Friday, April 30, 2010
Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17 HCSB
Freedom is not free. Korean War Veterans Memorial
When I hear the word freedom, many things come to my mind. I think of the freedom that I have as an American. I think of the Freedom Tower in New York City. I think of convicts or being released from prison and modern day slaves being released from bondage. But, I sometimes wonder what it really means to be free in Christ?
Merriam-Webster.com defines freedom as “the quality or state of being exempt or released from something onerous.” Synonyms for onerous include backbreaking, burdensome, crushing, cumbersome, demanding, embittering, excessive, grueling, intolerable, merciless, oppressive, severe, toilsome, and weighty.**
I can think of nothing more onerous than the eternal death penalty that we are all sentenced to as a result of our sin and rebellion against God. Jesus, our Redeemer, allowed Himself to be viciously executed for us so that we might be freed from death row where we all sat waiting for our sentence to be carried out.
Thank You, Lord, for granting us freedom from eternal death.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, because He cares about You. 2 Peter 5:6-7 HCSB
When dangers fierce your path assail, God will take care of you. Civilla D. Martin*
It was an average Saturday in Yazoo City, Mississippi. Sixty-year-old Dale Thrasher was alone in the Hillcrest Baptist Church and was busy making copies when the building started to pop. He looked outside and realized that the building had been engulfed by a tornado.
Later, Dale recalled “As I passed the sanctuary, the doors were open and I felt the Lord leading me inside. I slid under the communion table. It was just like the Lord put his arms around me… Furniture started swirling around. I just covered my head and said, ‘Lord, please save me.’”**
The Hillcrest Baptist Church building was destroyed, but the Lord saved Dale’s life.
“The Lord saved my soul in 1970,” Dale shared with reporters. “On Saturday, He saved my natural life to do some work for Him.”**
Thank You, Lord, for saving us. May we, in turn, dedicate our lives to serving You.
*God Will Take Care of You
Friday, April 23, 2010
He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21 HCSB
I lowered the novel I was reading just in time to see Billy, Tommy, Scott and Albert wrestling around the back corner of the building.
“Those guys are going to get in trouble,” I said to myself. “They know we’re not supposed to wrestle or go back there.”
Too soon as always, the bell signaling the end of recess sounded. I walked to the 5th grade line with my fellow students and waited to return to class. Instead of leading us back into the building, Miss Jones, the teacher’s aide in charge of recess, made an announcement.
“Everyone may go back to class except for Billy, Tommy, Scott and John. They were wrestling around the back corner of the building.”
All of the other kids, including Albert, said “Oooooooo!” as they walked to class.
“Miss Jones,” I cried. “It wasn’t me. I was by the tree reading this book.”
“No,” she answered. “I’m certain that it was you.”
“I’m telling you the truth,” I cried.
“Boys, you know that you are not supposed to wrestle or go behind the back of the building. As your punishment, each of you will write I will follow the rules during recess 500 times. And John will write it 750 times because he lied about it.”
“But I didn’t, Miss Jones!” I blurted out.
“Excuse me,” she said. “I meant that he will write it 1,000 times.”
When all was said and done, I ended up taking the punishment for someone else. I was mad at Albert, Miss Jones, and all of the other boys who said nothing.
Later in my life, I realized that Jesus took the punishment that was meant for me. However, unlike me, He willingly accepted the consequences for my sin. He so wanted me to have the opportunity to be righteous in the eyes of His Father that He made the ultimate sacrifice while I was still sinning against Him. And He did it all with a good attitude.
Jesus, thank You for becoming my sin so that I might become righteous through You.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
For just as through one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so also through the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Romans 5:19 HCSB
Marvelous grace of our loving Lord, Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt, Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured, There where the blood of the Lamb was spilt. Julia H. Johnston*
Adam and Eve had it made. They lived in a beautiful garden, there was plenty to eat, they had no clothing expenses, and sin was not a part of their lives. However, one day, they just had to taste the forbidden fruit. Through their disobedience, sin became the natural lifestyle of every person who will ever live. At that point, mankind was hopelessly abandoned to suffer the consequences of it’s rebellion against God. The wages of sin would certainly be death and we would all be found guilty. However, Jesus, the Lamb of God, intervened on our behalf, lowered Himself to be born as one of us, lived a perfectly sinless life, and offered Himself up for us all as an atoning sacrifice. He made a way for us to be restored to righteousness.
Thank You, Jesus, for Your Sacrifice. It made all the difference.
*Grace Greater Than Our Sin
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19 HCSB
Politics ain’t worrying this country one-tenth as much as where to find a parking space. Will Rogers*
There are many things that I like about my pastor. He’s a godly man, a hard worker, and a worshiper of Jesus. But one of the things I admire most about him is that he parks as far away as he can from the building on days when we have worship services. He understands that people are much less likely to be eternally impacted by what is shared in a worship service if they are not able to find a decent parking space. I know many Christian leaders who spend thousands of dollars to travel thousands of miles in order to do evangelism and missions, but who are unwilling to park away from their church buildings in order to provide better parking for guests who desperately need the love of Jesus. Praise God for a pastor who evangelizes in the way he parks his car.
Lord, help us share Your love with all people, even in the way we park our cars.