Are you a Slave or Free?

This Morning, I thought I’d tell you a story of a young girl called Sheila, who was a slave in Ireland, a very long time ago.


Sheila was a beautiful, strong, honest and hardworking young woman. She always listened to her Master, but would help any living being, in need. Even if went against what her Master had said. Her job was to look after The Master’s Sheep and to Cook for The Master and his friends. But we can’t forget, Sheila was a very Godly woman, who served God.


One beautiful Summer afternoon, Sheila was sent out to look after her Masters sheep. She was watching the sheep, when an Older man came up to her, he was a Beggar. He asked her, “Can you please help me?! For I am hungry and poor.” Sheila, was poor and hungry too and couldn’t really help him out. Then she saw a gleaming sheep, that the scruffy old beggar could have. She told the Beggar, “Do you see the sheep over there, glowing! You have her. My master wont mind.” The Old Scruffy Beggar, thanked her and off he went with the sheep.


Later that day, in the evening just before Dinner time, the Master asked Sheila to bring in the sheep. The Master counted each sheep one by one. He thought, “That’s strange, I thought I had 30 sheep and not 29 sheep?” The Master then asked Shelia, “Where’s the one sheep gone?” Sheila then told, her Master where the sheep had gone. The Master angrily said, “ How could you give one of my sheep away, to that Old and Scruffy Beggar? Last time I told you not to do it again, after feeding the stray dog.” Sheila exclaimed, “Well, like the dog, I couldn’t leave the old beggar to go hungry.” The Master, didn’t really understand why Sheila would give his possessions away, to those in need.


That evening, when Sheila was cooking for the Master and his friends, she overheard the conversation they were having. It was about her giving away the sheep to the beggar. One of The Masters friends asked, “Wasn’t she the one that gave away a piece of meat to the stray dog, just a few weeks ago?” The Master said, “Yes! That’s her.” The Master and his friends pondered, for a little while, then his other friend spoke up, “Why don’t you sell her to the King, like you did with her Mother. He’d probably be glad to take her too!” The Master, thought about it for a few moments and said, “What a great idea! I’ll take her in the morning.” Shelia at this point, was saddened at the thought of being taken to the King. The Master’s house, was the only family she ever knew.


The next morning came, it was another hot and sunny day. The Master got his horse and cart ready and woke Shelia up, saying “It’s time to go into town.” Sheila knew that this was the last time she would see her home. She got up, collected what she had and sat in the cart, with her Master. The whole journey was silent, until they reached the gates of The Kings Castle. The master told Sheila, “You’re coming with me to the King, I’m going to sell you off to him, for a good price. Don’t mess this up!” She looked at him, so saddened, at the thought, that she was going to be sold to The King. Sheila asked the Master, “Why am I getting sold to the King? Haven’t I been faithful to you?” The Master said nothing, while he walked to Sheila’s side of the cart. He picked her up, swung her over his shoulders and took to the feet of the King.


The King shouted at The Master, “Let go of the girl!” The Master straight away dropped Sheila on the floor, bottom first. Shelia, then looked up to her Master, in disgust!

After the King calmed down, he asked the Master, “Why do you bring this young girl to me?” The Master replied, “Because she is obedient and way too kind! This slave fed a stray dog who was starving, with my guests meat and she gave a sheep of mine, to a beggar! She too much for me, but would be great for you, for the right price?” The King looked at Sheila and then looked at The Master again and said, “But, Why sell me this girl, if she is obedient and kind?” The Master said, “ Because she is… Well… Ummm…” The Master couldn’t really answer the Kings question. Well, who could argue with the King?! The King looked at him and said, “I have been told of great things Jesus did. Jesus helped the people who needed it, just like Sheila; And He set people free, from sin, by dying on the Cross. Now, I tell you, let this girl go!” The Master, at that point realised that Sheila belong to the Kings of Kings and not him.


Thinking back to the story I just told, what I’ve learnt is, is that, True freedom comes from belonging to God. At the beginning of the story, God led Sheila, to give meat to the stray dog, and the sheep to the beggar; Even though it annoyed her Master. It was from listening to God, that led her to her freedom.


So, How can we not let Sin control our lives?


Well there a few things that we can do:


We need to first, Identify our own personal weaknesses. Not someone else, ours!

The second is to, Recognise the things that tempt us.

The third is to, Practice self-control.

And.. Fourthly, to Lean on God’s Strength and Grace.


The Fourth point, wont work, unless you do points 1-3 yourself.


At the end of the day, Eternal life is a gift from God.


If you have access to YouTube, then please check out ‘Cast your Cares’, by Guvna B. Radio Edit. The song features ‘The Kingdom Choir’. It’s a song, that has helped me through the hard times. If you don’t like the music, then please just listen to the words.


This morning I’m going to leave you with these words:

‘Cause I know that You’re with me, You’re near me, And You’re for me.

And I know that, You’re listening, And leading, And loving, And I pray that You’ll hear me.

And free me, And carry, Oh, I know that You’re with me.

You’re near me, And You’re for me, In my weakness, in my trouble,

When it’s darkest and it’s hardest.

When I’m lonely, console me, When I’m searching and I’m hurting, Oh I know that You’re with me.

You’re near me, And You’re for me Lord!  Amen.

Rhi Lawton 28.06.2020


Rev'd Jonathan Smith

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