Last weekend Americans celebrated Independence Day. Merriam-Webster gives this definition of Independence Day, a holiday celebrating the anniversary of a country’s independence from another country that ruled it in the past;especially : July 4 celebrated as a legal holiday in the U.S. in honor of the day when the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776.
Freedom should not be taken for granted. Our freedom as Christians should not be taken for granted either. When Christ died on the cross, he defeated the death sentence we were all born with. We can be free from the burden of our sin and live victorious in him. We all have things that weigh us down from running the race of life. In Hebrews 12:1-3, Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
The Lord at times works our circumstances to humble us. By doing so, He reveals how dependent we are on Him for victorious living. This is how He eliminates the idol of self-effort from our pursuit of holiness. It is also His way of achieving other purposes in our lives.
Our heavenly Father has more in mind than simply exposing the weakness of our flesh—that is simply a means to something greater. He intends to put us on display for all eternity as examples of His grace and goodness. He wants the angels to see the body of Christ and stand in awe before this dazzling demonstration of His handiwork.
What would you and I need to do to qualify for this purpose? Is there any way we can possibly understand the full scope of His designs for our lives? What must be done so that we may live in the fullness of everything He has in mind for His children?
We don’t have all the answers to these questions. As a result, we have difficulty understanding why God at times allows us to fail. If we could only see the glorious final product He has in mind, we would gladly abandon our self-effort and yield to His transforming power. But instead, we often insist on doing things our way. And as long as we remain in this mode of thinking, God will allow us to fail.
There’s a better way. It is simply to live by faith, trusting the Holy Spirit within us every moment of every day to conform us to the likeness of God’s Son Jesus Christ.
For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.~Romans 8:29-30
Why do we have such a hard time admitting our weakness? We all have something in our life that we are strong at and some things not so much. Having young children close together you see where one loves to read and the other one hates it. One stresses about things and one doesn’t. So why as we get older and we feel like we have to be awesome at everything and when were not, we consider ourselve a failure. Are we? No. By whose standards do we measure ourself to? If it is by what the “world” says we should be, just throw that out the window. Measure your success by God’s word. He tells us in Galatians he tells us, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. These are the things that matter. This is what makes us successful. Only the Lord can supply these to our life through his Word and a relationship with him.
When you look at your weakness, what it is it defined by. The fruit of the spirit defined above states that against such things there is no law. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. Even when we become a child of God, we will still wrestle with weakness. We are only overcomers through Christ.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9
Here is a riddle: What is it that is too unimportant to pray about yet too big for God to handle? The answer, of course, is: “nothing.” Yet sometime, when the challenges of the day seem overwhelming, we may spend more time worrying about our troubles than praying about them. And, we may spend more time fretting about our problems than solving them. A far better strategy is to pray as if everything depended entirely upon god and to work as if everything depended entirely upon us. What we see as problems God sees as opportunities and if we trust him completely, we must acknowledge that even when our own vision is dreadfully impaired, His vision is perfect. Today and every day, let us trust God by courageously confronting the things that we see as problems and He sees as possibilities. We are all faced with a series of great opportunities, brilliantly disguised as unsolvable problems. Unsolvable without God’s wisdom, that is.
As for God, his way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.~Psalm 18:30
A rebellious person is one who resists authority or control over his/her life. I can remember when I was a teenager, yes I can remember that long ago..when I thought I knew it all. That is time in our life when we are not a child but not quite an adult, but we want to break free and make our own rules. Any correction or conviction is totally opposed and we often find our self at a dead end. We can bring heartache to those who love us the most. As adults we might grow out of this rebellion or become bitter and feel sorry for ourselves and wonder why we got dealt such a bad hand in life. When we are the ones that are responsible. Breaking away from the life the Lord has for you can have serious consequences. He placed his commandments in place for protection. Learn from your mistakes and don’t let them make you bitter, but make you better.
because they rebelled against God’s commands
and despised the plans of the Most High.
So he subjected them to bitter labor;
they stumbled, and there was no one to help.
I heard someone mention they saw an interview with Billy Graham and they asked him, do you think our world has always been this corrupt? He said, yes, but with technology and media it has magnified it and everyone is exposed to it. We can use these things for good or bad. Teenagers use texting and social media to bad mouth people and belittle others. Back in the old days, if you were going to let someone know something, you had to say it to their face.
If you read in the bible the world has always had corruption, greed and immorality. Now it is glamorized and no one thinks anything about it. We have become numb to the things that would have shocked our grandparents because we see on our television or read it on the internet every day. The great thing about God is that HE NEVER CHANGES. Our world changes every day but he stays the same. He is steadfast, our strong tower, our refuge.
God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
Yesterday was Easter Sunday. I passed by all the fast food places on Highway 64 coming home and Zaxby’s had on their sign, “Because He Arose, We Are Closed.” I love how a simple statement can mean so much. The acknowledgement that Christ rose from the dead on a sign. How many people passed by and thought about it? We don’t give Christ the acknowledgement everyday like we should. Because he suffered and died for us, we have the gift of salvation. You might ask, why do you call it a gift. A gift is defined as, a thing given willingly to someone without payment; a present. You are not expected to pay people for a gift and you are at liberty to use it or not. Christ wants you to willingly accept it because He wants you to love him. Love cannot be one-sided. It is a relationship.
We went and watched the movie, Heaven is for Real. My daughter asked me, “what would have happened if Jesus didn’t die on the cross?” My response was, “we wouldn’t have a hope in this world. But because Christ died for our sins and if we accept him into our heart and ask for forgiveness, will become a child of God. Just like what Colton Burpo said, “You never have to be afraid.” We have the promise of life eternally. We live in trying and difficult times. But what a releif to know Christ battled for us and won! No matter what tomorrow brings, We worship a RISEN Saviour!!