“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1
We all have the tendency to sin, to do things that are not good for us though we may enjoy them, which seems like a contradiction.
That is the bondage this scripture talks about. What’s interesting is that my tendency toward something is different from yours. One person may have one drink and become an alcoholic. Another person can have one drink and never be entangled by it. One person can eat a piece of cake, then sit down and devour the whole thing. Another person can have a small piece of cake and that is enough. Why is that?
Though I don’t have the answer, this verse tells us what we can do about our tendencies……stand fast in the liberty. Christ has made us free from our yoke of bondage to these tendencies. This is a spiritual battle fought in the flesh. We must keep our minds on Christ to be able to stand fast, or in other words stand firm and don’t be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
“And He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was obedient to them; and His mother kept and closely and persistently guarded all these things in her heart.” Luke 2:51
This scripture comes from the story about Jesus when he was 12 years old and his parents took him to Jerusalem for the Passover Feast. It is the last story of Him before he becomes an adult. His parents travel with a large group down there and like with most families when they leave Jerusalem they think He is with other family members when they leave there. When they realized He was not in the group they returned to Jerusalem to search for Him there, they found Him in the temple listening to and talking with the teachers.
What I find of interest is that His parents didn’t really understand what was going on with Him and why He did this, but this scripture says He was obedient to them. He had already begun to realize He was on earth for a purpose, why else would He be in the temple instead of playing with his cousins on a road trip. Joseph and Mary confronted Him and even fussed at Him for treating them disrespectfully. He explained to them what He was doing, being about His Fathers business, but ultimately He was obedient. Jesus is the model of obedience for us especially when we think we are doing right in a situation, but accused of being wrong. Humility is the key to peace and a happy life.
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen as His heritage.” Psalm 33:12
Revival is needed so desperately in our nation right now. When non believers say there is no God and they do things God finds abhorrent, that is bad but there have always been non believers.
When people who call themselves a christian and say they believe in the one true God, but live the same as non believers, that must break God’s heart.
I believe THAT is how our nation is losing the blessing of the Lord. We must return to Him, seek His face, ask for His forgiveness, and take a stand for Him in the culture.
“Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?” Psalm 85:6
We all want to be happy, but due to life’s circumstances we can’t always BE happy. Ah but joy, that is something that is not affected by our circumstances. Joy comes from the Lord and dwells deep down in our soul like a fire. Sometimes the circumstances of life can try to throw water on our joyful fire, but if we know the Lord it can never completely snuff it out.
Jesus tells us in John 15:11 – I have told you these things that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy may be of full measure, complete, and overflowing.
As we seek revival in our country, find it first in yourself, that you may rejoice in Him and spread the joy.
“He said to them, Let’s go over to the other side.” Mark 4:35
This short passage tells the story of Jesus going with His disciples in a boat across a lake. He tells them that they are going to the other side, then He goes to sleep in the back of the boat. In the middle of the lake a storm comes up, a furious storm, and the boat was filling with water. They wake Him up and He calms the sea, then He tells them “why are you so timid and fearful?”
What a message for us as believers. We have Jesus with us in our boat and when the storms of this life come, He will take care of them. There is no need to be timid and fearful.
The end of the story is…..they came to the other side. It’s time for us to have faith, trust in Jesus, and go to the other side.
“So each of us will give an account of ourself to God.” Romans 14:12
Most of us have a banking account where we keep all our money, or maybe a savings account for future use. Did you know you have an account with God?
This scripture tells us we do. Everything we say or do or even think goes into that account.
When this life is over, we will stand before God to go over that account. He will ask you why you did this or that. It won’t matter how “good” you have been. The only thing on your account that God is looking for is the blood of Jesus. That is what will determine whether you spend eternity in heaven with Him or not.
Have you asked Jesus to make that deposit into your account? If not why not do it today?
“If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave and require of necessity My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
In this scripture God’s people are the Jews. As Christians we are called by His name, the word christian means Christ like. Do we humble ourselves before Him? Do we pray, seek, crave and require of necessity His face/His presence in our life? Here’s the really tough question, have we turned from our wicked ways? We don’t really like to think we have “wicked ways”. We all tend to think we are pretty good people. We don’t kill, steal, lie, lust or any of the other “really bad” sins.
As we seek revival in our country we need to start by examining our ways. If Jesus were standing by your side every minute of every day going with you everywhere you go, seeing everything you see and hearing everything you say, would you still be the same? As a believer Jesus IS with you all the time – going, seeing, hearing. Self examination is the first step to revival. Make sure all you do is pleasing to the Lord.