From Slavery to Royalty

Galatians 4:7   (NLT)   Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.

Praise God, we are now His children; we’re no longer slaves. He made a way. Transformation from slavery to royalty would have been way more than enough blessings to last for eternity, but there’s more; He also made us His heirs. That’s a proof Galatians 4.7 - From Slavery to Royaltythat us being His children isn’t just a joke; He isn’t kidding around; it’s as true as true can be.

God—the Father of creation is now the Father of our spirits. He is our loving and powerful emancipator. Our sovereign God—He Who lives completely free bought and brought us our freedom. In the fullness of time, in His perfect, surprising, and yet painful way, He gave us His only and beloved Son. Our precious Lord Jesus lovingly and willingly left His throne of glory, became like one of us, and offered His very own life as a sacrificial payment for our sins.

We are free spirits. We are free from the power of sin, from the penalty of sin, and will eventually be free from the presence sin. We are free from the Law—no longer bound and subjected to it. We are delivered from its curse.  We are not children under Law, we’re children of promise. We’re not children of Hagar; we are children of Sarah. We are not from Mount Sinai we are from heavenly Jerusalem.

We’ve been powerfully and mercifully liberated by our Almighty loving God and Father. We don’t use our freedom to indulge our sinful desires; we don’t allow ourselves to be entangled again to the yoke of slavery. It’s for freedom our precious Lord Jesus set us free. We’ve been freed; we are free; we stay free. We’re enjoying our prized liberty as God’s children, enjoying our inheritance, blessing and serving others with them, and looking forward to infinitely more.

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Living Out Our Holiness

Leviticus 20:26   (NLT)   You must be holy because I, the Lord , am holy. I have set you apart from all other people to be my very own.

God wants us restored to the highest quality of being and existence. He is a holy God Who wants us to be holy. Holiness is a good thing; it isn’t a cage constricting us from doing things we like doing; it does however restrict us from doing things that enslave us. Leviticus 20.26 - Living Out Our HolinessHe created us in His image; that image was marred by sin. But now as believers, He has again made us holy and he wants us to live in and live out that holiness.

God has called us unto himself—a peculiar people, a holy nation, a people belonging to Him—different and separate from the world. We have very different standards from the world; we have different ways of thinking; different perspective; different worldview, different ways of doing things. It is not our aim to be like the world; our aim is to be increasingly more like our Lord—in perfect holiness and righteousness.

So, we don’t pursue what the world pursues; we don’t desire what the world desires. It isn’t our pursuit to have flashy, luxurious, expensive cars like the world does. We don’t pursue humongous houses like the world does; we don’t pursue fame and fortune, accolades and applause like the world does. I’m not implying that luxury, fame, and fortune are innately evil. But they are not where our hearts are. Our hearts and minds are set on the prize of the high and upward calling of our God in Christ Jesus. We don’t share the world’s ungodly value system; we are unique; we live in God. We don’t make up rules to fit our wishes and whims; if everyone does that, the world will be in total chaos. We have an authoritative moral compass—His Word.

We don’t sacrifice our values at the altar of the majority, peer pressure, or political correctness. For us, murder is wrong, whether they be adults or babies—in the mother’s room or outside of the mother’s womb. For us, having sexual acts with a person not your spouse is immoral. We love it that we, our spouses, and our children don’t go around hopping from bed to bed with just anybody we or they like. We are called to keep our marriage bed undefiled and pure for the person we love—the person we have vowed and dedicated our lives to—for a lifetime. We operate in love, not lust, not greed. For us, giving is more blessed then getting. We love our enemies, bless those who curse us, pray for those who persecute us. We don’t take revenge, but we trust in our God and His justice.

We are God’s people. We belong to him. There only two choices: Him or anything else—to be holy like Him, and to be unholy like the world. We choose Him.

 

Today, We Prepare

Hebrews 3:13   (KJV)   13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

One glorious day, we will be meeting our long-awaited beloved Lord, beholding Him with our very eyes, to spend time with Him and with our God for eternity. That will be one day, and we pray, one day soon. Today, we prepare.

exhortPart of our proper preparation is urgently exhorting and warning each other daily to be passionate about our God and His Word; to be watchful and vigilant against the insidious tactics and hideous attacks of our enemy.

God has powerfully set us free; we live in freedom. We don’t unwisely subject ourselves again to the cruel sin overlord. In freedom; we’re repeatedly commanded to be careful, to guard our hearts, to make sure our hearts don’t get hardened by sin’s deceitfulness, and cause us to turn away from God.

We aim to be faithful to our Lord, to fight the good fight, to finish the race, to keep the faith, to trust Him as firmly as when we did at first—even more. We don’t make light of the admonition for us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, to strive with the power of God’s Spirit that’s continually working in us to will and do what pleases Him. These we restfully do—in freedom, in His grace.

Out of Comfort Zone

Job 31:34   (KJV)   34 Did I fear a great multitude, or did the contempt of families terrify me, that I kept silence, and went not out of the door?

Job was asking a rhetorical question. He didn’t fear what people would say or how people would act towards Him—even unfavorable ones. He obviously cared for His reputation—and rightly so; we’re called to let our light shine before men—not for self-タマゴglorification, but for God’s glory. But He didn’t allow anyone to paralyze him to seclusion.

Not everyone is a people person. This is me. I’d rather be in my room or alone rather than socialize—even in party settings. I believe there are many others like me. But we don’t allow this to derail us or shun us from our responsibilities, mission, calling, and destiny. Our destiny is too great for us to allow others to steal it away from us. No, no threat from them, no amount of demeaning criticisms—truth or lies, no belittling looks, no smirks, no condemning accusations will keep us trapped in our comfort zones. We won’t be kept hiding “behind doors.” We break out of it, we grow, we broaden our horizon, and we keep moving farther, higher, deeper, bigger.

Dear God, we realize that You’ve created everyone of us differently—fearfully and wonderfully, but differently nonetheless, and that’s good; that’s very good; that’s how You operate. May we never complain about the way you designed us, rather, may we seize the strengths and the good about our personalities and use them as leverage to take us to each higher step. May we never make a “god” out of people by abdicating our future into their control. With You always being with us, may we face every situation and every person with a realistic yet faith-filled attitude about ourselves, about others, and about life as we keep progressing in our journey—facing each challenge day after day with neither fear nor intimidation, but with courage and boldness. It will take a lot for many of us to develop such attitude, but all things are possible with You and for those who believe in You.

Healing – The Jesus Way

Mark 5:23   (KJV)   “And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.”

Jairus, whose daughter was extremely sick—to the point of death, had faith in Jesus. Interestingly, somehow he found it necessary for our Lord Jesus to lay hands on his Mark 5.23 - Healing - the Jesus Waydaughter. It was through such gesture of our Lord that he believed his daughter will be healed.

I don’t ever want to criticize anyone who does things differently in relation to their ways with the Lord. As long as the bottom-line, necessary, non-negotiable doctrine is on target, we celebrate the differences in the body of Christ. To be clear, I had spiritual traditional beliefs and practices I eventually found out were abominable to God. When I thought I was pleasing God and was getting closer to Him, I was incurring curses upon myself. But among true believers, we believe the same essential doctrines. Often, it’s only the expressions of our beliefs that vary.

The woman with an issue of blood for twelve years believed that if she could only touch the hem of Jesus’ garments, she would be healed, and she got healed after she did it. It differed from Jairus’ perceived effective method. Both of them though anchored their faith on the Person of Jesus. And none of their preferred process was anti-God or anti-Scripture.

Laying on of hands for healing–whew. We feel like if we do, we identify with a denominational persuasion where this practice is common. But why hold back? Let’s celebrate those denominations for getting there ahead of us; they’re not our competition, although, sad to say, others treat them even as enemies. Jesus spoke to sickness; He laid hands on the sick. If He did, I guess there’s nothing wrong with it. In fact, many of us have done it, and we’ve witnessed people getting healed. Our faith is in our Great Physician; and we just employed the simple WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) principle in the right context.

Prison/Freedom House

Acts 28:30   (KJV)   And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him.

Acts 28.30 - Prison-Freedom HousePaul was on house arrest—it was a house he rented himself. That “prison house” also became a “teaching house.” The house had the apostle kept in it, but the apostle had the Lord and the Lord’s Word in him. The place that represented bondage also became a house where many found freedom.

No one can fully imprison those born of God’s Spirit. Our freedom isn’t rescinded by geography. We’re free wherever we are. Our ultimate mission is to tell others about the Good News of Salvation found in our Lord Jesus, and to teach His commands to everyone. No person, no place, no time, nothing can stop us from accomplishing our mission. We of course use wisdom in all these. The highest purpose and greatest profitability of our resources–love, knowledge and wisdom, strength, finances are served in living out our ultimate mission. That explains our zealous willingness to be totally “poured out” for God.

Our dear heavenly Father, thank You for the freedom you’ve given us—freedom that no one and nothing can take away. May we as Your people always be excited for the privilege, opportunity, and honor of using our resources for their highest purpose—freedom/salvation of the lost, and growth of Your people.

Love Over Freedom

Romans 14:15   (NIV)   15 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died.

We’re aware that fellow believers can still be distressed. And the cause of each other’s distress can be each other. To be such a cause equates to being unloving in our actions. The mandate is clear: our freedom in Jesus ought to not cause anyone to be distressed or Romans 14.15 - Love Over Freedomdestroyed. Our souls are way more precious than any food, drink, or anything this world has to offer.

Our Lord Jesus has set us free, and whoever He sets free is truly free. It is for freedom itself that He set us free; that speaks of the great value of freedom. But there’s something of greater worth than that: souls. God loves each of us tremendously, that explains the rationality of our precious Lord Jesus willingly leaving the glories of heaven to seek and to save the lost by sacrificing His life as a ransom payment for us.

We as His children understand His indescribable love—not totally—but enough to know that it’s great beyond measure. Having this set in our hearts and minds, we’re willing to sacrifice our freedom to protect others, especially our spiritual family. Sure, everything is permissible for us, but we understand that not everything is beneficial. Sure, we’re free to do anything, but we’re aware that there are things that can be destructive instead of constructive; there are things that can get us enslaved or addicted, there are things that can cause others to stumble, and there are things that just plainly don’t glorify God. Having the heart of God for His children, we willingly submit our liberty to love if a choice has to be made.