The Freedom of Forgiveness

“Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.” Matthew 6:12 MSG

Forgiveness sets you free to live the adventure that God has for you.

And it allows you to be free from how others impact you.

Forgiveness is a relationship word that begins with our relationship with God and then with our relationships with others.

And at its heart, forgiveness means to let go.

It is daily to keep us right with God and right with others.

Taking stock, taking responsibility.

Receiving grace, giving grace.

Living forgiven, living forgiving.

Everyday.

Jesus lived like this and then said, “follow me.”

What do you need to ask for forgiveness for?

Who do you need to forgive today?

A Life of Freedom

“So if the Son liberates you [makes you free men], then you are really and unquestionably free.”  John 8:36 (AMP)

God’s love is real and He gives you His power to live in freedom.

Freedom is a journey and changing how we live our lives takes time.

You have already been well trained by life’s enslaving lies.  Your flesh, old nature and false self is steeped deep in old habits, temptations, and thought patterns that are set in it through years of experience and practice.

Knowing Jesus means that you are learning from Him how to live in a new way, to love in a new way, to think in a new way.

A way of life that you are made for and He died for.

Don’t give up.

Keep following Jesus and take it one day at a time. 

Resentment

“My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare.”

Psalm 25:15 NIV

Holding onto resentment is like walking around with a chain around your ankle.

It starts as a small cord and develops into a strong chain that you drag around.

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 will become crippling.

Look to the Lord to release you from a snare of resentment that is holding you back today.

He is the only one who can heal your heart.

Who are you looking to heal your heart today?

If it is anyone else but Jesus, you will be disappointed and frustrated.

Where is Your Head Today?

“For those who live according to the flesh have their outlook shaped by the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their outlook shaped by the things of the Spirit. ‭‭

Romans‬ ‭8:5-6‬ ‭NET‬‬

God has given us the ability to imagine our day, our tomorrow, our future.

Paul said that the imagination shaped by the flesh is fear and death and that the imagination nourished by the Spirit of God is life and peace.

The thing is, we get to choose which imagination we live in.

We get to choose our thoughts and not live in a world where they choose us.

A world where they hijack your day and lead you to a mental torture chamber.

My friend, God gives you Himself fully and His power lavishly to you.

Yes, you.

Ask Him.

You need help and God will help you.

He will empower you to take hold of your thoughts and submit them to Him.

He will empower you to leave the fearful imaginings on the floor and take hold of the truth of God in your life.

He will empower you to see yourself and your future from His perspective.

Where is your head?

What is it filled with? 

What do you need God’s help with today?

Set Free

You have been set free from sin”

Romans 6:22 NIV

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. 

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 through Him, you are set free.

You are free from sin.
You are free from its power and control.
You are free from its endless demands, requirements, small print and a false sense of control. 

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 held 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 life 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?

What You Want

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.

“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 Are Free

“So if the Son liberates you [makes you free men], then you are really and unquestionably free.”  John 8:36 (AMP)

Are you discouraged today because it seems like real change is impossible?

Real change takes time.  

God’s love is real and He gives you His power to break old habits, thought patterns, temptations, and addictions.

So then why does it take so long to learn how to live in this freedom?

It is because in this world you have been well trained by life’s enslaving lies.  Your flesh or old nature, has old habits, temptations, and thought patterns that are deeply set in it through years of experience and practice.

In Christ, you have a new nature.

Knowing Jesus means that you have the hope of real change, exponential growth, and truly transforming life.

Don’t give up.

When Jesus sets you free, you are free. 

I Dare You

“He has given us a new life because we are united with Christ Jesus. He saved us so that now we can do good things in our lives. Those are good things that he has already prepared for us to do.“

Ephesians 2:10

God’s agenda for your life is dripping in love and mercy.

You are redeemed to live a new life in Christ.

This new life comes with new things to do and new people to love.

Things that He has already prepared for you to do and people He has already put in your path.

Living God’s agenda in your life doesn’t mean that nothing gets done, it means that your to-do list doesn’t determine your impact, your trust in God does.  

If you dare to take God at His Word and trust that He has already prepared it for you, new life in Christ becomes a reality instead of just a good idea.

Surrender your to-do list and ask God to lead you to the “good things He has already prepared” for you to do today.

I dare you.

Don’t Wait For Someday

“I am writing to all who have been called by God the Father, who loves you and keeps you safe in the care of Jesus Christ.”‭‭Jude‬ ‭1:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Today you don’t have to strive to take care of “number one”, you are in the care of Jesus.

Today you don’t have to stress to win the approval of others, you are accepted by Jesus.

Today you are called by the God who loves you to come near.

You don’t have to wait until tomorrow. 

You don’t have to wait until someday when you are good enough or until you get your life altogether or until you “get better” at whatever you are trying to get better at.

Don’t wait, live in the truth of God’s love for you today.

The Lamb of God

And he took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me. In the same way, after supper, he took the cup saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” 

Luke 22:19-20 NIV

It was their last supper together.

A symbolic dinner that told the ancient story of freedom from slavery and redemption from death itself.

A lamb for each family that crowded the streets of Jerusalem that week.  A lamb sacrificed by a Temple priest.  A lamb that was consumed later as they moved through each symbolic element: the meat, the unleavened bread, the bitter herbs, the egg, the cups of wine, the applesauce.

The disciples were celebrating a holiday, Jesus was fulfilling prophecy.

Then Jesus put himself on the plate and in the middle of the story.

He picked up the bread, broke it and said, “This is my body given for you”. He took the cup and said, “This is the new covenant in my blood which is poured out for you.” 

Only God can make a new covenant. And He did.

After they celebrated the angel of death passing over those homes that were marked with the blood of the lamb, they witnessed the blood of the Chosen One being spilled under the lash of the whip and poured out on the wood of a Roman cross.

It was the last Passover Jesus had with His disciples before He became the Passover Lamb for His disciples and the world. 

For you. 

For me. 

Forever.

And He gave us a new way to remember it, we call it communion.