“There Is Freedom”

17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. — 2 Cor. 3:17 NLT


2 Cor. 3:16-18 NLT

Before we accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we lived in spiritual bondage and darkness.  Blinded by a veil of unbelief, we lived a lifestyle controlled by our fleshly desires.  We thought we had the freedom to make the decisions for our lives when, in fact, we were being controlled by lusts, greed, emotions and every evil thing.  We did not see those things as evil because we were spiritually blind.  They were veiled by our own ignorance and the subtleties of the devil.  Our daily lives were consumed by the great “I” , it was all about us.  We spent our time and resources chasing after temporary pleasures and desperately seeking the next “high”.  Those “highs’ could be the next drink, pill, sexual act or something as seemingly innocent as a shopping trip or a sports event.  Whatever it took to give us that temporary pleasure, we did and thought we were happy.  It was not until the Holy Spirit called us and opened our eyes to see the fallacy of short-term pleasures that we realized we needed and wanted something different.  The Holy Spirit gave us the freedom to choose a different way of life and freed us from the bondage of “self”.  He doesn’t ask us to change ourselves, He ask us for permission to allow Him to change us.  It is then and only then, that we realize how badly we were blinded and bound.  With the Spirit comes freedom.  Freedom to become everything God has planned for us.  Lead on, Holy Spirit, Lead on.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 05-08-2019

Don’t Just Stand There

even-smaller-bug-light1

12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you realize you offended the Pharisees by what you just said?”  13 Jesus replied, “Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted, 14 so ignore them.  — Matt. 15:12-14a NLT
 
Pilate washed his hands and declared that he was innocent of the blood of Jesus.  He could have just as easily told the crowd that he would not allow them to take Jesus because he found nothing deserving of death in the actions of Jesus.  Without Pilate’s permission and without him furnishing the guard detail to carry out the crucifixion, the crowd would not have been able to crucify Jesus.  The Jews had no authority to sentence anyone to death or to carry out the death sentence. Though Pilate did not participate physically in the crucifixion, neither did he stop it from happening even though he had the authority to do so.  Pilate had worldly authority to do something.  We have a higher authority who has authorized us to speak out when the name of Jesus is being blasphemed and God’s name is being taken in vain.  Do we think that we can hide behind our fear of offending others and not speak out?  Do we think Jesus is pleased when we stand by and do or say nothing when injustices are taking place before our very eyes?  Jesus put His life on the line by offending the religious leaders and rulers of that day. He gave up His life so that we could have the authority to speak and act in His name. If we can trust Jesus to save us and keep our souls safe throughout eternity, surely we can trust Him to protect us when we follow His example and His commands.

10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.​ I will strengthen you and help you.  I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. — Isaiah 41:10 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 09-18-2018

Walk It Out Before You Speak It Out

even-smaller-bug-light1

11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor? — James 4:11, 12 NIV

If there is an area in the life of a Christian where we sin daily, and shall I dare say it, deliberately, it is in our thoughts and our words.  It is hard to look at someone and not immediately form some sort of opinion of that person before we even get to know them.  We are told over and over how important first impressions are in this world.  As Christians, we need to pray for discernment and patience before forming opinions of others.  We need to predetermine that we are going to love the people we meet every day. When we love someone, we usually give them the advantage of any doubts we have about their goodness.  We need to assume that they are good and show them the same respect we want them to show to us. We should look at every person, regardless of their station or situation, with the assumption that they are innocent until proven guilty. We should assume everyone is worthy of our love and affection until they prove by their words and actions that they are not.  We need to pray that we will see others with the eyes of Jesus, hear their words with the ears of Jesus and above all, filter every thought through the love of Jesus. 

 

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: — Phil. 2:3, 4 NIV

What a wonderful world it could be, if each of us, each day, strived to have the same attitude toward others that Jesus has for us.

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-14-2018

Do Not Be Conceited

even-smaller-bug-light1

16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited..—Romans 12:16 NIV

To live in harmony or peace requires us to put the needs of others above ours. To develop and maintain a relationship requires giving from both sides. It isn’t give and take, it is give and then give some more. To do this requires each of us to be humble, not just with those close to us, but with the strangers we meet on the street. We should never presume that we are better or of higher position than those that God brings across our path. Our birth and our address do not give us, as Christians, any right to feel or act better than others.  In fact, it requires us to do just the opposite. It requires us to love the “unlovable” and to touch the “untouchables”, just as Jesus did. If ever, we should meet someone and presume that we are of higher or better position than they are, it is pride that makes us feel that way.  Presumption and pride are sins.12  People cannot see their own mistakes. Forgive me for my secret sins.
13 Keep me from the sins of pride; don’t let them rule me. Then I can be pure
and innocent of the greatest of sins. 
Psalm 19:12,13 NCV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 03-23-2018

Lead On

even-smaller-bug-light1

17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
— 2 Cor. 3:17 NLT
Before we accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we lived in spiritual bondage and darkness.  Blinded by a veil of unbelief, we lived a lifestyle controlled by our fleshly desires.  We thought we had the freedom to make the decisions for our lives when, in fact, we were being controlled by lusts, greed, emotions and every evil thing.  We did not see those things as evil because we were spiritually blind.  They were veiled by our own ignorance and the subtleties of the devil.  Our daily lives were consumed by the great “I” , it was all about us.  We spent our time and resources chasing after temporary pleasures and desperately seeking the next “high”.  Those “highs’ could be the next drink, pill, sexual act or something as seemingly innocent as a shopping trip or a sports event.  Whatever it took to give us that temporary pleasure, we did and thought we were happy.  It was not until the Holy Spirit called us and opened our eyes to see the fallacy of short-term pleasures that we realized we needed and wanted something different.  The Holy Spirit gave us the freedom to choose a different way of life and freed us from the bondage of “self”.  He doesn’t ask us to change ourselves, He ask us for permission to allow Him to change us.  It is then and only then, that we realize how badly we were blinded and bound.  With the Spirit comes freedom.  Freedom to become everything God has planned for us.  Lead on, Holy Spirit, Lead on.
Post 09-10-2016

Pray With Power

even-smaller-bug-light1

The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. — James 5:16b NLT
 
As small tots and children, we were taught prayers word for word.  There were prayers to say before the meals we ate and prayers to say before we went to bed at night.  These are wonderful experiences and great memories. But just as we moved from the “Dick and Jane” books, there comes a time when our prayers should become more personal.  We are still presenting the same issues to God but now instead of rote memory, they should be from a heart that understands and knows that God not only hears our prayers but He answers them.  Most of us may have had more faith that God would answer our prayers then than we do now.  Those were prayers from innocent hearts and minds.  Now, we have a lifetime of sins and doubts to overcome.  But God is still the same God we prayed to when we were children and we must approach Him with that same childlike faith.  We must become as little children in the Kingdom of God.  Part of that process is to understand that all of our sins have been washed away by the blood of Jesus.  God sees each of us as the righteousness of Christ.  So, when we pray let us believe that we are righteous people, that God hears our prayers and  that our prayers do have great power.  Not because of us, but because of Jesus and His work that He finished at the cross.  We can know that our prayers have great power because Jesus is at the right hand of the Father praying with us and the Holy Spirit is praying through us and for us.
 
Post 06-26-2016

What A Wonderful World It Could Be!

even-smaller-bug-light111 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor? — James 4:11, 12 NIV

​If there is an area in the life of a Christian where we sin daily, and shall I dare say it, deliberately, it is in our thoughts and our words.  It is hard to look at someone and not immediately form some sort of opinion of that person before we even get to know them.  We are told over and over how important first impressions are in this world.  As Chritsians, we need to pray for discernment and patience before forming opinions of others.  We need to predetermine that we are going to love the people we meet every day. When we love someone, we usually give them the advantage of any doubts we have about their goodness.  We need to assume that they are good and show them the same respect we want them to show to us. We should look at every person, regardless of their station or situation, with the assumption that they are innocent until proven guilty. We should assume everyone is worthy of our love and affection until they prove by their words and actions that they are not.  We need to pray that we will see others with the eyes of Jesus, hear their words with the ears of Jesus and above all, filter every thought through the love of Jesus. 
 

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: — Phil. 2:3, 4 NIV

What a wonderful world it could be, if each of us, each day, strived to have the same attitude toward others that Jesus has for us.

Post 12-03-2015