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Consideration of Biblical Scripture Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Be Free

It’s important to remember, amidst the desire to do God’s will, that Jesus died to set us free… not only from sin and death that we would join him in Heaven after our physical death, but also to walk freely now, knowing we are saved by grace and Father God will not let our footsteps err (Psalm 121)

I have a pastor friend who encourages us all, at every service, to be free… free to contribute, free to worship as Yehova leads, free to express and to share. It is not chaotic in the service, it is fresh and Spirit-led, and wonderful.

In our lives too, we must — I must — practice my freedom. When we love God absolutely, embrace our neighbour totally, we are free.

Decision-making can be done in freedom too. For me, that’s sometimes tough. My emotions like to be heard and can get in the way. Oh, Jesus invites our emotions: joy, love; but unrighteous anger, frustration and bitterness are not the things of God. No, some emotions are to be celebrated while others are destructive. Navigating these very human, natural parts of ourselves isn’t easy.

The better we know the Word of God and the more we sense the presence of the Holy Spirit, the easier it is to live free: free to be and to do as He leads, without second-guessing, without self-condemnation.

And of course as I’ve mentioned previously, we are seeking to walk in the New Man, not the Old Man. Our flesh loves to control and dictate our thoughts, actions, emotions. But surrendered to God, we have the equipment to walk in the New Man. That is our aim.

Freedom is knowing and loving our Creator, walking in His will, and living to fulfil our purposes. As we strive to “get it right” we will certainly fail (Romans 7:15-20), but as we trust in Him, confident and full of faith in His perfect will, we will succeed in living a life free from distress.

Be Free: Free to live, free to love, free to walk in holiness as children of God, and people after His own heart.

“This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

“But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:17-24)

And, when you’re a pinch, remember,

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

God bless you in your walk this day and every day to eternity!

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Consideration of Biblical Scripture Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Take Nothing for Granted

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV)

Our faith is strong, our commitment true, so why read, study, pray and praise daily?

We need our lay our dependence totally upon him. As we journey, and go deeper into the purposes God has for us, the way is uphill… not only invigorating, challenging, awesome, but also debilitating, full of the unexpected, and – at times – painful.

We read the Word to discover Jesus and our way to walk; we’ve become committed and know Jesus is our Lord and Saviour, so what is the need for daily refreshing?

We study the Word to show ourselves approved; so once we know the Bible, why do we continue to review it?

We know and trust God’s sovereignty; so why refresh His mind with our prayers? Why are we called to pray without ceasing? (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Because sometimes the Way is stormy and hard, to be full of the Spirit and the Word of God is not only the best way forward, but even the only way forward.

God is all-knowing; he knows we are thankful. So, is it really necessary to praise Him and thank Him frequently?

The answer is a clear and resounding “Yes!” because of the battle between the flesh and the spirit. When I pause from the habit of reading, studying, praying and praising, my flesh rises up and all-so-quickly, my frame of mind shifts from hope, faith and love to worry, despair and fear.

In the battle between flesh and spirit, the weapons of the Word and prayer guard my heart and mind. To walk in His Spirit is freedom, and to do so requires repeated and continual surrender. Yes, I have been saved and am born again (John 3:7), but the process of sanctification – of becoming purer and more holy and loving – will continue for the rest of my life.

As a follower of Jesus, my life’s work is to grow deeper in love with him and to share that love. The flesh cannot do this. So, to pray and praise, to read and study enables His Spirit to fill me. More of you, Lord, and less of me is the heart’s desire of Believers.

So we to study and live, surrendering our flesh; we draw closer and closer to the person God has created us to be: in His image. That’s why taking nothing for granted, we read, study, pray and praise.

Come Holy Spirit, fill us to be more like you. Prepare us for all you have for us, so that we may overcome every obstacle and rejoice in all circumstances.

 

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Consideration of Biblical Scripture Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

How to have a Stress Free Life

How to keep the Stress Out of Life: Your spirit made alive by your faith in Jesus is a key to living a peace-filled life.

Ready: 

We want abundant life, as peaceful and free from stress as the life Jesus led. But we don’t generally experience that, do we? Why not? And if not, how can we get to the sort of peaceful existence Jesus lived?

Our flesh is powerful. The mind, and in particular our will, doesn’t always want to cooperate with God’s Holy Spirit. When we are surrendered to God the day runs smoothly; when we choose to control our day, it can be rough. We don’t live in a vacuum; we can’t control our circumstances nor everyone around us. Control is an illusion and trying to maintain it is like rolling a very large boulder up a very steep hill. Trying to stay in control creates stress. On the other hand, surrendering our will to the supernatural sovereign God of the Universe allows for His timing and His encounters. In my experience, I’ve accomplished more and had a more satisfying close to the day when I’ve lived with a plan that is surrendered to God.

Set:

We can say we surrender… but how do we stay surrendered to God beyond a moment of prayer in the morning (or the night before)?

Fortunately we are not on our own. We stay surrendered, “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the LORD of hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6)

Try this:

still water1. Select a passage of God’s Word and read it. It might be a single verse or a chapter; the length doesn’t matter.

2. Rest in His Word. Read it and read it again.

3. Fight an urge to resist “resting” by telling God – out loud – that you surrender your will to Him today.

4. Recognize a key step….

Did you surrender your will to your spirit and then your living spirit to God’s Holy Spirit? We have a soul and we have a spirit. Your spirit and soul are not the same thing… Here’s how: Our soul is our mind: will, intellect and emotions. But our spirit is another part of us – the part of us that makes us different from animals. It is what completes us in God’s image.

God made us in His image (Genesis 1:27, 2:7) and it is our spirit which enables us to live and move and have our being in Him. It’s a huge topic for future posts. But here I’ll split a hair… (for more see LarusWalk post The Soul and Spirit within)

Just as through our faith in Jesus we have been given eternal life, so our spirit has been given new life. The Holy Spirit is God’s comforter, helper and convicts us when we need it. In between our soul and God’s Holy Spirit is our living spirit, surrendered to God and empowered by Him. Our spirit is unique to us, ready to enable us to walk, not by might nor by power but by His Spirit. Surrendering our will to our spirit is a key to walking in Life, Love and Peace – daily. So, knowing this…..

5. Surrender your will to your spirit, and your spirit to God. Inviting your spirit to have leadership over your soul makes surrender a whole lot easier.

6. Wait. Listen internally for God’s prompting. Perhaps during the waiting you’ll feel a spontaneous urge to sing or to praise Him in some way; go for it! Or maybe there will be a sigh. It is all a part of your private surrendering process.

Go: Now go, give your day to the LORD, and see how easy the day – even with all it’s responsibilities – can be.