Thursday, 11/4/21 – Today’s Discipleship Post: Freedom!

Freedom!

I remember as a child growing up in a Christian home, struggling with my Bible memory verses and puzzling over Psalm 23 verse 1. The only translation I knew back then was the King James version and the way it read was “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

In my young mind I reasoned: Okay, the Lord… that’s God. He made me and everything, and He is my “shepherd.” That’s good too, isn’t it? I mean He guides me and looks after me and stuff like a man looking after his sheep. But “I shall not want”–? Why wouldn’t I want Him?

As I looked at the possibilities from all angles I eventually came to the conclusion that the verse must mean that because the Lord is my shepherd I probably shouldn’t want anything else. I mean, I should just be satisfied with Him… right? I quietly scolded David for not completing his sentences. He should have written “I shall not want anything else!

Then one day I came across the passage in a more recent translation. It rendered the verse “The Lord is my shepherd I shall not lack any good thing.” Aha! The dusty old light in the back corner of my attic brain clicked ‘on’! “Want” meant lack, to fall short of having enough of something. Because the Lord is my shepherd and looks after me He will see that I will always have enough of what I really need!

Almost immediately another Old Testament passage also clicked clear — the one about King Belshazzar* reading the handwriting on the wall of his Palace informing him he had been weighed in God’s balances and found “wanting.” I got it! It meant his life had fallen short… his kingship had not pleased the Lord, and now God was about to take it from him. (In fact, Belshazzar was killed that very evening.)

But no such worries for me! “The Lord is my Shepherd!” He will see that I always have all that I need. Sometimes He gives His Sheep green pastures, quiet waters, and refreshed souls. Other times He gives guidance in which path to take, or courage when we must walk through dark valleys.

What Freedom indeed it is to have the Lord as one’s Shepherd!

Is He yours?

Press on…

* Daniel 5:27

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Thursday, 9/2/21 – Freedom: Freedom to be Free!

Freedom: Freedom to be Free!

Each of us must have something for which to live — a reason to seek survival. Some choose hedonism: simple self-pleasure. Some choose power or fame: the pride of having control over others or being praised by a populace. Some choose money: a commodity form of power, materialism, bribery, or satisfaction of personal lusts. Having chosen one’s goal, one’s goal soon becomes one’s god. Ambition becomes obsession and the individual becomes enslaved.

The Old Covenant Law enslaved. While it taught what God required, it provided no power to meet its impossible precepts. Yet still men were “bound” to keep trying. Jesus came on the scene and fulfilled this Law completely. He undeservedly paid the debt of all sinfulness making a way for those who choose to trust Him to transfer slavery to sin to allegiance to Him.

Paul addresses this freedom from slavery to sin in His epistle to the Galatians.

“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.” / “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” (Gal. 5:1, 14)

To be free from bondage to empty pursuits, to be free from bondage to world and flesh, to be free from these is the whole point of Christ’s sacrifice: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” So Paul urges the Galatians not to waver in their stance of faith and not law. “Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Gal. 5:1) This freedom is not a freedom to sin, but a freedom to no longer be bound by the requirement of self-made holiness. It is Christ Himself Who makes righteous!

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” (Gal. 5:14)

This truth of salvation by grace, salvation as a provision of God received by one’s faith in relying upon it, this is the Truth which by repentance of sin and acknowledgement of it one becomes free! “…you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32). “…you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God….” (Rom. 6:22). This slavery to God is not enslavement to a Taskmaster, but in it one finds one’s true love… it is a commitment of love…. a bond-servanthood as the Old Covenant describes it, to have “life and have it abundantly.” as spoke Christ in the New (John 10:10).

Freedom in Christ is Freedom indeed. “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36).

It is Freedom to be Free!

Press on…

Are you interested in being discipled one-on-one in the fundamentals of life in Christ? Or, would you like to begin this journey by turning from your current path and committing your path to Christ? — Use the Contact page and we’ll get you started.

Thursday, 7/1/21 – Discipleship: Freedom!

Freedom!

There are two ways to approach freedom,

  1. You can toil most of your life to attain great wealth sufficient enough to purchase or control all the things you believe will bring you freedom and happiness, and if you remain healthy enough, and nothing unforeseen happens, you may enjoy freedom until you die.
  2. You can surrender your desire for wealth and the pleasures of purchases and choose instead the joys and blessings of walking with God, with Christ your Saviour, and the Holy Spirit within you. You can enjoy now the freely given blessings and joys of Creation, the fellowship of the Holy Spirit and saints of God whether healthy or ill, in all things content, enjoying freedom both now and forever.

Freedom may be found in having great wealth, but freedom is always found in having few wants.

Control of things may feel like freedom, but control of self by the help of Christ, truly is.

Consider these insights of scripture,

The rich can pay a ransom for their lives, but the poor won’t even get threatened.” (Prov. 13:8, NLT) Or, as another translation ends it, “…the poor are free of such threats.” (MSG).
Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.” (Prov. 16:32).
For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” (Matt. 16:25).
“…godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (1 Tim. 6:6-10).

If you haven’t yet, surrender your life now to Christ. He is right there in the room with you. Talk to Him. Ask Him to forgive your past sins and neglect of Him. He will. Commit to build a relationship with Him through prayer, the Bible, and obedience. He is all you need, and in Him alone is Freedom.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36).

Press on…

Are you interested in being discipled one-on-one in the fundamentals of life in Christ? Or, would you like to begin this journey by turning from your current path and committing your path to Christ? — Use the Contact page and we’ll get you started.

Thursday, 6/18/20 – Discipleship – Freedom

Freedom Indeed!

sad isolated young woman looking away through fence with hope

There is no worse bondage than guilt, no greater freedom than forgiveness.

In saying He came to set men free Christ did not merely announce “He whom the Son sets free, will be free.” He said, “He whom the Son sets free, will be free indeed.” (John 8:36).

20200617_174326Imagine it, if it is not already yours: PeacePeace with God! Such a gripping thought! So much so that Billy Graham’s 1953 Bestseller by that title sold 2 million copies and is still selling today.

People are troubled. They do not have Peace with God and either seek it desperately or try to bury the angst with anything at hand: alcohol, sex, drugs, materialism,

depth of field photo of two pilsner glasses

fame, wealth or wild living. Some try to be their own saviour, perhaps by self punishment in hope of gaining a sort of divine atonement by asceticism, self-mutilation, starvation, cutting, or self-flagellation. Or perhaps by an abundance of good-deeds or contributions of money to the church.

None of these bring Peace with God.

adult alone black and white blur

Tormented, some choose what they believe to be the final exit, suicide, thinking it will bring nonexistence which they deem preferable to their pain. But neither will death bring the sought for relief for the pain is not resident in this world, but in the soul of the individual which shall live forever. Guilt can be taken with you; it’s only remedy is Christ.

Because guilt is such a constraining bondage we assume our deliverance must exact a very costly price. And we are correct. It us a price none of us can pay. It requires a holy sacrifice. The pure for the impure. The Innocent for the guilty. None Such is to be found on this earth. But all praise to Christ such a One exists in heaven. It is, always has been, and ever will be Christ.

backlit cemetery christianity clouds

Christ alone brings to us the possibility of freedom. Not only freedom from guilt, but freedom to choose rightly by the new nature He places within us. Freedom to be transformed into His likeness. Freedom to choose the right and shun evil.

He whom the Son sets free, will be free and more.
He whom the Son sets free, will be free indeed.

Press on…

photo of child reading holy bible

Are you interested in being discipled one-on-one in the fundamentals of new life in Christ? Or, perhaps you would you like to begin this journey by turning from your current path and committing your path to Christ? — Use the Contact page and we’ll get you started.