Month: July 2021

July 24th – 1 Corinthians 16:13

1 Corinthians 16:13

In closing his letter to the Corinthians, Paul gives some sage advice to all believers. Be on the alert, stand firm, grow up, and be strong. Why? Because the freedom we enjoy through Jesus can quickly be snatched away if we aren’t on guard. Awareness of what’s going on around us keeps us from slipping back into bondage. And keeping a watchful eye on ourselves, our families, and our world, protects us from the tricks of the Enemy. Next Paul tells us to stand firm in our faith. Spending time with God and in His Word gives us everything we need to arm ourselves against false teachers and false doctrines. It also keeps us growing and maturing in our spiritual walk with the Lord. Finally, Paul says to be strong. And we stand the strongest when we give our weakness to God. Through Him we can overcome any temptation, any attack, and any deception!

July 23rd – Jude 1:3

Jude 1:3

Because of Jesus, we now have the freedom of living under grace instead of the Law. And better still, once we receive Christ as our Savior, no longer are we alone, trapped in darkness, and separated from God. Through Jesus, we become adopted heirs into His heavenly family. Part of a wonderful, spiritual community made up of fellow believers from around the world who accepted God’s gift of Salvation. A gift that has remained unchanged through time, and a gift offered to all who have great faith. A faith, Jude tells us, that we should “earnestly contend” for. How? Through disclosure, demonstration, and defense. We disclose the Word of God by sharing with others what Bible says. We demonstrate what it means to be a Christian through the way we in which we live our lives. And we defend God’s truth against all assaults outside or inside the body of Christ.

July 22nd – Matthew 23:4

Matthew 23:4

The scribes and Pharisees insisted that every letter of the Law be adhered to, and everyone follow it to a T. They were pious, and outwardly righteous. And they clung to their self-made rules and regulations. These “religious” leaders heaped heavy burdens upon God’s people, never willing to lift their bondage or lighten their load. And worst of all, these men didn’t even follow their own unbearable rules and inside were full of “hypocrisy and lawlessness.” (Matt. 23:28). They did their works to be seen and praised by men. No wonder eight times Jesus pronounces, “Woe to you scribes and Pharisees”, and calls them hypocrites, blind men, fools, and serpents. For the Lord came to free us all from our burdens not increase them. And unlike the worldly false teachers, His burden is light, and His yoke easy. He is gentle and humble in heart and in Him we will find rest for our souls. (Matt. 11:29-30)

July 21st – Galatians 5:25

Galatians 5:25

We are all born into this world physically alive, but spiritually dead. But the instant we receive Christ as our Savior, we are made anew. Through the Spirit of God, we become born again. We are now new creations given new lives in Jesus, and freed from the bondage of sin and death. But this freedom isn’t free. For it comes only though obedience to God and His will. Because the freedom God provides doesn’t mean we can do anything we want, or live our lives in a manner similar to the rest of the world. Instead, this freedom allows us to turn aside from jealousy, anger, drunkenness, quarrels, and idolatry. We are freed to love and bestow upon others the fruits of the Spirit, including joy, peace, patience, goodness, and gentleness. All of the wonderful and loving qualities exhibited by our Lord. So if we truly live in Christ, and He in us, we will follow and walk in the Spirit’s lead and exercise faithfully the freedom He gives us.

July 20th – 2 Peter 2:20

2 Peter 2:20

We’ve all heard stories about people who after being freed, return to their abusers. We shake our heads in disbelief and wonder why they they would ever go back. Yet that’s exactly what we do when return to our sinful lifestyle of bondage after receiving freedom through Jesus Christ. As believers we are no longer enslaved to the desires of the world. But sadly, many of us go back to the destructive patterns of the past. We willingly walk back into our jail cells and slap on the cuffs of sin. And each time we return to that prison, we find it harder to break free. Because when we go back, our hearts harden to sin just a little bit more, making it that much more tolerable. It is only when we truly believe in our hearts and minds that happiness can only be found in God, can we walk away from the hold of sin and never again return to the abuse from the Enemy!

July 19th – 1 Corinthians 3:3

1 Corinthians 3:3

In his letter to the Corinthians Paul teaches that there are two types of believers. One he calls spiritual Christians, and the other carnal, or fleshly Christians. Both have been given freedom through Jesus Christ. Yet it is only the spiritual Christian who exercises this freedom by walking in obedience to God. The spiritual Christian knows the flesh produces nothing good, and submits to the work of the Holy Spirit in order to spiritually grow. Sadly, the carnal Christian is still stuck in bondage, a slave to the flesh.  A carnal Christian survives on mere “spiritual milk” instead of the soul filling, meaty Word of God. They are anchored to their worldly ways, never maturing in faith. God never wants to see us so easily set aside the freedom that cost Him so much. So out of hearts of thankfulness, may we each strive to grow in both grace and knowledge of the Lord. And may our walk with Him never be at a stand still or a step backward.

July 18th – Psalm 91:15

Psalm 91:15

Living in a fallen world means living with fallen people. And because each of has a human nature, even those we love will hurt, disappoint, and even betray us. Yet there is One who we can put our complete faith and trust in. And that’s God. His love is perfect, steadfast, and true. He understands the hurt of disappointment when others let us down. For His Son too was betrayed by one He called brother. So we can put our hearts in His perfect hands, knowing there is no safer place for them to be. Because God will answer every plea, every call, and every cry. He will never forsake or abandon us. Never will He fall short or fail to show up. And because of our love for Him, in times of trouble, God will not only rescue us, but set us securely in a high place of honor.

Bloom Where You Are Planted – 1 Corinthians 7

 

1 Corinthians 7

During the days of Paul, the city of Corinth was a metropolis of wealth and immorality. A place in desperate need of the church Paul founded. This early church struggled in the midst of a pagan culture, so in response to the confusion of its members Paul wrote letters of both encouragement and instruction. One of the many issues Paul addressed, were the feelings of discontentment that plagued some of those who were still being influenced by a society who glorified the idea of “more”. …

July 17th – Colossians 1:22

Colossians 1:22

Civil war general Lew Wallace once said, “Riches take wings, comforts vanish, hope withers away, but love stays with us. Love is God.”  Love is one of the greatest gifts God bestows upon us. And God’s love isn’t corruptible, conditional, merited, or changing. Instead He loves us graciously, faithfully, tenderly, and compassionately. And it is because of this awesome love that God refuses to leave us stranded, alone, and alienated from Himself. It is why He willingly paid the price to change us from enemies to beloveds. God wants a close, intimate relationship with each and every one of His children. And so He came in the flesh to be nailed to a Cross in order to reconcile us back to Him. Our Lord paid the price with His precious blood to release us from bondage, and present us as holy, blameless, and beyond reproach!

July 16th – Ephesians 2:18

Ephesians 2:18

As fallen beings, we are all born into bondage. Our sin nature makes us spiritually dead in our transgressions, slaves to unrighteousness, and separated from God. This causes us to live in darkness and shame, unable to behold His Shekinah glory. But the moment we receive Jesus as our Savior, the darkness is lifted, our shackles broken, and are hearts reborn. Through His precious shed blood, Jesus provides the path to freedom for all. Freedom from sin, death, and most wonderful of all, separation from our Heavenly Father. Now we are free not only to fellowship with the Lord, but to approach God’s throne of grace boldly and with confidence to receive His mercy and grace. (Heb. 4:16) And through this grace, together we are made alive with Christ, raised up, and seated with Him in heavenly places. (Eph. 2:5-6)