Life without Limits
What if we lived life without limits? Not without boundaries, but without LIMITS!
If we are living lives of confinement and limitation, how did it happen? Have there been insurmountable obstacles or burdens too heavy to carry? Or have we misunderstood God? Have we restricted the very lives that Jesus lived, died, and lives again to provide?
My son was born with an open heart and an open abdomen. At 3-years-old, he was too young to understand why he had scars running from his throat to his manmade belly button. Scars were normal for him. In spite of the birth defects and scars, running was his “favorite fun.” He knew his boundaries (he stayed in the yard) but he knew no limits (he ran to his heart’s content). The fact that he had scars did not affect his life.
We all have scars. Physical scars and emotional scars are part of life. We do not have to be limited by our scars, nor do we have to be limited by fear. Hurts and fears can stop us dead in our tracks, if we let them.
Paul says this about hurt places:
“… for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10 (NIV)
I was engrossed in conversation with an elderly military officer one afternoon. He retired years ago, but he is clear-thinking and wise. I was trying to make a decision and was hashing it out with him. Did God want me to take this path or that one? Both options seemed good. (You know how it goes.) After a brief pause, he sighed and said, “Maybe He will make a way for you to do both. When did God ever limit you?”
Armed with his question, I did some soul (and Word) searching. I discovered that God sets boundaries for our safety and well-being. He removes limits in spite of our scars and weaknesses. He gives us the ability to establish and thrive in healthy relationships. He enables us to conquer fear. He moves us to encourage hurting people. He reveals His wisdom. He teaches us to respond to His prompting. He supplies us with courage to pray for others, even when we don’t believe we have enough faith. Endless, isn’t it?
God has given us life beyond measure. Knowing that, wouldn’t it stand to reason that our lives would be enlarged by His gift of life without limits? Wouldn’t those around us be changed as well?
Jesus said it,
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19 (NIV)
My son is a young adult now, and is my constant reminder that we serve a God Who is limitless.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36 (NIV)
Genesis 6:8-9 8But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. 9This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.
In that world filled with violence, where men had corrupted all their ways, there was one man who dared to be different. Noah did not go with the flow of the world around him. He found favor (KJV ‘grace’) in the eyes of God. How could he do that? Just as Abel before him, he looked to the promise of a Deliverer and by faith believed that God would provide a way for him to be righteous. He leaned on the grace of God and not his own good works. The author of Hebrews tells us Noah “became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” That is the reason he could be considered righteous. That trust in God was translated into a lifestyle of obedience to God.
Then we have that wonderful expression that says, “he walked with God.” Adam had walked with God in the Garden of Eden. Enoch, Noah’s great-grandfather, walked with God and was translated into heaven. And now this man Noah, had found a way, by grace, back into the wonder of living communion with God. Because he walked with God, he was blameless among the people. This is the call of God to everyone, to walk with Him, to live in communion with Him. When we do that, we get God’s perspective on our situations and choices. We walk by faith and not by sight. We have a sense of reality that the world around us does not have. The product of living in that heavenly perspective is a life blameless among the people of our time.
Consider: Are you walking with God? It begins by finding grace through what Jesus did for you. It continues with daily communion with Him. Genesis 6:22 (NIV) Noah did everything just as God commanded him.
Streams in the Desert – January 11
Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God (Isaiah 40:1).
Store up comfort. This was the prophet‘s mission. The world is full of comfortless hearts, and ere thou art sufficient for this lofty ministry, thou must be trained. And thy training is costly in the extreme; for, to render it perfect, thou too must pass through the same afflictions as are wringing countless hearts of tears and blood. Thus thy own life becomes the hospital ward where thou art taught the Divine art of comfort. Thou art wounded, that in the binding up of thy wounds by the Great Physician, thou mayest learn how to render first aid to the wounded everywhere. Dost thou wonder why thou art passing through some special sorrow? Wait till ten years are passed, and thou wilt find many others afflicted as thou art. Thou wilt tell them how thou hast suffered and hast been comforted; then as the tale is unfolded, and the anodynes applied which once thy God wrapped around thee, in the eager look and the gleam of hope that shall chase the shadow of despair across the soul, thou shalt know why thou wast afflicted, and bless God for the discipline that stored thy life with such a fund of experience and helpfulness.
God does not comfort us to make us comfortable, but to make us comforters.
Spurgeon at the New Park Street Chapel: 365 Sermons
The war of truth
By: Charles Spurgeon
“And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.” Exodus 17:9
Suggested Further Reading: 2 Timothy 2:1-7
There are many things that should make you valiant for God and for his truth. The first thing I will bring to your remembrance is the fact, that this warfare in which you are engaged is an hereditary warfare; it is not one which you began, but it is one which has been handed to you from the moment when the blood of Abel cried aloud for vengeance. Each martyr that has died has passed the blood-red flag to the next, and he in his turn has passed it on to another. Every confessor who has been nailed to the stake to burn, has lit his candle, and handed it to another, and said, “Take care of that!” And now here is the old “sword of the Lord and of Gideon.” Remember what hands have handled the hilt; remember what arms have wielded it; remember how often it has “pierced to the dividing asunder of the joints and marrow.” Will you disgrace it? There is the great banner: it has waved in many a breeze; long ere the flag of this our land was made, this flag of Christ was borne aloft. Will you stain it? Will you not hand it to your children, still unsullied, and say, “Go on, go on; we leave you the heritage of war; go on, and conquer. What your fathers did, do you again, still keep up the war, till time shall end.” I love my Bible because it is a Bible baptized with blood; I love it all the better, because it has the blood of Tyndale on it; I love it, because it has on it the blood of John Bradford, and Rowland Taylor, and Hooper; I love it, because it is stained with blood.
For meditation: The Christian faith does not change with the course of time; we are still to contend for the truth (Jude 3). The church today has no right to insult the memory of the martyrs by making friends with unbiblical teaching which they bravely opposed with their lives.