionally, the macaw in the store would try to pry open the cage, attempting to free itself, but it could not.
Dear Reader, we all are born in captivity like the macaw at the pet store. That captivity is sin. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23). How are we captive by sin? Sin separates us from the freedom that God offers to all of us. There is only one way to be set free, and that is through Jesus Christ, God’s Son. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (1 Timothy 2:5-6 KJV)
Dear Friend, if you don’t have Jesus in your life, you are like that macaw, captive to sin, whether you realize it or not. Jesus Christ died on the cross to purchase you and set you free. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17 KJV) He’ll set you free if you let Him, but just like caged birds are afraid to leave their cage, we are fooled that life is better in the cage. If you stay in sin, you’ll find out that sin only brings death, eternal destruction. “But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.” (Luke 12:5). That is the truth for those who refuse to let Jesus become their righteousness.
Jesus is the ONLY way to be saved and go to Heaven. “God alone made it possible for you to be in Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Christ to be wisdom itself. He is the one who made us acceptable to God. He made us pure and holy, and He gave Himself to purchase our freedom” (1 Corinthians 1:30 NLT). God doesn’t want you to die in your sin, because He wants you to go to Heaven and not Hell. “Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.” (Matthew 18:14 KJV) God is holy and sin cannot dwell in His presence, that is why we all will be judged one day. Those who trust Jesus will be saved; those who refuse Him are still captive, and will go to eternal destruction. So how can you receive this forgiveness and have a relationship with Jesus Christ? You must realize you are captive to sin and confess and repent. “But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong” (1 John 1:9). “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out,… (Acts 3:19a KJV). Finally, believe, “For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). I know from experience this to be absolute truth. I know that if you make this decision, it will change your life forever, and it will be something you never regret. Please make this decision now, without delay. “Indeed, God is ready to help you right now. Today is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2 NLT).”
Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189, and Moments With The Book