Posts Tagged ‘Freedom

19
Sep
17

He Came To Take Away Our Sin

Jesus never sinned in any way. It may seem hard to believe, but it’s true! John wrote:

Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. 5 But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. – 1 John 3:4-5 (NIV)

Since Jesus never sinned, He was able to be the perfect, unblemished sacrifice for the sin of the world. As Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians:

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. – 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV)

Jesus came to take away our sin and to make us right with God. Since Jesus died for our sins, we are free from the consequences of our sin and lawlessness. We no longer stand condemned because of our sin, but instead, Jesus has set us free and we are free indeed. Live in that freedom today knowing that you have been forgiven.
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11
Jul
17

The Lord Sees Your Ways

Solomon writes to his son to warn him about adultery in Proverbs 5. At the end of the chapter, Solomon says:

For your ways are in full view of the Lord,
    and he examines all your paths.

22 The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them;
    the cords of their sins hold them fast.

23 For lack of discipline they will die,
    led astray by their own great folly. – Proverbs 5:21-23 (NIV)

God sees everything we do. He is our Maker and our Judge. He knows everything we’ve ever done. Those who reject Him will be ensnared by their evil deeds and will suffer the consequences. Do you ever feel like you just can’t get it right and that you don’t understand why you keep doing the same things over and over and over again? Examine your relationship with God. The good news is that despite our many sins, God still loves us and He is willing to forgive us and set us free. Will you turn to Him in faith and repentance and find that freedom? You can’t change by your own power. You need help and God is willing to help you. Turn to Him today and find the help you need.
04
Nov
16

Knowledge Versus Love

Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that we all possess knowledge.  Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.  The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know.  But the man who loves God is known by God. — 1 Corinthians 8:1-3 (NIV)

The W.E.O.U.I.

My wife calls me a “walking encyclopedia of useless information.”  I know a little bit about many different subjects.  It’s just the way my brain works.  I love Jeopardy.  People look at me with an odd stare when I watch the show.  I’ve heard the words, “How do you know that?” more than once.  I explain, “I just know it.”  I’ll admit, it’s a source of pride and that’s not good.  I can be quite puffy when it comes to my brain.

Guilty By Association

There were those in Paul’s day who just knew that they knew the right answers.  This whole thing of meat sacrificed to idols?  They knew the answer.  It was a sin.  Plain and simple.  It was wrong.  That food was consecrated to a false god and if you ate it, you were guilty.  You were endorsing the worship of a false idol and therefore you were guilty of sin.  Plain and simple.  Guilty by association.

Knowledge Vs. Love

I think that the point that Paul is making in this passage is that love trumps knowledge.  The heart beats the head in a sort of metaphysical game of rock, paper, scissors.  We can possess quite a bit of knowledge, but we will never know everything.  On the other hand, there is no limit to the love we can share with others.  Knowledge is limited, but love is boundless.  Seek opportunities to love God and others before sharing that of which you are so sure.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I want to be filled with love for You and for people today. I want to share Your love with the world. Help me to remember just how loved I am by You. Thank You for loving me. Amen.

02
May
16

God Sets Us Free

Zechariah 1:18-21 (NIV)

Then I looked up, and there before me were four horns. 19 I asked the angel who was speaking to me, “What are these?”

He answered me, “These are the horns that scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem.”

20 Then the Lord showed me four craftsmen. 21 I asked, “What are these coming to do?”

He answered, “These are the horns that scattered Judah so that no one could raise their head, but the craftsmen have come to terrify them and throw down these horns of the nations who lifted up their horns against the land of Judah to scatter its people.”

 

Zechariah was prophesying about the visions he saw about God’s deliverance of Israel. In this vision from chapter 1, verses 18-21, Zechariah sees four horns. Horns were symbols of power and in this passage, the four horns represent four Gentile nations that had oppressed and scattered God’s people. God’s people had been exiled from their homeland for decades and now they were returning home to rebuild the temple.

Zechariah also saw four craftsmen who would smash the horns of power. God was going to severely deal with the nations who had oppressed His people. The time had come for their deliverance and God always keeps His promises. He delivered His people from the hands of the Egyptians, the Assyrians, the Babylonians and the Medo-Persians. Those were physical oppressors. What about spiritual oppression? God promised deliverance from this kind of oppression as well by sending a Messiah.

God the Father sent Jesus to deliver all people from the spiritual oppression of sin. Followers of Jesus have been set free from the consequences of sin by the blood of Jesus Christ. Now we don’t have to fear punishment for our sins. Jesus took our place and our punishment on the cross. We are pilgrims here, passing through on our way to our heavenly home. Until we arrive home, let us tell others about the Lord Jesus and His great love for us all. Let us tell of how He can deliver us from spiritual bondage to sin. Let us tell of His gift of grace that is available to everyone.

PRAYER: Thank You, Father, for delivering me from the bondage and oppression caused by sin. I am a sinner in need of Your grace and forgiveness. Protect me from temptation and evil today. Help me to be holy. In Jesus’ name, amen.

11
Nov
15

The Heavy Burden Of Guilt

My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear. — Psalm 38:4 (NIV)

Guilt is a heavy burden, is it not?  When you’ve done something for which you are truly ashamed, the guilt of that sin weighs on you like a 2-ton boulder.  It presses down on you and consumes your thoughts.  “Why did I do it?  What was I thinking?  What if I get caught?  How could I have been so foolish?!?”  The guilt of our sins is all too real.

The forgiveness that Christ has paid for on the cross is real, too.  Hebrews 8:12 makes this promise for those who trust in Christ for salvation under God’s new covenant: “I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”  When we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ for salvation, the heavy weight and burden of guilt is lifted off of us and we can move and breathe and truly live!  We are free from the burden of guilt!  Only Christ can free us from it.  Only He can rescue us from our guilt and only He can cleanse our consciences.

Are you carrying around a heavy load of guilt today?  Are you being crushed under the weight of a burden of guilt?  It’s time to be set free!  Jesus wants to lift that heavy burden off of you and quiet those nagging voices of guilt in your mind.  Let go of the burden.  You are free in Christ.  “…if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36, NIV).  Amen!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I pray that You would set me free from my burden of guilt today.  I know that I am a sinner and that apart from You, I am guilty.  I have sinned against You and against my neighbor.  I am in need of Your grace and forgiveness.  Help me to know that my sins have been forgiven and that You have lifted the burden of guilt from me when You took my place on the cross.  In Your name I pray, amen.

02
Nov
15

Knowledge Versus Love

Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that we all possess knowledge.  Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.  The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know.  But the man who loves God is known by God. — 1 Corinthians 8:1-3 (NIV)

The W.E.O.U.I.

My wife calls me a “walking encyclopedia of useless information.”  I know a little bit about many different subjects.  It’s just the way my brain works.  I love Jeopardy.  People look at me with an odd stare when I watch the show.  I’ve heard the words, “How do you know that?” more than once.  I explain, “I just know it.”  I’ll admit, it’s a source of pride and that’s not good.  I can be quite puffy when it comes to my brain.

Guilty By Association

There were those in Paul’s day who just knew that they knew the right answers.  This whole thing of meat sacrificed to idols?  They knew the answer.  It was a sin.  Plain and simple.  It was wrong.  That food was consecrated to a false god and if you ate it, you were guilty.  You were endorsing the worship of a false idol and therefore you were guilty of sin.  Plain and simple.  Guilty by association.

Knowledge Vs. Love

I think that the point that Paul is making in this passage is that love trumps knowledge.  The heart beats the head in a sort of metaphysical game of rock, paper, scissors.  We can possess quite a bit of knowledge, but we will never know everything.  On the other hand, there is no limit to the love we can share with others.  Knowledge is limited, but love is boundless.  Seek opportunities to love God and others before sharing that of which you are so sure.

PRAYER: Father, give me opportunities to demonstrate my love for you and my love for others.  I want to show Your love to the world and to express my love for You.  Thank You for demonstrating Your love for me through Your Son, Jesus, amen.

29
Jun
15

The Joy of Freedom

There seems to be some kind of siren’s call for God’s people to return to a former way of life.  If you were not raised in the church, perhaps your call is to return to a life of sinfulness.  If you were raised in a church where an emphasis was placed on your ability to follow rules, maybe you are driven to return to rule-following instead of embracing grace.  If you were raised in the church and rebelled against God for a time, but returned to Him, you may hear the call of the prodigal.  I believe it is a call to the familiar and to be comfortable.
Following Jesus is not easy.  He calls us to a narrow road and a narrow gate.  It is a call to leave former ways behind and to embrace the new creation He’s made you to be.  The temptation is to abandon the freedom of grace for a former way of life that leads to slavery.  That slavery might be the familiar rules of your past that are comfortable and safe.  The slavery might be the prison of sinfulness.  It feels good (for a time), so you leave the home of forgiveness and mercy for a far off land of slavery to sin.  That slavery might be the old habits and addictions that you gave up so long ago to follow Jesus.  The call of sin and temptation is just too great and you end up leaving the eternal joy of following Jesus for the temporary fix of sin.
We have to resist the call of the siren of sin and instead run to Jesus for grace.  We know that sin enslaves us to guilt, shame and fear.  Grace frees us up to experience the spiritual blessings of knowing God.  Whatever has enslaved you, know that the shackles have been loosed.  The chains are off.  The jail door is open.  You can leave anytime you choose.  You’ve been set free and all you have to do is take a step back to Jesus Christ and you will find the joy of freedom once again.
Galatians 4:8-11 (NIV)
Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? 10 You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! 11 I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.



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