Tag Archives: freedom

May 28; The Right To Resist

Proverbs 5-7

Yesterday we remembered the sacrifices so many men and women have made to insure the freedoms we enjoy here in the United States. Our freedom is a privilege bought at a great price. But those freedoms are a blessing – and a curse.

Because the freedom of free speech has turned into an entertainment industry of violence and depravity, a news and social media full of lies and hate. The freedom to pursue happiness has resulted in aborted babies, mutilated bodies, and an unprecedented demand for individual rights at the expense of the rights of the majority. The abuse of our rights and freedoms have rendered us slaves.

It didn’t happen overnight. Solomon warns us that the “adulteress,” (sin), entices, woos, comes innocently enough until she leads her victims down to the chamber of death. Her victims go like deer stepping into a noose.

Does one drink cause an alcoholic? Does one look at pornography cause an addiction, or rapists and child molesters? Does one glance cause an affair?

No. But hear Solomon’s warning. One leads to two, to three until the “adulteress” has you in her clasp. What starts as innocent curiosity, winds up enslaving her victim in sin.

I’m glad I live in the Unites States of America. I’m thankful for the freedoms that are ours at the costly price of the lives of men and women who wore the uniform of our armed forces. I’m sorry we’ve abused the rights their injuries and deaths insured. And I pray that Christians will heed Solomon’s warning, recognize the temptation to misuse our freedom, and be the people God intended us to be. May we see the “adulteress” for what she is, Satan, the enemy who wants nothing more than to destroy us.

And may we exercise our right to resist her.

Leviticus 13-14; Free To Fly

You don’t have to dig very deep in order to see Jesus through the laws God gave Moses for the children of Israel. He’s in there!

One of my favorite pictures of Christ within the Old Testament Law is found in Leviticus 14:1-7. It’s actually about how a person healed from a disease is able to be pronounced clean. If you read this you’ll find water and blood, wood, hyssop and scarlet yarn, life and death… and life.

It’s about two birds. One bird is killed and its blood dripped into fresh water. The other bird is kept alive, tied to cedar wood with hyssop and red thread, then dipped seven times into the mixture of water and blood.

Then (and this should make your heart soar) the bird still dripping with the bloody water, is released, free to fly the heavens once again.

We know Jesus died on a wooden cross, His blood shed, water poured out of His side. We know He took our sins on Himself, the perfect sacrifice… and then He flew! With Him He took my sin away as far as the east is from the west, never to be remembered ever again.

It’s a picture of me: dead in sin, alive in Christ, free from the chains of sin, free to fly.

God Bless America! Why?

Do you pray that God will once again restore the United States of America to a nation under God? Why do you? Why is it we want our leaders to once again recognize and honor the One True God? Is it so we won’t have to fear imprisonment for loving Jesus like some in our world fear? Is it so that the USA will be restored to its former position of military and economic superiority? Is it so our children will not have to suffer at the hands of ungodly men?

Hezekiah got me thinking with his prayer concerning an enemy who was threatening to destroy Israel. First, he acknowledged that all the other gods in the world were not gods at all. Then, in Isaiah 37:20 we read that Hezekiah prayed the following:

“Now therefore, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you are the Lord, You alone.” (I added the bold print)

If you are praying for our country so you can be comfortable in your pew on Sunday morning, save your breath. God is intent on saving souls, even those who consider themselves enemies of the United States. He went to the cross for Muslims, atheists, Buddhists, those intrenched in ISIS, and those who simply ignore Him. And he wants them to come to Him no matter what it takes. “God so loved the world…”

If Americans elect leaders who fear God, who are intent on honoring and obeying Him, He will bless. Look how many times he did that for Israel in the Old Testament. And, if God blesses this nation as a result of our obedience, the rest of the world will have to sit up and notice. They will have to admit that the God of the Bible is the One True God. And hearts will turn to Him in response.

That’s got to be our prayer. If God can reveal Himself through a nation that turns to Him, I pray it’s us here in the USA. And if the nations will turn to God through our suffering, may God give his people the strength and ability to suffer gladly for His sake, so that the people of the world see Jesus.

Hezekiah reminds me that it’s not about blessing a nation for the sake of a nation. It’s about blessing a nation for the sake of turning hearts to the Savior.

I am challenged to make this my prayer:

God, bless America so that other nations will recognize and turn to You, too.

As Long As It Takes

If you read the book of Lamentations you will feel the anguish over the state of things in Israel due to their disobedience. In fact, throughout the Old Testament you will often hear the Jews crying out to God: How long will you continue to forget us?

And often you will hear God’s reply: As long as it takes.

God doesn’t delight in punishing his people. He created us to fellowship with him, to love and obey him. And because he created us with the ability to choose or reject him, he drew a line in the sand. We call the condensed version of this line The Ten Commandments. There needs to be no guessing concerning the requirements for having a blessed relationship with him:

Worship me only. Love me above all else, Obey my instructions how to treat people, how to conduct business, what to believe. And for we who live after the cross: accept my Son as your Savior.

Sure it’s a tough list of rules. In fact, an impossible list to achieve for us humans. Yet God’s requirements don’t change. Here’s the line in the sand. Cross it and enjoy a forgiven life under grace. Stay where you are and accept the consequence.

Be assured. God won’t just let you stay on that side without doing everything he can to get you to come over to his side. You may even find yourself asking, “Why, God? How long are you going to cause me pain?”

AS LONG AS IT TAKES.

December 5

Romans 5:1-8:17

Best. News. Ever!

That’s what I think when I read the first 17 verses of Romans 8. Just look at verses 1&2:

Therefore, there is now NO CONDEMNATION to those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me FREE from the law of sin and death. (those caps are mine)

When I accepted Christ as my Savior, Jesus took on the guilt of my sin and I became guilt-free. No condemnation for this woman! And to top it off, verses 14-17 tell me I became a child of God, a co-heir with Christ. Paul calls it a spirit of sonship. I like it!

So I have a choice, which in my opinion is no choice at all. I can reject the Lord and live according to what nature desires. Or I can accept Jesus and set my mind on what the Spirit desires. Verse 6:

The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.

Death, or life and peace. I choose Christ. It’s a no-brainer.

The Spirit of Christ lives in me. Like I said…

Best. News. Ever!

Dear Jesus, thank you for coming into my heart and life. Thank you for taking the penalty for my sin and setting me free from sin’s control. Thank you for making me your child. I give you my life. I give you my mind. I give you today. Thank you for promising to go with me. Prepare me to do the job you want me to do. I love you, Lord.

November 20

Galatians 4:8-6:18

What does it mean to be free in Christ? Did Jesus erase the law when he died on the cross? Are the things that were considered sin in the Old Testament no longer sinful? 

Paul explains that because Jesus took on himself the penalty of sin we are no longer justified by following the law. Forgiveness for sin no longer requires slashing the throat of a cow. Salvation comes through the blood of Jesus and is ours for the asking.

But, Paul says, evidence of this work is played out in obedience. Sin is still sin. He tells us not to indulge in the sinful nature, rather serve and love each other. Paul lists acts of the sinful nature in 5:19-21. Among those are sexual immorality, jealousy, drunkenness, and hatred and people who live like that will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But he also says, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. People who have the Spirit of the Living God just naturally live like that. It’s as natural as an apple tree bearing apples.

Who wouldn’t want to live being filled with the those fruit of the Spirit? Aren’t those the things most people are looking for in this life? Dear one, we are free to choose that life! We are free to choose Jesus.

Father, once again I thank you for what Jesus did on the cross when he took on himself the penalty for my sin. Help me to recognize sin and flee from it. May I be quick to confess sin in my life and may I be filled with your Holy Spirit so that I will bear that precious fruit. Not only will my life be better, but I can reach out and help others, too. May I bear fruit for your kingdom today.

August 19

Jeremiah 34:1-22, 39:1-18; 2 Kings 25:1-21; 2 Chronicles 36:15-21

We in America talk a lot about freedom. The United States of America was founded on freedom. Thousands of men and women have fought and died to protect our freedom.

But did you know everyone who has ever lived is given freedom no matter where they are born? Jeremiah 34 tells us about a God-given freedom. It’s the freedom to “fall by the sword, plague and famine.”

Gee, thanks God. Who would choose that?

God has granted all people everywhere the freedom to choose him or reject him. We can acknowledge the God of Creation, accept his Word to be true, or we can deny him and live by our own rules. God is plain to say there are blessings for those who follow him and consequences for those who don’t.

But there is something about freedom that we sometimes overlook. With freedom comes responsibility. We’ve seen freedoms erode here in the US because too many of us have not taken on the responsibility of making sure legislators aren’t chipping away at them. We’ve allowed our freedoms to disappear and have no one to blame but ourselves.

As Christians, we have the responsibility to obey God, to be holy as he is holy, and to share the gospel with everyone. Our freedom to choose God comes with the responsibility to live according to his Word.

Yes, we are free to choose. I pray that no one reading this blog will choose to fall by the sword, plague and famine by choosing to ignore God’s Truth. And I pray that all of us will take responsibility for the freedom we enjoy in Christ by reaching out to others in Jesus’ name so they can enjoy that freedom, too.

Holy God, I thank you for giving the human race the freedom to choose. I thank you that I am not a robot with no ability to choose for myself. Father, I choose you today. Help me to obey you. Give me the ability to share your Truth with someone today. I pray that my loved ones will choose that Truth. May my life stand apart as one who loves and obeys the One True God. And may I recognize that, as wonderful as the freedom I enjoy in Jesus, I have a responsibility to obey you. May you find me faithful.