Archives For Freedom

I have always appreciated the “Skit Guys” and their amazing ability to deliver a message.  I recently saw this clip and thought it would be a great way to start this post. Take a few minutes to watch this before you read on.

In all seriousness, fear is debilitating. It is the thief that not only steals your joy, but your ability to live in the present. Fear encapsulates your mind and forces you to live in a constant state of “What if?” thereby robbing you of living in the now.

I have seen it lived out in others and I have most definitely spent my fair share of days living in this state of existence. There have been those times when I have refused to take a step out of fear – fear of failure, fear of others or fear of the unknown. We cling to what we know, what we can predict and what we can control.

When I look back on those times that I took a stance over fear, it is in those times that growth and life truly happened. Don’t get me wrong, success did not always follow suit just because I overcame my fear – but there is no doubt in my mind that I became a better person each and every time.

From starting a business (and closing a business) to jumping on a plane to a third-world country with nothing but a passport and a few vaccinations – God has always brought me through. We are not to have a mind of fear. God has made that abundantly clear:

For God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness; but of power and love and discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7 ASV)

Look back at the call on Joshua’s life and just how many times God told him to fear not and have courage! In fact, there are numerous times in the Bible that God calls His people forth and says “Fear not”.  This leads me to believe that wherever it is that God is calling both you and I too would appear on the outset to be a scary path – however – God is with us.

It is the “I Am” that has sent you.

There is no greater statement than that. The “I Am” has sent you. Rest in that. Take a hold of the power in that statement and know that there is nothing you cannot accomplish if He is calling you to do it.

Refuse to let fear rob you of living your life any further. Begin today anew with a spirit of “power and love and discipline”.

Question: Can you share a time that God helped you overcome fear in your life?

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Spoiler alert, this is one of those posts where I am going to be both transparent and vulnerable. As I am always seeking to grow into the Man of God that I am called to be, I know that being open and honest with my thoughts and emotions are the key to victory.

Father’s Day is one of those days that can open a Pandora’s box of emotions. Some good, some bad. It’s not even the day itself that does this, but rather the very mention of the word “father”.

Whether you like to admit it or not, we all have a father. For some, we were blessed to have a father of integrity and character who loved us unconditionally. For others, the word father represents a gap in our lives. It represents a time of hurt. For some of us our dad’s are simply, in the words of James Taylor, “the same old well-known stranger.”

For me, I have a mix of both. I have my biological father who to this day is the “same old well-known stranger” and I have my Step-Father (who has never been “step” but always loved me like his own). My biological father knows very little about me, nor has he ever expressed interest. My other father took me in as his own son, guided me, directed me and showed me unconditional love.

This dichotomy for me always raised questions during my childhood. Confusion would set in nearly every time I spoke to my biological father. The big question of “why” would take up residence in my mind. Why is he not involved, why does he not call me more often, why does he not ask about my interests, why does he not encourage me, why is he so distant?

And I know full well there are others who have experienced situations with their fathers that are horrific and beyond belief. From abuses to abandonment, the sad reality is, many of us do not have a good basis for what a father is.

So when the moment comes for us to acknowledge God as our father, doubt sets in. What we have experienced previously taints us in our expectations of what it means to call God father.

It’s amazing though how your mindset can shift. When I came to know Jesus, it was God as my loving father that drew me in. It was the concept that He loved me unconditionally. Sinner or saint, I was his beloved child. For me, it took many years as a believer to fully grasp this concept.

Truthfully, I think I was always waiting for God to walk away.

And then, I had my son. My world was forever changed. I remember well crying and praying over him just minutes after he was born. I remember making an oath to him then that I would always be by his side, that I would never leave him nor forsake him. I promised to guide him to the best of my ability to become the man and warrior of God that he is destined to be.

It was that day that I started to fully comprehend it. God loves me the same way. He has promised to never leave me or forsake me. He has promised to guide me, direct me, and best of all, love me.

No matter how your earthly father was, good or bad, God intends to be so much more. He desires relationship.

My prayer today is that we not let any preconception of “father” misguide us into what God has promised for us. Today, be honest with God. Tell Him that you need a loving father, and I promise He will fill that spot.

Question: When did you come to the realization of God’s amazing love as our Father?

 

It is Finished!

April 18, 2014 — Leave a comment

It Is Finished

So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. (John 19:30 NKJV)

Those are three of the most powerful words ever spoken in the history of the World. “It is finished”.

At the time, the disciples watched in horror as their teacher took His final breath on that fateful Friday. Everything they had been taught over the previous years was now being put to the test. Little did they know that this was just the beginning. Some followers fled, and some even denied ever knowing Jesus. To many of them, those final words meant exactly that – “it is finished”. What we had hoped for, dreamed of and desired are gone. Everything was shattered.

But Jesus meant something completely different. Those three words were not a statement, but a proclamation. A deceleration of Freedom, Forgiveness, Grace and Love. “It is finished” meant that we are now the Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, that we are heirs of an amazing inheritance, that sickness and disease must flee. Those three words bring forgiveness, healing, joy, strength and provision to all who simply believe and accept.

The cross was gruesome. The cross certainly appeared to be an unfortunate and disastrous finale. We have to go through the cross to arrive at Redemption.

It’s not over. It’s never over. No matter what you may feel, think or see – the joy of Sunday’s resurrection is coming fast. When Jesus uttered those three words from atop of that cross sitting on the hill, He was thinking of you. All the pain or sorrow that you may have, He was speaking to you – He was paying the price on your behalf and stating that all of the sadness and pain is over – you have an option for joy beyond description, for forgiveness that is unexplainable and peace that is insurmountable.

I am sure for the disciples, this was the darkest hour they ever experienced. It was in this darkness that all things came to pass and the plan of God was finished.

Don’t let the dark hours deceive you. The deceleration has been made. The work has been done. The sacrifice has been paid.

It is finished.

Question: How do you stay focused on the fact that we are the Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus?

Independence Day

We are coming off of Independence Day and with that, you are drawn to take a pause and reflect on what it all means. What is freedom? What does it mean for our country, our society, our way of life, or better yet, what does it mean for me individually?

The sacrifices made by multitudes of men and women throughout the history of our nation cannot be taken in vain. They all had a core belief for the freedom of man. The founding fathers also believed firmly in religious freedom and established the laws of the land based on the doctrines of the Christian Word.

I was reading a quote this weekend by Patrick Henry that really struck me:

“It is when people forget God that tyrants forge their chains.”

Patrick Henry could not have been more right. When you step away from the power you have in God, you allow a stronghold to enter in and a chain to develop.

Bondage can only exist where freedom is non-existant.

Jesus made it plain in John 8:31-32 when He said:

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

A lot of times we tend to grab right onto verse 32, however, we forget the requirement. Yes, truth makes us free – but how do we know the truth…by abiding in Him and His word.

This holiday, I hope you took time to celebrate the freedom we have as United State Citizens. We live in a great nation and that deserves to be celebrated.  But as we move into the coming weeks I encourage you to remember that true freedom can only be found in Jesus.

Question: How do you stay focused on your freedom in Jesus?