Set Free

“You have been set free from sin” Romans 6:22 NIV

It is Jesus clothed in the white garments of resurrection, bearing the fresh scars of the crucifixion declaring to the universe that the power of sin is broken.

The good news is that all who come to Him are set free.

Free from sin.
Free from it’s power and control.
Free from its endless demands, requirements, small print and a false sense of control. 

The power of sin in your life can feel like a noose that the enemy gently lays upon your neck. Then slowly, surely, he begins to tighten it until you feel trapped, choked and bound. 

It is a lie. You do not have to live in bondage anymore.

Jesus took that noose upon His own neck for you. He took the penalty it demanded, death. Then He conquered death in a blaze of glory and hold freedom in His hands.

Wherever shame lurks and condemnation whispers, wherever fear and anxiety chokes, wherever lies and rejection linger – Jesus comes.

He comes with His love, His power, His mercy and His forgiveness.

He washes away the stains of the past and brings to you new hope for the future.  

He sets you free to live a new kind of life.

One saturated in His love and filled with His power.

The power of sin has been broken.

How will you live the truth of it today?

Like This.

“Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.” Ephesians. 5:2 Message Version

The Scripture above doesn’t say:
Mostly what God does is judge us.
Mostly what God does is condemn us.
Mostly what God does is punish us.
Mostly what God does is give up on us.

No, mostly what God does is love us.

He holds nothing back but gives us more and more and more. He loves us whether we feel it or not. He loves us when we are doing good or not. Can’t earn it. Don’t deserve it, nonetheless…what God mostly does is love us.

It reminds me of a phrase from the book, The Shack by William P. Young: “The nature of love is that it is freely given and received freely. God loves the lost and saved the same. He loves, period.”

He loves, period.

Do you know you are loved like this today?

Do you know you can love others this way?

Grudges

Holding a grudge clutters the soul with bitterness.

Forgiveness is vital to your soul and it is a journey Jesus wants to walk you through.

It is vital because you are valuable.

And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff.  Live generously.

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:38-42‬ ‭MSG‬‬

God doesn’t deny that bad things happen or that people will take advantage of you but He also doesn’t abandon you to it either.

Jesus is saying that when someone takes advantage of you, give them what you have and move on with your life.  Let it go.  Forgive it.

In this way, you will be living in the abundance of God’s love instead of the famine of your past hurts.

You are not meant to carry the heavy load of resentment and regret.

What resentment or regret is weighing you down?

What grudge is poisoning your soul?

Bring them all to Jesus and lay each one at the foot of the cross. Then, take a deep breath and allow Him to fill the newly evacuated space with the cleansing power of His love.

Dwell

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭91:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The word dwell invokes the picture of where you live.

Where you wake up in the morning, brush your teeth and get ready for your day.

It is the place where all your “stuff” is, no matter how much stuff you have.

It is the place at the end of the day that you surrender to sleep and recharge.

You are made to dwell in the shelter of God’s presence.

To wake to His love, live in His love, rest in His love.

Jesus made it possible so you could live this today and dwell in the shadow of the Almighty’s love everyday after.

A Careless Life

There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.”

Matthew 6:25, 26 MSG

Life with God is about being filled with His love and then pouring it out on all those around you.

It is worshipping Him when we wake, when we walk, when we clean, when we work, when we eat, when we get dressed.

It is knowing you are saved by grace and reconciled to Him because of the sacrifice of Jesus.

It is knowing He loves you because you are His kid and He enjoys spending time with you.

My friend, you are a child of God who is cherished, chosen and provided for.

Live in the freedom of His love.

Live care-less in the care of God.

Live more in this truth and less in the lie that you are valued because of what you look like, eat, wear or do.

This life, this love, this security comes from Jesus and is unshakable.

The rest is frosting.

Right Now

God’s love for you is for right now. Not later. Now.

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, God’s love cuts right through the business of life and breathes into you the very heart of it- His heart, His LIFE.

“For right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation:

Trust steadily in God,
hope unswervingly,
love extravagantly.
And the best of the three is love.”

1 Corinthians 13:13 MSG

Don’t wait for tomorrow to trust.
Trust today. 

Don’t wait until tomorrow to hope.
Hope today.

Don’t wait until tomorrow to love.
Love today. 

Steadily.

Unswervingly.

Extravagantly.

Right now.

What You Want

Thursday

We all have habits that we need to get rid of. However, there is a particular habit that Jesus is more concerned about breaking than the one you are thinking of: it is the desire to get your own way.

It is human nature but my friend, you have a new nature in Christ.

You are being recreated in Him – The old has gone, the new has come (2 Cor. 5:17).

“Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want.”

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4:1-2‬ ‭MSG‬‬

When we struggle, we may think it is because God doesn’t love us. In reality, it might be that He loves you so much that He will use the stressful opportunity at hand to break the habit of the-only-way-I-will-be-happy-is-when-I-get-my-way.

God has more for you than that and He calls it freedom. 

 

You Have It

Monday

God doesn’t say, “it will be easy” nor does He say, “there will be no battles”.

He says:

“My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

‭‭Exodus‬ ‭33:14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

You will have to face difficulties, impossible situations, and fierce battles as you pursue God’s call on your life.

And through each one, Jesus is leading you to rest in the security of His love. To pursue the power of His peace. To find and capture the truth that is the freedom He has bought for you to live in.

No matter what is happening around you, you are not alone to deal with it – the Spirit of God is with you.

God’s promise is that His rest is yours. His peace is yours. His freedom is yours. It was fulfilled through Jesus’ death and resurrection and activated by your trust in Him.

You don’t have to earn it, you have to receive it.

Little Snares

Thursday
“My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare.”
Psalm 25:15 NIV
Sometimes a small cord of fear becomes a snare that holds you back.
Sometimes a resilient string of hurt traps you from moving forward.
Maybe a trap of bitterness has wrapped itself around your ankle.
And if you don’t acknowledge it, it may become crippling.
Look to the Lord to release you from the snare that is holding you back today.
He is the only one who can heal your heart.
He made it, will remake it, and will continue to bring up the little snares that need to be healed because they hold you back from who you are created to be.
Who are you looking to heal your heart today?
If it is anyone else but Jesus, you will be disappointed and frustrated.

The Freedom of Forgiveness

Wednesday

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  

Colossians 3:13 NIV

Forgiveness breaks the power of the past.

Forgiveness is not a feeling, it is a choice.

It is a choice to let God have it, hold it, and be responsible for it- whatever it is. 

Forgiveness is taking the power away from someone else and giving it back to God. 

You don’t have to trust someone to forgive them.

They don’t have to know you forgive them.

They don’t have to be sorry in order for you to forgive them.

Forgiveness is not about restoring trust in them, it is about trusting God with them

What you do have to do is make the choice to give them to God.

And then every day after, make the choice to give them to God.

Keep doing that until the feelings lines up with the decision.

Forgiveness is about freedom – yours.

Who do you need to forgive today?