postheadericon I Am Free

"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."
- 2 Corinthians 3:17

On the Fourth of July, "freedom" is a word we hear a lot. But what is freedom exactly?

Freedom can mean a lot of things. It can be the exemption from external control, interference, or regulation. Or it can be the power to determine action without restraint. Freedom can be the absence of or release from obligations. Or even the ease of movement or action.

In Christ, we get the freedom from living in bondage to sin and death. Because of God's mercy, we are released from our obligation to pay for the sins we've committed. God gives us the power; the freedom to make decisions that we think are best. We will not always be perfect, but if we use our freedom to bring glory to Him, I think we're doing alright.

"For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters.
But don�t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature.
Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.
For the whole law can be summed up in this one command:
'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
- Galatians 5:13-14

Because we have faith in God, we are called to be free. So on this Fourth of July, think about freedom. Not only the incredible freedom we have living in this country, that was bought for a price. But also think about the freedom we have in Jesus Christ, that was also bought for a great price. The price has been paid already, so do something with it.

"I am free to run
I am free to dance
I am free to live for You
I am free
Yes, I am free"
- From "I Am Free" by The Newsboys

Last Updated (Sunday, 04 July 2010 23:12)

 

postheadericon Move Yourself

Anyone who has ever gone to camp, or a retreat, or on a mission trip can probably relate to the incredible feeling you have the last night you're there. You are so close to God and feel like you're on top of the world, maybe on a mountain. I like to say I'm on a God-high. But then reality sets in. You go back to your "normal" life and start losing that feeling. You hit the valley. And that's often a pretty terrible feeling.

What I find interesting is that God isn't any less with you than He was on that last night at camp, or on your retreat or mission trip. In Matthew 28:20, Jesus promises to be with us always. Not just when we're doing one of those cool things.

"'And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.'�

So how do we keep that feeling of being so close to God? I feel like sometimes we expect to keep that feeling without doing anything. But that's a little bit ridiculous. All relationships are two-sided. So if we want to stay close to God, we need to be active in working on our relationship.

"Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you."
- James 4:8

In any friendship, how do you keep it a strong, healthy, good friendship? You might call them on the phone (prayer), or read a letter or an e-mail from them (reading the Bible), or you might get together (going to church, Bible study, or youth group on a regular basis). If we didn't do any of those things with a friend, would we expect to stay friends? Probably not. So why do we expect that with God?

We can also find an accountability partner. God did not expect us to do this alone. I cannot tell you enough how important that is. I would be lost without mine. I was asked back in high school how I see God the most clearly. My answer has always been that I see God in others. I see Him in so many friends and people I don't even know on a daily basis. So that's nothing new for me. But what is new is that when I sit and talk to my best friend, a lot of times, I feel like I'm talking to God. My prayer for all of you is to find an accountability partner and friend like that.

Just because camp, or a retreat, or a mission trip ends, that doesn't mean God being with us ends. It's just like a saying that I've heard so many times: "If you feel far away from God, He wasn't the one who moved." So look for God today, and do one thing with Him that you would do with your best friend. Start moving toward Him.
 

postheadericon The Big Picture


�Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror,
but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.
All that I know now is partial and incomplete,
but then I will know everything completely,
just as God now knows me completely.�
- 1 Corinthians 13:12

There are times in our lives when we don't see the impact of our actions. But what I think is cool is that God does. He sees how everything fits together; how everything works together to paint this beautiful masterpiece. And to be honest, I have high hopes that when I get to heaven, He shows me how everything worked together for good. Seriously. How cool will that be?!

When you drop a stone into a lake, the ripples of that one stone get bigger and bigger. It's just like that with our actions; whether those actions are good or bad. Something that you do today could totally change the course of someone's life down the road. So don't ever think that what you're doing goes unnoticed, is unimportant, or doesn't mean anything in the big picture. Because guess what? It does!

Drop a stone into the water
And in a moment it is gone,
But a hundred ripples
Circle on and on and on

Share a loving deed of kindness
And in a moment it is gone,
But a hundred ripples
Circle on and on and on...
- Cheryl Kirking

That pretty much sums it up to me. God knows how the ripples of our lives affect the lives of others. Although what we see is incomplete right now, someday it will be complete in Him, and we will see it clearly. And that is something we can be excited about!