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     Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” John 11:43-44 
     Dear Lord Jesus, as surely Lazarus walked out of his tomb fully alive, when you commanded him, so when you spoke the gospel to my heart, I too was raised from the dead—fully alive and seated with you in the heavenly places (Eph. 2:6). Though I await the resurrection of my body, I’ve already passed from death to life; from condemnation to full acceptance; from being alienated from you to being a part of your Bride. For your sovereign authority over all things and the resurrection power of the gospel, I praise you today. Indeed, salvation is of the Lord!
     Yet as surely as Lazarus needed to be freed from his grave-clothes, so do I. The smell and signs of death still haunt me and stalk me. I have been perfectly forgiven, but I’m far from being perfected. There are many areas of my life for which I long for greater freedom, and you alone can set me free. I trust you to bring the liberating power of grace to bear.
     Lord Jesus, I want to be less impacted by what people think about me. I want to respond to trying situations with wisdom and difficult people with grace. I want eyes to see what you see in others. I want to be quicker to pray and slower to worry. I want to live more of a called life, and less of a driven life.
     I want indifference to be replaced with good listening. I want passivity to be replaced with passion. I want to offer people a non-hurried, engaged and caring presence when I am with them. I want more freedom from the toxic shame that often paralyzes my heart. I want to know what stuff from my past still needs to be dealt with and what stuff simply needs to be left alone till the day of final resurrection. I want to be much bolder to share the gospel and much slower to savor gossip.
     I want to be able to sit still longer, much longer and laugh much louder. I want to age grace-fully, not regret-fully. I want to come more fully alive to the only love that will never let me go—your love, the only love that is better than life. You’ve already made me alive in you, Jesus; make me much, much freer, all for your glory. So very I pray in your priceless and unparalleled name.

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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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