Month: April 2014

FREEDOM!

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Key verse – Galatians 5:1 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.

I knew a guy  once who frantically refused to step inside of a church with me… he would say “No, No I can’t go in there God doesn’t want me to have freedom, he doesn’t want me to have fun…”

It’s unfortunate, when we are chained to sins ugly straps and blinded by sins appeal we can not see, hear or even understand the truth! for Jesus says in Luke 4:18 “I have come to set the captives free…”

Todays text (Galatians 5:1) begins with a clear and refreshing statement of Christ’s will for our lives… FREEDOM. 

Sometimes I get bogged down with life’s many dilemmas… I get mixed up about what I want (personally) in my life and what God’s will for me in my life is. More often than not I tend to worry about decisions (which are simply not an issue with God) I worry about where to go to school, what job to take, where to live, exams, my future etc… When these thoughts race through my head I need to orient my life on the clear Word of God.

And here is one: “For freedom Christ has set us free.

Christ’s will for me and for you is that we enjoy His freedom. Where you go to school, what job you do, where you live, your future etc., are not nearly so crucial as whether you stand firm in His freedom. This is the Good news that God gave us through His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus has set us free the root of our slavery which is sin.

In John 15:4-5 Jesus says this: “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing“.

Remaining in Jesus and remaining free is not such an easy task especially in this world where we live. All around me are loud advertisements, flashy distractions compelling salesmen telling me what I should be doing, what I should be eating, drinking, what I should be watching, where I should be going… These overwhelming sounds and visuals often drown out the single voice of my Lord and Savior who is constantly shouting to me…“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.”

And so I get lost in my way… I pray that I may one day stand firm like Paul and Silas

Acts 16:25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.

Two friends singing joyfully and praying earnestly in the valley of the shadow of death while everyone else sobbed and looked on in amazement. Because even in prison we are free due to the great love of Christ.

Pray with me: Heavenly Father, into your hands I place my worries, cares and troubles. Into your wisdom I place my path, my direction, my goal and my life. Into your love I place my entire life. Grant me the freedom that is in Christ. I pray in Jesus name.

A Mother Who Died So That Her Baby Can Live

 

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Elizabeth Joice a cancer survivor was told that the life saving chemotherapy she received (and helped her to beat cancer in 2010) had a side effect… the chemotherapy would leave her infertile, so when she and husband Max got the news that she was in fact pregnant last year, “it very much felt like a miracle,” Max tells CNN.

The happy news, however, was short-lived. Just a month into her pregnancy, Joice’s cancer returned, and though surgeons removed tumors from her back, there was no way of knowing how far the cancer had spread without a full-body MRI scan. But here was the dilemma the dyes used in the scan to save Elizabeth could harm the baby, meaning she’d need to get an abortion before undergoing the procedure.

In a world where sacrificial love is rarely seen, Joice opted to “turn the world upside down” and continue with her pregnancy. Sadly, Elizabeth began having trouble breathing in her third trimester; an X-ray revealed tumors in her lungs. Jan. 23 brought both joy and devastation. Joice had a baby girl, Lily, via C-section, but “there were tons of tumor[s],” her doctor tells ABC News. “It had spread all over her abdomen.” Tumors were also found in Joice’s heart and pelvis. She died six weeks later, on March 9. Still, her doctor remembers the first time she saw Joice hold her baby. “The joy on her face was just incredible,” she says. “She said, ‘This is worth it … I would do it all again to have this child.'”

The question about making the right decision, the question of choosing life over death, the question of following Jesus is not about me or what can I get for myself but rather it’s how can my life be a gift to others? how can my life be a gift to the world? How can my life be a blessing to all those around me?

Sadly, the trajectory of our culture is all about the individual, self preservation… it’s ALL about me, our culture is narcissistic (me myself and I) however, when one reads stories like these it really reminds us that there are still those rare people out there making their mark and displaying the love that once came down a long time ago and died for us all.

JOHN 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

He Holds Everything Together

If you’ve ever taken a science classes you may have learned about the famous scientist who wrote the “laws” of the physical universe.

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There are scientific laws written by Isaac Newton, Emmy Noether’s law of conservation, the famous Albert Einstein who wrote the famous E=mc2. In science class you may have duplicated the experiments of Bernoulli and Venturi; and if you are interested in electricity you may have heard of Georg Ohm, who wrote Ohm’s law.

But these men did not design anything, they did not discover anything new… they all just had a fundamental understanding of a few of God’s Divine laws that govern the operation of the universe.

All of these laws assume that all things in the universe will always work in a certain way and they will continue to work that way. But why? What these scientists really did was observe the faithfulness of the Lord Jesus Christ as He holds the universe together and makes it work until eternity comes.

Colossians 1:15-17  The Son is the [exact] image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Can these Divine laws be broken? Yes they can be broken, but only by God Himself and this is what we call a miracle. Here is an example. In Luke chapter 8 the disciples of Jesus were on a boat in the lake of Galilee when all of a sudden a strong wind came up and it nearly destroyed their boat killing all those aboard. Jesus rebuked the wind, and the waves and they stopped. LUK 8:25 tells us;“And He said to them, ‘Where is your faith?’ And they were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, ‘Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him.’” 

So whenever you do not understand why certain things are happening (or not happening) in your life … just remember Jesus holds ALL things together and He has promised good plans for your future in Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.