Category Archives: Holidays

FREEDOM!

Happy Independence Day! How are you choosing to celebrate? A BBQ with family and friends? Packing up the kids and watching a parade? Or just lounging around because you have the “freedom” to do so? (*smile*)

As I sit here writing this, my daughter is with some family friends at a cabin for the weekend and I just sent my guys off to go crawdad fishin’ with some friends for a couple of hours. So I have the “freedom” to do whatever I want for the morning. Last night as I was thinking about what I would do, the concept of “freedom” kept rolling around in my mind. Although I consider myself patriotic and am so grateful for the “freedoms” we enjoy as Americans; whenever I think of “freedom” I can’t help but think of the “freedom” we have because of Christ…

“Freedom” is an antonym for the word “slavery”. You and I might not be able to relate to physical slavery, but I sure can relate to being a slave to certain things. How about you?

  • A slave to sin.
  • A slave to sickness.
  • A slave to fear.
  • A slave to addiction.
  • A slave to worry.
  • A slave to anxiety.

The moment Adam and Eve disobeyed God, slavery entered the world. Mankind has been subject to slavery ever since.

That’s why I love the promise of Galatians 5:1, one of my favorite verses of the Bible:

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” The moment you accepted Christ, the figurative yoke of sin that was harnessed around your soul was shattered and you were released from it. Yet, notice Paul’s warning . . . “Stand firm and do not let yourself be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

Because slavery is part of sin entering the world, it is easy to get caught back up in it. The original recipients of the book of Galatians were becoming enslaved to following old, religious laws. Even though God had given those original laws, the cross of Christ enacted a whole new way of doing things. Therefore, we are under the law no more, but under grace. Because slavery is a condition of our sin-sick society, our flesh desires to be enslaved to something, even if it is something good. Yet the message of the New Testament, in its entirety is “freedom” from slavery.

Why are we called to be free? Galatians 5:13 gives us the answer . . . “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature, rather, serve one another in love.”  Christ made us free, so we could be like Him, to love and serve others.

Isn’t it interesting that one of the main jobs of a slave is to serve others? Christ freed us from bondage so that we could serve, not because we have to, but because we want to, out of a heart of love and compassion. Just like Jesus.

How will you celebrate your “freedom” today?

  • To serve yourself?
  • To indulge in your flesh?
  • To love and serve others?

You have the freedom to choose. And the good news is, God will still love you the same no matter what you choose. His love for you doesn’t waver based on the choices you make. But to live a full, rich, rewarding, blessed life, let’s be people who choose to be like Jesus. Let’s walk about in “freedom” today as we love and serve whoever God places in our path.

It is for “freedom” that Christ has set us free!

Your Friend in Ministry,

Name3

 

Why Do We Call it “Good” Friday?

Today is “Good” Friday. As I thought about this day, the question came to my mind, why do we call it “good”?

Is it “good” that Jesus was flogged and whipped? John 19:1

Is it “good that His brow was pierced with a crown of thorns? John 19:2

Is it “good” that they mocked Him and struck Him in the face? John 19:3

Is it “good” that He carried the weight of a giant cross? John 19:17

Is it “good” that they crucified Him? John 19:18

Is it “good” that His mother, Mary, stood at the foot of the cross watching her firstborn son die in agony? John 19:25

Is it “good” that they pierced His side and blood and water flowed? John 19:34

For those experiencing these events take place, living the drama before them, there was nothing “good” about that day. Yet, God took something that was Oh. So. “Bad”. and turned it around for “good”.

Is it “good” that the penalty that your sin demanded has been paid?

Is it “good” that by His stripes you have been healed?

Is it “good” that because they mocked Him you are given dignity?

Is it “good” that because He carried His cross, He is strong enough to help you carry the weight of yours?

Is it “good” that they brutally took His life, so He could graciously give you eternal life?

Is it “good” that He offered His mother comfort in her darkest hour so that He could send The Comforter to be with you on yours?

God is still in the business of taking the circumstances of your life: the pain, the drama, the wrong, the bad, and turning them into something “good”. “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the ‘good’ of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28

Just like He did with Jesus, He will do for you.

Trust Him.

Surrender to Him.

Believe Him.

“Good” Friday was “bad” for Jesus, but it was Oh. So. “Good”. for you. He endured the “bad” because of His great love for you. Rest in His love on this “Good” Friday.

Your Friend in Ministry,

Name3

 

 

The Greatest Injustice

Hello friends!  We are reading through the Biblical account of the final days of Jesus life.

Mon 3/30: Luke 22:39-62

Tues 3/31: Luke 22:63-71

Wed 4/1: Luke 23:11-25

Thur 4/2: Mark 15:1-14

Fri 4/3: John 19:1-37

Sat 4/4: John 19:38-42

Sun 4/5: John 20, Acts 1:9

Today’s reading is Luke 23:11-25.  As I read through this passage of Scripture, the one word that came to my mind is “injustice”.

The definition of injustice is – 1) absence of justice : violation of right or of the rights of another : unfairness 2) an unjust act : wrong.

Time and time again we see the absence of justice as both Pilate and Herod proclaim Christ’s innocence:

I have not found any offence (crime or guilt) in this Man in regard to your accusations against Him” vs 14

No, nor indeed did Herod, for he sent Him back to us; behold, He has done nothing deserving of death” vs 15

I have found [no offence or crime or guilt] in Him nothing deserving of death; I will therefore chastise Him [in order to teach Him better] and release Him” vs 22

Yet, despite what the officials said, the people demanded Jesus be crucified and both Herod and Pilate caved in to those demands.

I live with someone who has a heightened sense of justice. It is very difficult for this family member to observe injustice taking place without doing something about it. Can you relate? Can you imagine being one of Jesus’ followers and witnessing this injustice taking place right before your very eyes? What would you be thinking? What would you do? What could you do? You would be powerless to do anything but helplessly watch from the crowd as the man You had come to trust, believe in and rely upon was being sentenced to pay the price for a crime He didn’t commit.

There was nothing just or right or fair about Jesus’ trial. Since God is Just, can you imagine how He must have felt as He watched the scene play out before His eyes, knowing He had the power to step in and save His Son from this great injustice? God knew that even though it went against His basic character, this time acting justly was not the right thing for Him to do. That is hard for me to wrap my mind around!

God subjected Jesus to the greatest injustice, so that justice would rule and reign from that point on . . . forevermore.

Have you been treated unfairly recently? Are you still waiting for justice to prevail from something wrong that happened years ago? Have you, or your rights, been violated in one way or another? You’re in good company. As you think about what Jesus went through, may you be encouraged that, one day, justice will indeed prevail!

The Lord gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly. Psalm 103:6, NLT

Your Friend in Ministry,

Name3