No Longer a Slave to Sin
There are times in our lives when we feel like we are in bondage. We may be going through spiritual warfare which can be debilitating. The fight is not always fair. We may feel defeated, but the Lord says:
“‘In that day,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘I will break the yoke off their necks and will tear off their bonds; no longer will foreigners enslave them. Instead, they will serve the Lord their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them’” (Jeremiah 30:8-9 NIV).
Let us thank God that we do not have to stay there. God will raise us up during trouble and bondage. Whether we feel enslaved by the situation or circumstance, we can look to Him for our help.
I remember feeling so plagued by sin it had me bound. I did not think I could leave a life of sin, but the Lord brought me out. I dare not say I am sinless, but I have a heart to repent. I had to remove myself from negative people and negative places. God revealed himself to me and told me the truth about myself and the truth set me free.
I am so glad He did not leave me, and I know He will not leave you. If you are struggling in a place of bondage today, give it to Jesus. He died for you so you can live free indeed. Put your trust in Him and His word. He is faithful and will never forsake you.
He led me to a good church. It’s a place of fellowship and worship. I am discipled there and it feels like home, where I am part of a church family..
I am no longer a slave or an orphan; I truly feel like His child. It was hard for me to accept His love and the love of others because I did not feel I deserve it. But I learned that we will never truly deserve the fullness of His love. I learned how to pray and read my Bible, which helped soften my heart to receive Him. It helped me learn that I am no longer a slave to sin but resurrected to a new life. Old things are passed away, behold away behold all things are made new.
Sometimes we must wait on the Lord and be of good courage. He will strengthen our hearts as we go through trials and tribulations. We must not be discouraged because He is with us every step of the way.
Psalms 139:5-7 5You hem me in–behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. 6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. 7Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
God is in front of you. God is behind you. Don’t try to wiggle out of it, as His hand is upon you. Some will struggle their whole life to get away from His presence that surrounds us, and if they persist, He will give them their desire. We cannot imagine how horrible it would be to escape the presence of our good God. He surrounds us to show us His love and turn us from our destructive ways. His hand is upon us to bless us. Any restraint is out of mercy and grace to keep us from falling off a cliff of sin. God is intimately involved in each of our lives whether we want Him there or not.
Now, consider the billions of people upon the earth. His involvement and love is just as amazing in every single life. I can’t imagine that because I am finite. I am bound to this physical area my body inhabits. What an amazing God!
I love my wife dearly, but I could never be involved with her to the extent that God is involved with me, though that is God’s goal for me as a husband. I love my children; but if I were that involved in their lives they would feel suffocated. That is because my love is so mixed with my own character that is not enough like God’s perfect character. My love often has my selfish motives mixed in, but not so with God. His love is entirely unselfish and for my good.
I can’t escape that love, that presence, no matter where I flee. There is no place on earth to hide, but why would I want to? If I long to know Him better, then this passage is a reassuring promise. If I want to rebel or reserve a part of my life for my lust, then this verse is a dreadful warning. Do you sense His presence all around you, His hand upon you? What a great deterrent when I would consider the pleasure of sin for a season!
Consider: Wonderful or dreadful, it is up to you, but you can’t change the fact that He envelopes you in His presence. Think about that as you go through your day today.
A Meal with Many Names
SCRIPTURE READING — LUKE 22:14-20
After taking the cup, he gave thanks. . . . And he took bread, [and] gave thanks. . . .
Many people simply call this meal the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:20). We do this because Jesus, our Lord, our God and King, gave us this meal. Many followers of Christ also call this meal “communion” because in this celebration they commune with the Lord and with each other, united in love, faith, and hope in Christ and all of God’s promises.
Many Christians also call this meal “the Eucharist,” which basically means “thanksgiving.” When Jesus celebrated this meal with his disciples, he gave thanks to God for it. And ever since then, the church has given thanks to God for providing this meal.
Early Christians had another name for this meal too, calling it the “love feast” or “agape feast” (see Jude 12). In some cases this may have included a larger fellowship meal along with the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. Why did they call it this? Because it showed that Jesus loved his followers so much that he was willing to die to defeat sin and death for them.
At this meal we have the opportunity to say that we love God too. And as we pass the food and drink to each other, we acknowledge that we love (or are trying to love) the people in our church family too.
The God of peace
“Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.” Romans 15:33
Suggested Further Reading: Philippians 4:1-9
Let me briefly show you the appropriateness of this prayer. We indeed ought to have peace amongst ourselves. Joseph said to his brethren when they were going home to his father’s house, “See that ye fall not out by the way.” There was something extremely beautiful in that exhortation. You have all one father, you are of one family. Let men of two nations disagree; but you are of the seed of Israel; you are of one tribe and nation; your home is in one heaven. “See that ye fall not out by the way.” The way is rough; there are enemies to stop you. See that if you fall out when you get home, you do not fall out by the way. Keep together; stand by one another, defend each other’s character; manifest continual affection. The world hates you because you are not of the world. Oh! You must take care that you love one another. You are all going to the same house. You may disagree here, and not speak to one another, and be almost ashamed to sit at the same table, even at the sacrament; but you will all have to sit together in heaven. Therefore do not fall out by the way. Consider, again, the great mercies you have all shared together. You are all pardoned, you are all accepted, elected, justified, sanctified, and adopted. See that you fall not out when you have so many mercies. Joseph has filled your sacks, but if he has put some extra thing into Benjamin’s sack, do not quarrel with Benjamin about that, but rather rejoice because your sacks are full. You have all got enough, you are all secure, you have all been dismissed with a blessing.
For meditation: The God of love and peace will be seen to be present when his people live in peace with one another (2 Corinthians 13:11)