Tag: set free

God delivers His people!

Scripture reading for January 30th:  Exodus 1-3, Galatians 5

Key Scriptures:  Exodus 3:7-10  “Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters.  I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.  And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to Me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them.  Come, I will send you to Pharaoh. . . “ 

God sees everything and knows what is happening to His people.  He knows their bondage and fear.  He understands their suffering and the hard taskmasters of sin and the devil.  He, Himself, promises that He will deliver them from the bondage and take them to a land flowing with milk and honey.  His plan then was to send Moses to Pharaoh in His place and use him to bring His people out of bondage in Egypt.  But Jesus Christ is God’s ultimate and final word on freedom.  In Him, through faith, we have been set free forever!

Galatians 5:1 “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” 

Faith confession and prayer:  I believe in Jesus Christ, who has set me free from the bondage of sin and death!  Lord, deliver me from all evil and empower me to enter the land of promise enjoying the milk of Your Word and the sweetness of Your presence with me today!

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Law of the Spirit of Life!

Scripture reading for June 24th:  Romans 8

“Therefore there is now no condemnation for 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.  For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.  And so He condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.”  (Romans 8:1-4)

Paul explained that he found deliverance from the sinful nature and the condemnation of a life of sin through Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ, God’s Son, was a man like us, but without sin.  He was made to be a sin offering for sinful man to pay the penalty for our sins–through His death!   Now, through the gift of the Spirit, (from God our Father), we have been declared righteous!  This is the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead that now gives eternal life to our mortal bodies!  (Romans 8:10-11)

Paul next explained that those who are set free from the law of sin and death now live by the Holy Spirit.  They must allow the Spirit to lead them in the way of Jesus the Son.  In fact, the Holy Spirit confirms that we are children of God, adopted into His family!  “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you have received the Spirit of sonship.  And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father.”  The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”  (Romans 8:15-16)

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Jesus, please leave!

Scripture reading for October 15th: Mark 4-7

We who love Jesus can’t envision asking Him to depart from us!  And Jesus wants to be with us as well!  He came to earth to seek out and save lost people.  (Luke 19:10)  In our reading today, Jesus was on a mission that required crossing the Sea of Galilee with His disciples to find a very lost person.

After ministering to a crowd all day, Jesus told His disciples that they should go to the other side of the lake.  They got in boats and Jesus got in the stern, found a cushion and went to sleep.  As they crossed the lake in the night, a furious wind arose that threatened to swamp the boat.  The disciples excitedly woke Jesus, pleading for help.  Jesus rebuked the wind and waves and a calm suddenly fell upon them.    He chastened them for their fear and lack of faith.  (Mark 4:35-41)

When they got across the lake, a man with an evil spirit came from among some tombs to meet Jesus.  He had chains on his hands and feet and looked like a madman.  As He saw Jesus, he ran to Him and fell on his knees begging not to be tortured.  The man’s name was “Legion” because of the large number of demons in him.  As Jesus rebuked the evil spirits,  they entered a herd of over  2000 pigs, causing them to rush over a cliff into the sea and drown!

The man was delivered, set free from the bondage, and in his right mind!  (Mark 4:14-17)   The people of the region, who depended on the pigs for their sustenance, were terrified and angry.  They came to Jesus and asked Him to leave their region.  Mark records that Jesus got into the boat to leave, and the delivered man asked to come along.  Jesus sent him back to tell others in the region what the Lord had done for him.

As we reflect on this story, we are first reminded of how Jesus loves and cares for His own disciples.  He’s always with us, even when we think He might be sleeping!  Second, Jesus loves to find someone who needs help.   He will go through water, storm, and forces of hell to reach a needy soul.  Last, those who are into themselves are threatened by Jesus’ presence.  May the Lord give us more insight into His marvelous grace!

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Jesus, Please Leave!

Scripture reading for January 9th: Matthew 8, Psalm 7:1-9, Proverbs 2:12-15

Jesus had just left a fruitful place of ministry in Capernaum in Peter’s house where he healed many sick and cast out numerous demons.   The Holy Spirit led Jesus to cross the Sea of Galilee to a region known as Gadarenes.  This was Gentile territory and the people there raised lots of pigs.  But it wasn’t for the pigs that Jesus went!

On His way there with the disciples, they encountered a severe storm on the water that threatened to capsize their boat.  Even the experienced fishermen among the group were frantic, and awoke Jesus from his sleep in the bow of the boat.  Jesus stood up and rebuked the storm and a great calm settled over the sea.  He also rebuked the disciples for their lack of faith.  (Matthew 8:24-27)  They were amazed at His authority and wondered who He really was.

Upon arrival, the disciples and Jesus were greeted by two men who were demon possessed.  These men came out of a cemetery and spoke directly to Jesus, addressing Him as the “Son of God”.  It is interesting to note that the devil knew Jesus and recognized Him when the disciples were still wondering!  These evil spirits also knew that Jesus had authority over them and begged Jesus to at least send them into a large herd of pigs grazing nearby.  Jesus did not dialogue with these spirits, but simply said, “Go!”  Their exodus caused the pigs to rush headlong over a steep bank into the sea and all were drowned.

Mark tells the story in a little different manner giving more details than Matthew.  Mark tells of one man whose name was “Legion” for the many demons in him.  Mark also numbers the pigs, saying that there were nearly 2000 in that herd!  As Jesus was leaving, the man who was delivered begged to follow Jesus in his boat, but Jesus sent him back to share with his family and the region what God had done for him.  (Mark 5:11-20)

The saddest part of this story is the people of that town’s reaction to this man’s deliverance.  They came to Jesus and begged Him to leave their region!  The loss of their pigs was more important than the freedom of one or two souls from the devil’s grasp!  How would you respond if you were a character in this story?

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Sunday Rest and Reflection:Handwriting on the Wall!

Dear Friends,

Greetings on another day of resurrection rest!  We celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from death and the grave on the first day of the week!  In Him, we have assurance of our own resurrection and eternal life.  He is the first fruit from death’s grip and all who have put their trust in Him will enjoy resurrection life.  This Blessed Hope could come at any time since we are living in the last days and the time of the end is near!  (Revelation 22:10, 20)

As I look back on Daniel, I remembered the incident that was recorded of the fall of Babylon.  King Belshazzar was having a party and celebrating with the golden goblets of God’s house, which his father had taken from the temple some 70 years earlier.  (Daniel 5:1-6)  Suddenly a hand appeared and wrote some simple words on the wall of the banquet hall.  No one could interpret the words, but the Queen remembered Daniel who had been used in the past to interpret.

Daniel came before the king and humbly gave the king the difficult message written on the wall.  He recounted how Belshazzar’s father Nebuchadnezzar had humbled himself, but that this king had not done so.  “But you did not honor the God who holds in His hand your life and all your ways.” (Daniel 5:23b)  For this reason, God had weighed Belshazzar and found him wanting.  He would be removed from power and his kingdom divided between the Medes and Persians!

God held this king to accountability because of the knowledge of God revealed to him through God’s dealings with his father.  When we don’t act on the knowledge of God we have, we are in danger of judgment and removal from the earth!  I believe that this scene speaks to us in America today.  Many, like this pagan king, are partying and misusing their own vessels (bodies) when judgment is right at the door.  The handwriting is on the wall!  God will judge and only two classes of people will emerge!  One group will go into eternal life and glory.  The other group will go into everlasting shame and contempt! (Daniel 12:1-4)  (Revelation 20:11-14)

We have enjoyed much blessing because of the Gospel in our land.  Knowledge of God abounds and we are accountable.  The end will come suddenly and quickly!  Are you ready?

In His Love,

Pastor John

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