My friend Julie Sanders has a gift to share with you today. Your acceptance could mean freedom for others.

In this season of comfort and joy, it’s easy to turn off unpleasant tidings that accost our ears. After all, who wants to spoil the most wonderful time of the year? But the reality is an estimated 29.8 million people suffer various forms of bondage today, including human trafficking, forced labor, child marriage, and slavery by inheritance. Around the world, captives long for comfort and joy.

Does such an ugly issue really belong in the holidays, when we’re decking the halls? In truth, a fresh look at modern captivity stirs new gratitude in our hearts for the coming of the God-man to the lowly manger. If not for His coming, we would still be in bondage.

The birth of Jesus is really all about setting captives free. When the babe grew to manhood, He said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,” (Luke 4:18).

That’s where Christmas comes in; the prophecies, the decree, the star, the manger, the shepherds … it’s all about setting captives free. For those of us who know what it is to be the rescued, what other response is fitting but to long for and provide for the release of others?  Do you know what it is to beg for redemption? After the shepherds saw the baby-Messiah who would bring peace on earth, they had the only fitting response for the event. “And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.” (Luke 2:20)

Christmas is still about setting captives free. Twenty-four writers, who have personally encountered the Christ who brings peace, came together from around the world to create Released: 30 Days to Stand for Freedom. This 30-day devotional focuses on God’s heart for freedom.

Released, human traffickingWe invite you to receive this free tool about human trafficking and modern slavery. A variety of facts, relevant scripture, and guided prayers representing eleven different countries will inform and inspire you. The 30 days format will take you right up to the National Day of Prayer for Human Trafficking on January 11. You can begin to stand for freedom just by reading, learning and praying. Would you join us?

Click to download your free copy of  Released 30 Days to Stand for Freedom. We invite you to share it widely, so many people will be informed and inspired.

Christmas is all about God’s heart for freedom and the sacrifice He made to buy back His beloved ones from the ultimate Slave Maker. When you see the baby in the manger on Christmas cards, movies or nativities this season, remember God’s longing for people to be Released.

Get more information about Released and Julie Sanders, who compiled it.

Have you ever known anyone that was held in physical bondage?


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