2: 50 Days of 3:16

To summarize to this point in the Bible. God creates the world, each day calling his creation good. On the sixth day he creates men and woman and calls them very good. He gives them responsibilities and freedoms to maintain and look after everything on the earth. Eat from any tree but keep away from one as it is forbidden to eat from it. Deception through a snake and human curiosity got the better of them and they partook in eating the fruit of the forbidden tree. God knew this had happened yet gave them an opportunity to fess up, yet they know eyes open to good and evil, choose to hide and then play the blame game. Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the snake. The snake doesn’t get to defend himself. God seeing the role the serpent had played determined his fate first. He then turned to Eve;

 

“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.”

Genesis 3:16

 

Right then and there God could have wiped mankind out. It would have been easy, and he could have started over. Yet this shows us that God is in it for the long game, he wasn’t surprised that man had fallen. I believe God gives us choices for a reason, He knew both results hoping that his creation would choose one over the other but He had a plan in place. The order He deals out the punishment for the sinful act is important. He promises when dealing with the snake that a seed from Eve would crush the snake for what it had done. This promise was important in that when it was Eve’s turn and she was told that childbirth was going to be severe and labor painful there was hope that one day there would be redemption for what they had done. Childbirth would be a reminder of the choice she had made for all future generations.

 

The second part of this verse is often misused and misquoted. Many an aggressive husband or controlling one will take this and use it as an excuse to do things that no man should ever do. Being married for 17 years I can see the importance of why this verse is important in the union of man and woman. We often use the word love to express how we feel but it has become cheapened to the point that we can just fall out of love and end relationships. The desire that God sets in place here is a passion for her husband that keeps her there through thick and thin. When times are tough she doesn’t run out. When the ‘love’ is dried up she doesn’t go off looking for love in all the wrong places. This isn’t just her part to play, the man is to rule over her. Not with an iron fist and a list of rules, but as a protector, lover, a man full of respect for his wife. He needs to know his wife intimately understanding her needs and desires. He must be a leader who knows his family and doesn’t give up on them but fights for them daily.

 

Adam or men didn’t get off any easier, read the next few verses and you will see that man got a bigger earful then woman. But in the end, they left the creator together. They weren’t separated they needed one another. We need one another. Your husband needs you wife. You wife needs you husband. Do not give up on one another. God hasn’t given up on you.

 

Father, watch over us. Protect us from the lies of the enemy whose desire is to distract us from following you. He caught Adam and Eve in the garden and even today he is working to keep us away from experiencing you. We want a relationship with you, thank you for restoring this relationship through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Let us walk with you and learn your ways. Use us to help others find this freedom that is only found in you, Amen

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47: 50 Days Freed

As we near the end of this 50 Days Freed journey you may have noticed that the last few posts have been aimed at freedom from sin. Each one with a call to repent and to accept the relationship that God desires to have with you. This is no accident. If you have been reading daily and do not have this connection with God, ask yourself why you keep coming back? It is probably not because of my amazing writing skills but a desire to meet with Jesus.

 

Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty, is divided between God and the world.

James 4:8

 

Here is James it is laid out quite simply what must be done to be free from the prison of sin. Everyone is born in this prison, Jesus broke the door and made a way for everyone to walk out of this prison, yet in our stubbornness, we refuse to accept his help. What a promise written here, ‘come close to God and he will come close to you’. What is clear is that it doesn’t put a list of things you must do first. It does not read, get your things in order and then God will come close to you. No, come as you are, stains, rips, brokenness and shame. Just like the Father watching for his son who had abandoned him, he saw him a far way off, ran to him and embraced him as he was. That seems like an okay response, but think about where the son just came from; he had been working with the pigs sitting in their pens, and he had just made a very long journey to return home. He would not have smelled very clean, he most likely didn’t stop to freshen up as he had no money left. But his Father embraced him as he was.

 

The second part of this verse is for those who have accepted Jesus as their saviour yet feel they can be living life in sin with no consequences. We as believers are called to separate ourselves from our old sinful ways. We cannot serve two masters. Washing our hands is symbolic of when Jesus washed the feet of the disciples. Peter in the moment asked Jesus to wash his whole body, yet Jesus told him he only needs to clean the dirty part. When we sin, we need to remove the dirt from our lives, clean the area where sin has invaded so that it does not infect the whole body.  Some believe that once you have accepted Jesus you can walk in sin and it does not matter as Jesus has forgiven all our sins past, present and future, so we now have a free pass. This lie from the enemy is there to divide us, again you cannot serve God and the world. Make your choice.

 

Sin is a prison we need to be freed from. Inside the prison of sin separates us from God and leads to a death sentence separated from God. Do not despair, there is hope, Jesus came and died so you can be free and have that death sentence removed. Not only is it removed but replaced with a hope of eternal life living with the creator. The choice is yours, are you happy in your prison of sin, disguised as life or are you ready to experience a relationship with the one who created you?

 

Father, today there is someone reading this that needs to experience you. They are tired of living life in sin and the bondage it has on them. Show them that there is life in you. Use your believers to reach out and share the love of Jesus with them. Help them to understand what he has done so they can live. Help us as believers to be outgoing witnesses of your love. Opening our mouths to tell others about you. We want to be effective in helping free others. Amen

36: 50 Days Freed

With so many different denominations and groups of people out there how do we truly know who has the truth? The internet provides new and interesting ideas about faith and strange interpretations of what is in the bible. How does one go about understanding and shifting out the garbage without getting trapped in a prison of lies and traps? How can we live in freedom when the enemy keeps putting luring traps in our way?

 

 

“For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.”

2 Timothy 4:3-4 NLT

 

If you only want to eat Cotton candy you may enjoy it for the time your eating it but it will never fill you. It will slowly rot your life and in the end, give you an upset stomach.

 

I am sure we have all experienced a sermon that didn’t carry its weight. Something about it felt off. We should leave any time together challenged or changed. If that hasn’t happened to you lately, then you need to ask your self one of two questions 1) what am I getting from to sermons? Or 2) is what the minister preaching truth or fluff? A good public speaker can keep people comfortable, a good pastor will keep his people ready for action.

 

Maybe it is something your reading on a blog, book or found while watching TV. It rings of truth but there is something new added that is enticing you to keep digging in yet there is solid teaching in it. How do you go about deciding if it is from God or from the enemy?

 

The bible has been provided to us for our use. It is not a tool only to be used by professional pastors or clergy but given to everyone. Some may not have access to a physical bible and I pray that one day they will. Yet for those who do have a Bible, there is no excuse to why they can’t dig in and investigate teachings that could go against God. We should be taking notes in church and not just taking in the sermon on Sunday but applying it to our lives all week after by going over the notes. Your Pastor is human too and makes mistakes, that’s okay, but if they are preaching something unbiblical how would you know if you never checked it out?

 

The Bible provides solid food and ways to live our Christian walk. We can compare facts here. Do not be fooled by the enemy with his talk of prosperity, what you must do to be saved and other weird and odd additions that he has skilfully tricked people into to teaching. Use the Bible as a guide to vet these practices, if we do this we can avoid the traps and keep walking strong in our freedom.

 

Dear Jesus, help us to know when we are eating junk food. We need to be consuming real food from your word. Jesus, we need to be reaching to the world for you. Help us to continue in this, giving us opportunities on a daily basis in every area if our lives. Amen

 

 

35: 50 Days Freed

Paul was a man who knew what it was like to be freed. He was once one of the fiercest opponents of this new Christian faith that in his eyes, and those he associated with, that this was a rough group that must be cut off before they infected the mainstream. He had made it his mission to search out and execute anyone who did not reject this new practice. Yet Jesus saw something in this man that no one else did. He took Saul and offered him a chance to change his ways and follow Him. In that moment Saul accepting what Jesus was offering changing his name to Paul as an outward sign of his inward change.

 

This letter is from Paul, an apostle. I was not appointed by any group of people or any human authority, but by Jesus Christ himself and by God the Father, who raised Jesus from the dead.

All the brothers and sisters here join me in sending this letter to the churches of Galatia.

May God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live.  All glory to God forever and ever! Amen

Galatians 1: 1-5

 

Paul knew firsthand what it was like to receive an audible calling from Jesus. This type of call to believe is rare but not unheard of these days. There are reports of stories of Muslim men and woman being spoken to by Jesus and then repenting choosing to give up everything to follow Christ.  I believe we are so overwhelmed by entertainment here in the east that we do not know how to block it out and hear his voice. I can attest to this as last night as I was at our churches prayer time I was bombarded with things that distracted me on focusing on prayer. I left feeling discouraged and wondering if I just wasted an hour of my time.

 

I am finding it hard to separate myself from the entertainment of the world. There is always a great new TV show or movie to watch. Maybe it is the latest novels that are enjoyable to you. Yet we avoid or spend minimal time investing in the bible which is written with the intent of us learning the heart of God. We see later in Galatians 1 that Paul writes that he was freed in Christ but did not run headfirst into the ministry, he waited three years to pray and learn, asking God for direction and purpose. He separated himself from the old ways that had put him on a path of destruction. How effective would Paul have been if he had accepted Christ but still hung out with the people who were killing believers?

 

I guess the question I ask myself as well as you, is do we truly want to be rescued from this evil world?  Or are the pleasures so good that they feel like to leave them behind is asking too much? I don’t have the answer for you, but I know this if we trust God and dig into His word asking Him to guide our path He will put our feet on the path of freedom. Only then will we become effective in sharing our faith with others. And that is our ultimate mission is it not?

 

Father, I pray for grace and peace to all who read this message. I ask today that you guide us to the path of freedom. Holy Spirit move in us to dig deep into the bible asking questions and receiving answers. Help us to choose Jesus over the distractions of this world and become effective in sharing our faith with others. If we want to truly escape the evils of the world we need to recognize them, help us to see what is hindering our faith. We pray that we become stronger bearers of the light and shine brighter than ever before. We pray for freedom. Amen

6: 50 Days Freed

There are some who have taken the freeing power of Jesus and created a system where they use their freedom as an excuse to sin. Why shouldn’t I have the freedom to do whatever I want, I am forgiven for it. This mentality may work for a moment but to create a life and routine reveals the heart of the man. One can only dance around in the snake pit so long before they are bitten.
 
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Romans 6: 1-2
 
The grace extended to us on the cross was sufficient to cover all our sins past, present and future. But it was never meant to become an excuse to sin. The power of sin was defeated but sin will not be completely destroyed until the day the enemy is thrown into the pit of fire and the new heaven and new earth are put in place. As Paul writes to the Romans we don’t need to dabble in sin to prove the grace of God. He displayed that already for us on the cross and when we accepted his forgiveness.
 
When we accept Jesus as our savior and redeemer his grace removes the sin that we give him to remove. We accept his grace but there are times where we hold on to sin and tuck it away trying to hide it from him. Those secrets that “he doesn’t need to know about” are not really hidden from him. If we don’t give them to him it becomes like a cavity, it may not bother us right away but one day if not treated will become an unbearable pain we will have to deal with, it will be exposed. If we do not deal with it then the temptation to live in sin will be increased.
 
Before we accepted Jesus we were living in a cheap motel room, when we turn our lives over to him he checks us out of that flea-bitten motel room and checks us into a 5 star hotel. So why then do we insist on returning to the cheap motel room? It could be because we feel comfortable there, or all our stuff is still there. Jesus asks us to leave that all behind. He promised life and life abundantly, we need to stop clinging on to the things from our past that kept us from him. This doesn’t mean we have to change our personalities to follow Christ, our uniqueness is a trait of God. But we need to leave behind all the things and traits that cause us to sin. To use an old cliché, we need to Let Go and Let God. Let go of the things that work to hold us back from our new life in Christ, and let God show us how to live life in freedom. You won’t be disappointed with your choice.
 
As you read this today I am asking you, are you living life anew and fresh in Christ? Or are you trying to incorporate your old life, walking through the same snake pit you were before accepting his grace? Maybe you haven’t accepted his grace yet but have heard all about it and want to. This could be your first time hearing that Jesus loves you and wants to connect with you. Whatever the case I pray that you will see God for who he is and that he loves you. The creator of the world loves you and completed a plan to free you from sin.
 
Father, I pray today that those reading this will step out of sin and live lives aimed at walking with you. It isn’t easy and we all make mistakes, but we choose to follow you. Thank you for your grace and how it has freed those who accept it. Move among your people to share this grace with others by telling them about you and inviting them to church. For those reading this who have not yet experienced your love, I pray that even today they will experience you for who you are. Use me today. Amen
 
 
 
 
 

1: 50 Days Freed

What does it truly mean to be freed? Many will read that and think free from oppression and/or prison. Some may have recently watched a movie dealing with being sexual freed or freed from a person who has been controlling them. Freedom in this physical world comes in many forms. But what does it mean to be freed in Christ? The bible has many stories and life lessons about freedom. Over the next 50 days or so we will be looking into what it means to be freed in Christ.

 

For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ.  1 Corinthians 7:22

 

Here in a letter to the church in the city of Corinth, we see Paul writing about being freed. This is one of those verse in the bible that when read can be quite confusing. I mean look at it, we who accept Christ are now free, yet those who were free who accept Christ are now servants of Christ? How is that relevant. Isn’t that trading one form of slavery for another?

 

The slavery to sin that we are under before we have accepted Jesus is not an easy life. Not every person who is a slave is beaten down. Some are not even aware of their bondage. Many have come to just accept it or even embrace their chains. There are those who grew up in the church, once accepted Jesus gift and left willingly putting the chains of bondage, thinking that it was freeing themselves. But there is a vast difference in what the bondage of sin offers you and what the freedom in Christ gives. Becoming a bondservant of Christ does not mean trading one boss for another. Your sinful master is ready and willing to heap more pain, suffering and burdens on you to keep you from finding freedom.  Jesus said let me take your burdens and trade them in for something better.

 

To be a bondservant of Christ is to freely go into service. He doesn’t want a conscripted group of followers, that’s why following Jesus has to be an individual choice. Something that changes in your heart and pushes you to walk out of the slavery you are in into the arms of a Savior, your family redeemer who already paid your debt that had you in slavery to begin with. Many find this freedom and quickly realize that the servanthood Christ asks for is not always easy but you quickly realize that you are not alone. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to give you strength and wisdom to accomplish the tasks assigned. In Christ you are stronger than before and able to accomplish amazing things.

 

Today as we begin to walk this path to a freed life in Christ, I pray that you will share these messages to those around you. Either by sharing this blog or via word of mouth. We as freed people can make a difference in this world, showing others how to break the bondage of sin. Free people can free people has been a quote that has been in the front of my Bible for many years, not because it is a catch quote but because it is so true. We can no longer keep this freedom to ourselves, there is a world out there that needs to be freed and we need to be active in sharing the love of Jesus.

 

Father, I ask that today you motivate those who call themselves your servants to rise up in your freedom. Unite them in the mission of reaching the lost to their families, neighbours, coworkers, and friends. Let not an opportunity pass them by, give them words of wisdom to know what is needing to be said in those moments. The freedom we have in Jesus is not meant to be kept to ourselves and we ask for forgiveness if we have been selfish and keeping it to ourselves. No more. We need to be men and woman of action spreading your love.  It is time for us to stand up to our calling to tell others how to be freed. Amen

 

 

Has God freed you from anything? I would love to hear your story or comment on how God has Freed you. Or maybe you need some prayer. I would love to pray for you, that  God would provide the freedom that you need.

 

Picture from John the Baptist Artworks

Day 50: 50 Days of Prayer for the Persecuted Church: Colombia

We pray today for the believers in Colombia. Here in this nation we, see a small minority of people hold all the power and are holding the people captive with fear. Just a Jesus had taught a little yeast spreads through the entire dough, we pray that this fear will be removed, for greater is he that is in the believers of Colombia, then those who oppose them.

 

Of the population of 48.3 million, there are about 44.6 million believers. For more information check out Open Doors USA.

 

 

 

 

Father, we pray for Colombia. We pray for an overwhelming confidence in their faith. A desire to stand up for what is right no matter the consequences. We ask for strength to overcome the threats that aim to destroy families if they don’t conform to the rules of the rebels and cartels. Provide each believe the discipline to grow as believers and share their love with those around them. Move mightily in Colombia and change South America and the world through their faithfulness. Amen