We’re Called to Freedom

We’re Called to Freedom

We, as followers of Jesus Christ, have been called to FREEDOM.  We have not been called to legal bondage!  We’re being reminded that we’re no longer under the law of the Old Testament, and that we should not try to live as the Pharisees did.

Not only are we free from the bondage of the Mosaic ceremonies, but we’re also free of sin and misery.  The gospel of Jesus Christ calls all people into the law of love.

The truth of God’s Word and God’s salvation sets people free in every nation and culture on earth.

. . . and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.  (Joh 8:32 ASV)

. . . because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.  (Rom 8:2 CSB)

We live under the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus!  Hallelujah!

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.  (Gal 5:13 ESV)

We’re called, through love, to serve one another as well as the Kingdom of God.

Now ‘the Lord’ here means the spirit; and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  (2 Cor 3:17 NTE)

Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical freedom.  There is health, healing, prosperity and peace wherever the spirit of the Lord reigns.  Allow the Holy Spirit to guide and govern your life.

LOVE

LOVE

As we know, 1 John 4:8 teaches us that God is love.  The love of God gives us stability and assurance in our faith.  It surrounds us and upholds us in our daily lives.  But God’s love accomplishes many other things as well.

Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.  (Pro 3:3 ESV) 

We need to write God’s steadfast love and faithfulness upon our hearts, and one way of doing that is to memorize Bible verses about Him and His love.  His Word is truth.

Mercy and truth preserve the king, and by lovingkindness he upholds his throne.  (Pro 20:28 NKJV)

God’s lovingkindness actually supports, maintains and sustains His throne.  Wow!  What an idea worthy of meditation.

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.  (Eph 5:1-2 NASB)

We should walk in love, allowing it to motivate us, to lead us, and to flow from us towards other people.  As we live in this way, we are being transformed by the example of our Lord and Savior.

If I give away everything I own, and if I give over my body in order to boast, but do not have love, I receive no benefit.  (1 Cor 13:3 NET)

As 1 Corinthians reminds us, without love for God, for ourselves and for others, we have received nothing.  This is quite an enormous truth to wrap our thoughts around, so take some time in the weeks to come to meditate upon today’s topic.  God bless you.

God Doesn’t Show Favoritism

God Doesn’t Show Favoritism

Did you know that God does not show favoritism?  What exactly is favoritism?  It’s the practice of giving unfair, preferential treatment to one person or group at the expense of another.  God can’t be accused of such a thing.

Since the Bible is our foundation for all of faith and life, let’s refer to what it teaches.

“Also the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to attend to His service and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants, every one who keeps the Sabbath so as not to profane it, and holds firmly to My covenant;  even those I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer.  Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; for My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.”  (Isa 56:6-7 NASB)

Notice that God’s house is for ALL PEOPLES—even those termed ‘foreigners.’

Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. 35 In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right.  (Ac 10:34-35 NLT)

For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  (Ro 10:12-13 ESV)

It doesn’t matter if you are a Greek or a Jew, or if you are circumcised or not. You may even be a barbarian or a Scythian, and you may be a slave or a free person. Yet Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.  (Col 3:11 CEV)

As we can see from these verses in Acts 10, Romans 10 and Colossians 3, it’s an established truth that God does not see distinctions between people groups.  What is important to the Lord is the condition of our hearts and whether or not we have received Jesus Christ as our Savior and Redeemer.  God is a refuge and a rock for all who are born again in Christ. All praises to the Lord!

God’s Covenant Faithfulness

God’s Covenant Faithfulness

The Bible mentions a number of covenants, but today we are choosing to focus upon God’s faithfulness in keeping His promises, which is another word for covenants.

I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.  (Gen 9:13 KJV)

The rainbow was a token of God’s promise that He would never again flood the entire earth to destroy it.  We know that He has kept His promise.

Know that the Lord your God is God, the trusted God who faithfully keeps his covenant to the thousandth generation of those who love him and obey his commands.  (Deu 7:9 ISV)

In this verse, the Bible reminds us that God keeps His Word to a thousand generations to those who love Him and are obedient to His commands.  In other words, we can trust God and we can safely rely upon His Word.

“ It is the Lord who goes before you; he will be with you, he will not fail you or forsake you; do not fear or be dismayed.”  (Deu 31:8 RSV)

God goes before us, and He is always with each and every believer.  The Lord will never fail us or reject us, because it is not in His personality to do so.

Now therefore, if you will faithfully obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My special possession out of all the nations, for all the earth is Mine.  (Exod 19:5 MEV)

All of us who obey God’s voice and keep His covenants are His chosen people, and are very precious to Him.  The Lord reminds us in this passage that the whole earth belongs to Him, and everything that is in it.  Rejoice in the fact that you belong to Him!

In All Situations, God is With Us

In All Situations, God is With Us

It’s an important fact to remember that God is always with us.  He always loves us and always fights for us.  He will NEVER forsake us.

Let’s look at what the Scriptures tell us:

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.  (Isa 43:2 NIV)

No matter what fiery trial may have come upon you, don’t forget that Jesus is in the midst of the fire WITH YOU.  We never walk alone, once we have accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord.

‘Do not fear [anything], for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, be assured I will help you; I will certainly take hold of you with My righteous right hand [a hand of justice, of power, of victory, of salvation].’  (Isa 41:10 AMP)

God is with us at all times to strengthen us, to help us, and to hold our hands.  And His hands are full of justice, power, victory, and salvation.  Praise God!

I’ve commanded you to be strong and brave. Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged! I am the Lord your God, and I will be there to help you wherever you go.  (Josh 1:9 CEV)

No matter where we go, the Lord commands us to be strong and to be brave.  We should not be afraid or discouraged.  Now that’s a pretty big ask.  To never be afraid—to never be discouraged—it seems almost too much to ask. 

But if we really meditate upon the fact that Jesus is with us, facing every foe and looking every challenge right in the face, right along WITH us, it will not seem quite so impossible.  Remember that Jesus carries justice, power, victory and salvation wherever He is.

But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.  (2 Tim 4:17 ESV)

Even so, we will be able to testify that ‘I was rescued from the lion’s mouth’ right along with thousands of other believers.  All glory to God most High!

Don’t Make Yourself God’s Enemy

Don’t Make Yourself God’s Enemy

As believers in Jesus Christ, we have chosen to follow Christ above all things, especially above the world.  Jesus taught that we cannot be loved by this world because we are not truly a part of it.

No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be loyal to the one and have contempt for the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.  (Mt 6:24 CEB) 

The Bible reminds us that we can’t serve two different masters.  So we must make a clear and firm choice about our allegiance.

 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own. But because you are not of the world, since I chose you out of the world, the world therefore hates you.  (Joh 15:19 MEV)

The world hates Christians because Jesus chose us out of the world, and we chose Jesus.  We have put Jesus first above all other relationships, alliances, and commitments.

Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.  (Jam 4:4 NKJV) 

Friendship with the world equals hostility toward God and the Word of God. Many in the world malign and ridicule believers, and all those who value the Bible.

Stop loving the world and the things that are in the world. If anyone persists in loving the world, the Father’s love is not in him. 16 For everything that is in the world—the desire for fleshly gratification, the desire for possessions, and worldly arrogance—is not from the Father but is from the world.  (1 Joh 2:15-16 ISV)

Everything—EVERYTHING—that is in the world [ambition, avariciousness, passions, arrogance] is connected with this world’s way of doing things; and does not connect to a love of God the Father.

As we continue to choose to follow Jesus and to obey God’s Word, we would do well to seek God’s face and ask Him for continuing grace to live a holy life.  We know that God hears and answers our prayers, so we may pray with confidence and assurance.  God bless you.

Pursue a Peaceful Life

Pursue a Peaceful Life

There are great spiritual benefits to pursuing a peaceful and peace-filled life.

Not only should we each pursue this way of life, according to the Bible, but we should endeavor to generate a peaceful atmosphere wherever we go.  Now, let’s look at what the Bible says to us on this subject.

Seek peace and pursue it. (Ps 34:14 ASV)

Deceit is in the heart of them that devise evil; but to the counsellors of peace is joy.  (Pro 12:20 ASV)

Whoever is wicked covets the spoil of evildoers, but the root of the righteous bears fruit.  (Pro 12:12 NIV)

“Happy are people who make peace, because they will be called God’s children.”  (Mt 5:9 CEB)

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.  (Heb 12:14 ESV)

Those who advise a peaceful resolution to problems or issues receive the reward of joy.  That is a beautiful blessing to desire and to receive.

The basis of peace in negotiations generates a good harvest in all of its endeavors.  Peacemakers are happy because they are known as children of God.   

We’re instructed in God’s Word to work toward peace with everyone, as well to make every effort to live a holy life.  The result of obeying the Bible is that we are enabled to live a life that is rewarding, fulfilling, and blessed by God.  Praise the Lord!

God Supports & Sustains Each Believer

<strong>God Supports & Sustains Each Believer</strong>

God blesses each and every follower and disciple of Jesus Christ daily.  He supports us by giving us enabling and empowering grace to encourage us to endure trials and tests.  He maintains [sustains] our very life, health, strength, and faith, as well.  We may safely hope in Him.

When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.  (Ps 94:18 NIV)  He supports us by His unfailing love and mercy.  Thank You, Jesus!

He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.  (Ps 121:3 KJV)  God, our Sustainer, never slumbers nor changes His will.  He keeps us from stumbling.

A man’s steps are established by the Lord, and the Lord delights in his way.  24 Though he stumbles, he will not fall down flat, for the Lord will hold up his hand.  (Ps 37:23-24  ISV)  The delights in our lives, and establishes our steps.  He holds us up with His hand so that we won’t fall down.

. . . but I have prayed for you, that your faith will not fail; and you, when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”  (Lk 22:32 NASB)  Jesus prayed for us, that our faith would not fail.  And we are encouraged to strengthen and support our fellow believers.

. . . who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  (1 Pet 1:5 NKJV)  We are KEPT by the mighty power of God which means that we are preserved, sheltered, and kept separate unto God.  He will not let us go, so long as we do not reject our Savior and Redeemer.  He has given us such hope and assurance.

This is how valuable we are, individually, to God.  Think about having such a Friend and supporter as the Living God.  Hallelujah!

The Exalted Servant

<strong>The Exalted Servant</strong>

The Lord Jesus was not only the suffering, bruised servant of God, but He is also and more importantly the Exalted Servant.  Certainly Jesus was the suffering and bruised servant as He made His way to Calvary and to the suffering that preceded His crucifixion.  Dr. S. Lewis said, “That event is the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ to which the saints of God through the past ages, the present body of believing men and women, and the elect angels constantly gaze in adoring gratitude.”  Jesus completed the mission for which He came to earth.  Glory to God most High!Let’s consider these Scriptures passages:Therefore God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth . . . (Phil 2:9-10 MEV)  God exalted Jesus and gave Him the name which is above all names.  He is worthy of honor, and glory.Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently; He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high.  (Isa 52:13 NKJV)  Jesus surely did conduct Himself prudently [discreetly, wisely, carefully] on earth.  Here also, the Lord promises the exaltation of His Son.Jesus came near and spoke to them, “I’ve received all authority in heaven and on earth.”  (Mt 28:18 CEB)  Jesus received all authority from His heavenly Father.He had become much greater than the angels, and the name he was given is far greater than any of theirs.  (Heb 1:4 CEV)  Jesus’ name is far greater than the angels.. . . who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.  (1 Pet 3:22 ESV)  In heaven, all angels, authorities, and powers are under the control of Jesus, the Messiah.On his robe that covers his thigh he has a name written:  King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  (Rev 19:16 ISV)  Jesus, alone, bears the names and titles mentioned in this verse.  So you see, we serve and follow someone who knows about serving and suffering, and received His reward and will enjoy His laurels for all eternity.  This is the Savior with whom we have the honor of being in relationship.  Let us rejoice in Him and give Him glory!

Have You Got It?

<strong>Have You Got It?</strong>

Have you received the thing for which you most recently and fervently prayed?  The answer should always be YES!  Why?  Because the Bible says so!Let’s read these Scriptures:Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.  (Mk 11:24 NIV)  Believe that you have already received what you need and faith operating in you will bring it to you!  And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.  (Mt 21:22 KJV)  When we pray and ask the Lord to give us something based upon His Word, we must always mix our prayer with the faith that we have received at salvation.  If you remain in Me, and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  (Joh 15:7 NASB)  Keeping God’s Word (the Bible) ‘before you’ means reading it regularly—daily—and memorizing and meditating upon it.  As we make these habits a part of our Christian lives, we may ask WHATEVER we need, and it will be done.  Hallelujah!Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.  (1 Joh 5:14-15 NKJV)  Note first of all that this Scripture passage mentions our CONFIDENCE in God; this is crucial.  Once, we have that confidence and we pray according to God’s Word—which is His will—then we are positive that we have received our prayer requests.  Praise the Lord!But those who seek the Lord lack no good thing..  (Ps 34:10b CEB, emphasis added)Our Lord and our God, you are like the sun and also like a shield.  You treat us with kindness and with honor, never denying any good thing to those who live right.  (Ps 84:11 CEV, emphasis added)

Both of the verses above from Psalms say that we, as followers and disciples of Jesus Christ, will never be denied any good thing.  What a joyous and blessed security our Savior has given to His children.  God bless you!