Freedom

The Fourth of July makes me think of freedom and independence. The day that the USA decided that tyranny from a foreign power was going to end. When we stepped out from under the shadow to stand on our feet.

However, today has much more significance to me as a reminder that I was once hopelessly enslaved to the Prince of this world. He had me enslaved and subjected to his tyranny. I was blind and dead. I had no hope in this world. As a child of wrath, the only thing coming was the judgment of God.

But thanks be Christ Jesus, for he took my punishment upon himself. He transferred me from the domain of darkness to the Kingdom of Light. He tasted the death that was mine and bore the wrath of the Father upon himself. Truly one set free by the Son is free indeed.

Truly each new day is a day of independence. Each day is a chance to be thankful and joyous that though I was blind yet now I see. Though I was dead, I have been raised to newness of life. Though I was a child of wrath, now I am a child of the King..

Today is a great day to realize that we can step out of the shadow of sin and death, that we can stand on our feet with the power of Christ. His Cross has bought us life and his life is why we live.

Let us celebrate that life in Christ. Let us also remember that in this life, we are surrounded by casualties and captives. Let us proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Refresh

Refresh. To renew, to liven, to restore, to recharge, to stimulate. To make fresh again.

How long has it been since the fragrance of God was fresh in my life?

New years have served as a impetus to change, but this year, my impetus is not for change but for reformation, restructuring  refreshing.

As I spent time praying, the Lord filled my mind with images of the past, where I knew I was living in his will. Where I felt the pulse of his heart and the breath in his lungs. He made it clear to me that he was calling me back to the burdens, the cares, the struggles that have slowly taken the back seat. That have become old, diminished, tired, and stale.

He was urging me to make fresh again my desire to be his, to be like Christ.

My heart is being enlarged. I am transformed daily by the renewal of my mind into the likeness of Christ.

I don’t know what 2013 has in store but I want to burn like a bright light for my Creator and my Lover. I want to run with endurance the race set before me. I don’t want to leave behind any opportunity to do His will.

Join me as I imitate Christ. Refresh your hope. Refresh the joy of your salvation. Refresh.

Live for More

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Philippians 2:5-8 ESV

What is the purpose of our life? Do we strive to have more, earn more, be more?

What is the driving factor behind our decisions in life? What do we get upset about, what do we get happy about? These questions will help to guide you to the truth of your motives.

We should often check our hearts, to make sure that our lives are surrendered to the will of God.

If we live out of Philippians 2, our goals in life will change. We will cease to live for health, wealth, and prosperity. We will begin to take on the mind of Christ.

The driving question behind our life should be what can I do to bring glory God?

Are we living for ourselves or for Jesus Christ? Who is reigning in your life? Do we sit on our tiny thrones or do we prostrate ourselves before the King of kings?

Are we trying to humble ourselves, by the grace of God, like Jesus Christ?

Man in his pomp yet without understanding is like the beasts that perish.

Psalm 49:20 ESV

The Cross is always a place that beckons us, to remember the death of Christ until his coming. It should always be a humbling place. A place where our flesh is crucified to the world.

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Philippians 1:9-11 ESV

Lessons

Life is full of opportunities to learn.

I recently received an old iPhone from my employer and in trying to “make it work better” I broke it. Twice. Now it is just a paper weight on my desk. Apart from being a humbling experience (the more I try, the worse it gets), this has made me think about my choices in life.

Our choices in life have consequences and it is always a good idea to think about the choices we make. As Jesus said, “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?” (Luke 14:28)

We need to take a good look in life at how we are living. From the simple to the complicated, we have choices to make. These choices have consequences.

How are we spending our time, what are we giving our time, energy, and resources to?

Make your tower building experiences count. Whether they are a success or a failure, take them to the Cross and surrender them to Jesus.

If we want to grow in the grace of Christ, we must be willing to learn from life’s lessons. The Holy Spirit gently instructs, powerfully convicts, never abandons us, and leads us to righteousness.

 

The Substance Belongs to Christ

The substance belongs to Christ. We must bear our crosses and deny ourselves for the lives we lived are dead and we have been raised to Christ, through baptism. Our appeal to God, through Christ, is for a clean conscience. The passions of the flesh wage war against the soul but these passions are but shadows. The substance belongs to Christ. Therefore, having fastened on the whole armor of God, we must stand firm. And our toiling must be done with all of His strength that He wondrously works within us.

We ought to set our minds on Christ, preparing them for actions, with our hope fully in the revelation of Christ, making our minds sober and determined to work good in all circumstances. As Christ’s word dwells richly in us. Let us bear fruit in keeping with righteousness as we abide in the vine. Us in Him and He in us. His Spirit leading and guiding, comforting and counseling, convicting and correcting, empowering and enabling. So that all times God the Father may receive glory through Jesus Christ, the Messiah.