Freedom in Captivity

Standard

Devotion:  Acts 16:25

A little bird was heard singing from his cage.  His song, although beautiful; was sung from inside his two foot wire house.  He couldn’t open the door; so what was he to do?  He continued to sing.  Even though he was held captive, the people listening to his song , were incredibly blessed.

What is freedom in Christ?  Does it mean freedom to do anything I want?  Before we can answer those questions, we must answer what does it mean to be enslaved?  Slavery brings bondage, and captivity.

I love the story of Paul and Silas.  Even though they were in bondage; with their feet fastened in stocks, they were praying and singing hymns to God and the prisoners were listening to them. How does one do that?  Sing praise songs while enslaved? Really?  If we can sing as unto the Lord, it makes the word of our testimony even stronger.  You may be saying, but I don’t sing.  You can still make melody and praise in your heart.

Some people are imprisoned in a body, riddled with sickness, while others are literally imprisoned and persecuted for their faith.  It amazes me that people can sing praises to their Savior, while they are suffering.  They suffer for the Lord and will receive crowns; which they will in turn, cast at the feet of their Savior. The Bible says:

         “Blessed are the persecuted, for they shall see the                                       kingdom of God.” Matthew 5:10

We can choose to offer a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to our Lord, even during our captivity.  When we praise God in the midst of the pain; during suffering and captivity; we bless those who are watching and listening. God will pour out blessing upon us, so that there will not be room enough to receive it.  Sweet freedom rushes over us; because when we are free in Christ, we are free indeed.  “No weapon formed against us can prosper.”

As a Christian; when you find yourself trapped in a body filled with sickness, or suffering persecution, how will you respond? Can you sing or speak truth in love, because you have freedom in Christ to do so?  We can do all things through Christ that strengthens us.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, please help me sing and praise You throughout any past, present or future suffering or persecution.  May I walk in the freedom of Christ, as a living testimony, to the grace and mercy of my risen Savior.

 

A Way of Escape

Standard

Devotion:  Genesis 7:7

God will always speak to those who live to seek His face.  He wants His children to walk with Him and talk with Him; for their good and the good of those who come after them.  God tells us in Genesis 6:9:

                               “…Noah walked with God.”

If you will take time to read the whole chapter of Genesis 6, you will see why God decided to make a way of escape for Noah and his family.  The earth had become corrupt:

                        “…for the earth is filled with violence.”

Night after night, we watch from our televisions and computers; the violence occurring in this once, United States of America.  Is our nation still, “One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all?”  It would seem our liberties; once strong and sure, are about to be stolen from us.  If one is not certain of his or her relationship with the Lord Jesus, it could be most unsettling.

In Genesis 6:18, God promised Noah:

                      “But I will establish my covenant with you…”

God will not go back on His Word. Ever!  It is the one thing you can count on.  When everything else passes away, His Word will not pass away.  He established His covenant of peace with us through the blood of His Son Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 10:13:

               “…He will also provide the way of escape, that you                      may be able to endure it.”

In the latter days, Satan would have you forget the availability of, a covenant “peace that passes all understanding.”  We must “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.” Remember,  “God is not a God of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. “

Nothing takes God by surprise.  God will take care of you both now and always.  We cannot escape the strange things happening in this world, but our God has made a way of escape through His Son Jesus Christ.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, may I remember that no matter what my eyes behold in this fallen world; You have made a way of escape, through Your Son Jesus Christ.  I will not be afraid, for You are with me. Thank You Lord Jesus!  It’s in Your Name, I put my trust and offer up this prayer.  Amen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blessed by the Blesser

Standard

Devotion: 1 Chronicles 4:10

I am blessed with life, with family, with friends and with a Savior who gave me all of these, as well as eternal life.  I am full of gratitude and thanksgiving;  for the boundless love the Father has shown toward me.  On a daily basis; He walks with me and talks with me and brings me peace and joy unspeakable. I hope I never get over my God’s unconditional, everlasting, faithful, love shown toward His children.

It is the Lord who blesses us every single day we live and will bless us through out eternity.  He alone is the Blesser of heaven and earth.  He makes a way when there doesn’t seem to be any way.  He reveals the hidden things and opens the eyes of the physically and spiritually blind.  His ways are always higher, better and for our benefit.  He will bring peace in the midst of the worst storms.  That’s our God and He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Why would God bless us when we are so undeserving? Because He delights in bringing joy to His children.  He created us for fellowship and longs to pour out oceans of blessings, upon His creation.

We can be blessed by others or we can be a blessing, but the reason we can be be blessed or be a blessing only comes through God our blesser.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, You are my blesser. You alone bless us and bless us indeed.  We praise You and magnify Your great Name.

 

 

God’s Still On His Throne

Standard

Devotion: Romans 8:34

My friend Danny Benton has a saying.  “God’s still on His throne, where He’s been all along and He knows what’s going on.”  His little rhyme speaks volumes of truth, to all who believe.

The unexpected can happen at any time; in the lives of those who profess to know Christ and those who do not.  The difference lies in our response.  At least, there should be a significant difference in how Christians respond.  Jesus said, “In this world, you will have tribulation.  Do not be afraid; for I have overcome the world.”

On the Mount of Transfiguration, Jesus went up to heaven and sat down at the right hand of the Father.  He is ever interceding for us, from His throne.  The throne represents a place of authority given only to kings.  Kings grant or deny petitions and requests. That’s what they do.  Jesus receives our prayers and then talks with our Father, about our petitions and requests.

It’s hard for our minds to comprehend the truth of the scripture from. Psalm 139:17-18  God declares HIs thoughts of us, are as the grains of the sand. We are never out of His mind and heart.  NEVER! What immeasurable love!

No thing takes Him by surprise. Nothing.  Not one thing physical, emotional or spiritual.  Not an attack from our enemy.  Even that has to be allowed by God for our testing.  He wants us to come forth as pure gold.  God will accomplish what concerns us.  How else could we learn; “He will never leave us nor forsake us,” if we are kept from any adversity?  The infinite truth of His Word is most understood by our finite minds, during times of great trial. It will become a healing balm to our hurts and disappointments, if we choose to apply It.

When the winds of adversity blow, do not fear or be afraid, for “the Lord your God is with you and He is mighty to save.”  Rely on God’s Word. Speak His truth aloud, to yourself; so your ears and your heart will hear and receive the truth implanted.

Prayer in Motion:

Oh God may I remember, “You are still on Your throne, where You’ve been all along and You know what’s going on.”  In Jesus Name.  Amen

 

An Expensive Stay

Standard

Devotion: Luke 10:30-37

Just for precaution, the doctor had me do an overnight in the hospital.  That’s an expensive precaution!  My heart had been feeling very tight and I could hardly put one foot in front of the other for several days.  I am normally a very high energy type person.  This extreme tiredness came on suddenly. On the fourth day I drove myself to an emergency room and began to  hear statements like, “You might be staying at the “big house” tonight.  I knew that meant, “HOSPITAL!”  I also knew that meant “Big Expense.”  I was wishing I hadn’t made the phone call but also have a healthy respect for what my body is telling me.

After a sleepless night, the doctor came in at 5:40 and was in my room, under 30 seconds.  I’m not kidding. I was watching the clock.  He put his stethescope to my chest twice and said let us see what we can find out. Mercy

There’s a story in the Bible, regarding a man who was beaten and left for dead, on the side of the road.  People passed him by, barely glancing his way.  Finally a good Samaritan came by, picked him up, placed him upon his animal and took him to an Inn. The Samaritan gave instructions for the man to be cared for, until he came back through the area.  He made provision for a person he didn’t even know.

I wasn’t placed upon an animal but had a very expensive carriage ride, known as an ambulance. The ladies who brought me, were very kind and funny.  I asked the one who rode beside me; in this modern day transport, how I could pray for her.  Isn’t it interesting to hear what people will share within a six minute ride?

I had a 75% blockage in one of the arteries in my heart, so I had to have a stint put in. Dollar signs were flashing in my head but you know what?  We have insurance and a God who always provides.  He takes care of us.  Always!  Period!  He paid the price for our eternal life but takes care of our needs on a day to day basis.

Prayer In Motion:

Lord, may I always acknowledge Your provision.  You always take care of me and You always will.  Forgive me for ever doubting You.

 

 

 

Competition or Complementary Companionship

Standard

Devotion: Genesis 2:18-25

God created husbands and wives to fit together, not only physically but emotionally and spiritually.  When God formed this precious union, He desired for you to become soul mates, bound together in one accord.

For those who have been married for a few years, you begin to find yourself thinking alike.  There are times Ben and I look at each other and smile, knowing what the other is thinking.  Many husbands and wives live in a state of competition; which one can make the most money, win the most affection from children and or other family members, have the most “toys” and the list can go on and on.

Competition should be reserved for the sports arena and in many instances, the work world, but there’s no place for it in marriage.  We are to work together to model and maintain the companionship, for which God created us,  What does that look like?

Here are some ways companions can compliment each other:

*     Do the things you know pleases  him or her.

*     Prefer your soul mate over others.

*     Praise him or her in public.

*     Take time to listen with your ears and your heart.

*      Pray together daily.

What God has ordained; let no man put asunder.  Marriage is ordained by God, between a man and a woman who desire to enter into a covenant with God and each other.  God’s game plan for husbands and wives is to compliment, not compete.  By love we are to serve one another.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord may I compliment my God given companion at all times, in the way I speak to him or her and by my actions as well.  Thank you for the gift of my soul mate.  In Jesus Name I pray.  Amen

 

Women!

Standard

Devotion: Genesis 2:18,20-23

Women drivers!  Growing up, I heard my dad make that remark many times.  Women slam men and men slam women.  Hurtful humor is so not funny.  It’s well, hurtful.  It’s demeaning.  It’s not at all how God intended it to be.

Women are under so much pressure by our society to look a certain way, act a certain way, be a certain way. We exercise ourselves into the ground, starve ourselves, have facelifts, teeth whitened, buy expensive creams and makeup, color our hair and the list goes on and on.  Why?  To be accepted.  To be well thought of?  To feel good about ourselves?

There is nothing wrong with wanting to be beautiful for the men in our lives.  God made us to be beautiful!  It’s when we become obsessed with our looks, that life becomes out of balance.  The pressure can be so great to be perfect in every way, that women will go to any lengths to achieve goals that can be at the least superficial.  Where’s the balance of true womanhood?

What does the God who created us for Himself, believe about womanhood?  He stated the truth about women all throughout His Word, beginning in Genesis.  Women are called helpers for men.  He redeemed Rahab the Harlot, brought love to Ruth, gave a son to Hannah, used Esther to save a nation, blessed Mary to carry His only begotten Son, loved on two sisters, Mary and Martha. He delivered Mary Magdalene from darkness to light.  The God who created women loves them.  We are created intentionally by God, to fulfill His purpose and plan for our lives, to love and help those whom God gives us.  I love being a woman and thank God to serve Him and those He has given me.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, may the women You created, enjoy fulfilling their God given role. In Jesus Name. Amen.