Tag: slavery

Dealing with injustice

Scripture reading for May 09th: Nehemiah 5-8:1

Wise and godly leaders stand firmly against injustice!  Our sinful tendencies lead us relentlessly towards selfishness and taking advantage of those who are in need or in crisis or weak.  Slavery in America is an example of these selfish and sinful tendencies.  Slaves were bought and sold to build wealth for those they served.  Slaves did jobs that their owners did not want to do themselves.   Slaves were treated well by some and harshly and cruelly by others.  Injustice in this system led some leaders to take action and a civil war resulted that cost the lives of many Americans and many who named the name of Christ on both sides of this issue.

Nehemiah faced injustice in his day among his own people.  Taxes were high in Jerusalem and the Jews had to pay them to the Persian king.  Their brothers who had money were loaning to these Jews who had no money.  Mortgages were taken on the fields and vineyards and even their homes.  Even sons and daughters were being sold into slavery because of the usury that was going on among the Israelites.  An outcry because of this injustice reached Nehemiah and he pondered this problem. (Nehemiah 5:6-7)   Calling a meeting of all those involved,  he called out those charging unfair interest, commanded them to stop these practices. (Nehemiah 5:9-11)  They publicly agreed to do so.  He even shook out his own robe and prayed prophetically, “In this way may God shake out of His house and possessions every man who does not keep this promise.  So may such a man be shaken out and emptied!” Nehemiah 5:13

God’s people must beware of injustice, even in their own house!  Sin and selfishness can cause us to take advantage of others.  We can abuse or neglect the poor and the weak.  Spiritual leaders and pastors must guard their hearts in how they encourage giving, being careful not to manipulate.  A form of slavery results when our sons and daughters go into captivity and leave the church because of injustice in God’s house!  Righteous leaders are watchful and take direct action when they know about it!  Pray today for those in authority and let them know of any injustice among God’s people!

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Called to Freedom!

Scripture reading for May 20th: Galatians 5

Key Scriptures: Galatians 5:13-15 “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but though love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.”

There was conflict in the Galatian church between the Jewish false teachers and the believers. Both sides were conceited and judgmental of one another and lacked love, a basic fruit of the Holy Spirit. Paul instructed them on those attributes that were not of God, warning them that those who practiced the works of the flesh would not inherit the kingdom of God. He encouraged them to keep in step with the Holy Spirit Who lived inside them. The Spirit’s fruit would effectively deal with the flesh and those still trying to earn righteousness through law. In fact, loving your neighbor as yourself fulfils the whole law of God! The Spirit of the Lord brings God’s love and true freedom!

Galatians 5:22-26 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control; Against such things as this there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Fill me again today with Your Spirit and let love for my neighbor and for You flow out of my life in every relationship and contact, to Your glory! I want to keep step with the Spirit today and walk in the freedom of fulfilled law.

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

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A beautiful inheritance!

Scripture reading for May 19th: Galatians 4

Key Scriptures: Galatians 4:1-6 “I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of this world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”

Paul used a natural analogy of a family in his culture. Children were eventually going to be heirs of their father and mother, but when they were young and underage, they were like slaves in that they had no access to their inheritance but were under the control of their parents or the appointed guardians until the date set to receive the inheritance. Likewise, we are like slaves before we are born again. We are in bondage to the elemental principles of this world and under the curse of the law. But at the right time, God our Father sent His only Son born under the law, to redeem us who were under the law. We were given the Holy Spirit of Jesus, the Spirit of adoption, to be confirmed a son and joint heir of Jesus. In the fullness of time, we will enter our full inheritance in eternal life! Amen!

Galatians 4:7 “So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for redeeming me from slavery to sin and sending the Holy Spirit of adoption into my heart. I await with patience and anticipation the full inheritance You have promised! Help me to share this beautiful inheritance with all I meet. Come, Lord Jesus!

Psalm 16:5-6 “The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; You hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.”

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Bought with a price!

Scripture reading for July 15th: 1st Corinthians 7, Psalm 140, Proverbs 16

Key Scriptures:  1st Corinthians 7: 20-24 “Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called.  Were you a bond servant when called?  Do not be concerned about it.  (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.)  For he who was called in the Lord as a bond servant is a freedman of the Lord.  Likewise he who was free when called is a bond servant of Christ. You were bought with a price; do not become bond servants of men.  So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.”  

Paul was teaching the Church concerning the culture of the society in which they lived.  Slavery was common and Christ Jesus does set each person free from the bondage of sin.  But Christ does not demand that we immediately change the culture we live in.  He works from the inside out, freeing each person as they repent and respond to His Word and grace.  Each person should remain where they are in the culture and allow God to use them to bring light and truth, always walking in the liberty Christ provides.

Faith Confession:  Lord Jesus, thank You for paying the price for the true freedom given me through the sacrifice of Jesus.  Help me to live in the culture of this world as salt and light to the lost and sharing the Gospel of freedom.

Psalm 140:13 “Surely the righteous shall give thanks to Your Name; the upright shall dwell in Your Presence.”  

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Shake out the unfaithful!

Scripture reading for May 10th: Nehemiah 5-8:1

Wise and godly leaders stand firmly against injustice!  Our sinful tendencies lead us relentlessly towards selfishness and taking advantage of those who are in need, in crisis or weak.  Slavery in America is an example of these selfish and sinful tendencies.  Slaves were bought and sold to build wealth for those they served.  Slaves did jobs that their owners did not want to do themselves.   Slaves were treated well by some and harshly and cruelly by others.  Injustice in this system led some leaders to take action and a civil war resulted over this issue.

Nehemiah faced injustice among his own people.  Taxes were high in Jerusalem and the Jews had to pay them to the Persian king.  Their brothers who had money were loaning to the Jews who had no money.  Mortgages were taken on the fields and vineyards and even their homes.  Sons and daughters were being sold into slavery because of the usury among the Israelites.  An outcry because of this injustice reached Nehemiah. (Nehemiah 5:6-7)   Calling a meeting of all those involved,  he accused those with money of their sin, commanded them to stop these practices!  (Nehemiah 5:9-11)  They publicly agreed to do so.   He charged the priests and nobles to take an oath to do what they had promised in response to his accusation.  He even shook out his own robe and prayed, “In this way may God shake out of his house and possessions every man who does not keep this promise.  So may such a man be shaken out and emptied!” Nehemiah 5:13

God’s people must beware of injustice, even in their own house!  Sin and selfishness can cause us to take advantage of others.  We can abuse or neglect the poor and the weak.  We must not manipulate or enslave others by our selfishness.  Spiritual leaders and pastors must guard their hearts against manipulation and injustice caused by selfishness.  Slavery comes when our sons and daughters go into captivity because of injustice in God’s house among God’s people!  Righteous leaders are watchful and take direct action when they know about it!  Pray today for those in authority and let them know of any injustice among God’s people!

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Opposing injustice!

Scripture reading for May 10th: Nehemiah 5-8:1

Wise and godly leaders stand firmly against injustice!  Our sinful tendencies lead us relentlessly towards selfishness and taking advantage of those who are in need or in crisis or weak.  Slavery in America is an example of these selfish and sinful tendencies.  Slaves were bought and sold to build wealth for those they served.  Slaves did jobs that their owners did not want to do themselves.   Slaves were treated well by some and harshly and cruelly by others.  Injustice in this system led President Lincoln to take action and a civil war resulted over this issue.

Nehemiah faced injustice in his day among his own people.  Taxes were high in Jerusalem and the Jews had to pay them to the Persian king.  Their brothers who had money were loaning to the  Jews who had no money.  Mortgages were taken on the fields, vineyards and even homes.  Sons and daughters were being sold into slavery because of the usury that was going on among the Israelites.  An outcry because of this injustice reached Nehemiah and he pondered this problem and the resulting enslavement. (Nehemiah 5:6-7)   Calling a meeting of all those involved and commanded them to stop their selfishness and walk in the fear of God!  (Nehemiah 5:9-11)  They publicly agreed to do so.   He charged the priests and nobles to take an oath to do what they had promised in response to his accusation.  He shook out his own robe and prayed, “In this way may God shake out of his house and possessions every man who does not keep this promise.  So may such a man be shaken out and emptied!” Nehemiah 5:13

God’s people must beware of injustice, even in their own house!  Sin and selfishness can cause us to take advantage of others.  We can abuse or neglect the poor and the weak.  We must not manipulate or enslave others by our selfishness.  Spiritual leaders and pastors must guard their hearts in how they encourage giving.  Sometimes, manipulation and injustice takes place among God’s people through selfish leaders.  Slavery can come when our sons and daughters go into captivity because of injustice in God’s house among God’s people!  Righteous leaders are watchful and take direct action when they know about it!  Pray today for those in authority and let them know of any injustice among God’s people!

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Sunday Rest and Reflection:Egypt

Dear Friends,

Greetings on another day of rest in Jesus Christ!  What a blessing to know that He has delivered us from sin, slavery and death and given us righteousness, freedom, and life everlasting!   All of this is due to His grace and the obedience of  Jesus Christ to follow His Father’s plan to save lives!   We are included in these plans by His grace and by the drawing of the Holy Spirit.

In our reading this past week we saw God’s people being invited to stay in Egypt.  They were forced by a famine to seek out food there because God Himself had sent Joseph there with the express purpose of saving lives.  God used the world system of Pharaoh’s Egypt to store up grain to feed a multitude during the famine.  God controls the governments of the world and uses the leaders to fulfill His purposes!

Egypt is a type of the world without a true knowledge of God.  It is a system of humanistic government, business and religious idolatry.  It is a system based on power, wealth, and man’s inner need to worship. Without God, humanity values what can only satisfy the flesh.  Idols come in as a means to satisfy the inner need to worship.  Idols are a form of god crafted by man to try to fill this desire to worship.  By making an idol, man can design a convenient god that allows him to do whatever he wants and at the same time controls others or even shuts them out.  In the end, this system of Egypt is pure slavery, results in what God calls “sin”, and ends in death.

All men must be born again to escape the power of this system.  God must deliver them and help them to choose to worship Him alone!  People must be willing to escape this system and enter the freedom of knowing the one True God!  God places His people in this system to show a way of escape to those who are trapped by the system!  The blessing of God on our lives should be so evident that the lost ask us for help!

May your life be marked by willing submission to our loving King, Jesus Christ!  May His provision make you smile with joy every day!  May every trace of Egypt be removed from your soul!

In His Love, Pastor John

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