February 16, 2024

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It wasn't my idea to get a dog. But, I did get pretty attached to little Missy. She became a part of the family; a little shih tzu dog. Now, I never called her Missy Hutchcraft. I mean, I didn't make her a member of the family, but she was cute.

Getting a dog was my youngest son's idea. He really wanted a dog and I explained we couldn't afford a dog. And he said the magic words, "She's free!" to which I responded, "Okay, there goes my last argument." And I succumbed.

Now, my son kept Missy in the kitchen most of the time, and when she was being housebroken, he would put a gate on the door of the kitchen so she couldn't get into the hallway and the rest of the house. It was a big help to my wife and to me, because he was gone most of the day. We didn't have to check on her as much.

Of course she didn't want to stay in the kitchen. No, she wanted out, as any dog would. Four times this dog chewed through the plastic mesh on the gate. So we'd come in and we'd find her loose in the house doing things she shouldn't do. Then we got some strong electrical tape and put it over the hole. Well, she chewed and chewed. She finally chewed the tape until she got a piece loose. We found her running across the kitchen but slightly slowed down. See, she had a piece of tape stretched from one paw to the other, effectively handcuffing... or paw-cuffing that little dog until we could do a little tape removal surgery.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "How Freedom Can Leave You Stuck."

Our word for today from the Word of God, John 8:34, the words of Jesus, "I tell you the truth. Everyone who sins is a slave to sin." Well, that's the ironic consequences of not living God's way, like our dog when she was a puppy. See, we see the gates that God has put up as confinement. "You know, it's really hard to stay married in my situation." "It's really hard to keep sex inside the fence of marriage." "It's hard to tell the truth if you only knew my situation." So we want to get outside the gate, because it's going to cost too much to do the right thing. "It's going to be hard not to be unequally yoked. I really love this girl/I really love this guy." "I don't know if I can stay in the gate."

Maybe you've looked at God's boundaries and you've decided there's something beyond the gate that you want. Missy thought she'd get free and she got stuck. So will you, or so have you. There's something enslaving about sin. Oh, that voice says, "Oh, you could have just a little. Do it just once. Just a little compromise won't hurt." But soon you're in deeper than you ever imagined you would be. You didn't realize the scars this would cause. You didn't realize the guilt, the consequences, the darkness that would start to grow inside of you. You didn't realize how you were going to lose self-respect and you lose your closeness to God and maybe even some of your reputation. You didn't realize the difficulty of trying to stop it when you started it. Where are the brakes? It was easy to find the accelerator.

Jesus said, "Whoever commits sin is a slave to sin." If you haven't crossed that boundary, would you run back from the edge? Freedom is never found in sin; only bondage. Don't be conned by the Devil. You say, "Well, I've gone beyond the boundary. I have gone beyond the gate. I've disobeyed God, and I'm paying for it." Maybe you're stuck.

There's such good news two verses later in John 8:36. "If the Son of God sets you free, you will be free indeed." That's what a Savior means. Jesus wants to lovingly hold you in His arms and cut loose the things that have tied you up. It may hurt, but it is worth it.

There is a cross where Jesus paid for every wrong choice you've ever made, every person you've ever hurt. Bring that garbage to His cross where millions of people have been forgiven and set free. You say, "I don't belong to this Savior. I've never experienced clean inside. This is your day! I hope you'll go to our website. Right there, you'll see the path that will take you right into a personal relationship with God where you will be forgiven. That website is

There's nothing good outside the gate. Remember, when you sin to break free, you don't end up free. You end up stuck!



Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)


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