The Liberty of Christ

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“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then, in the the liberty that Christ has set you free, and do not be burdened again by the yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

This sounds an amazing state to be in and a wonderful way to live. Yet so many of us find ourselves burdened with all kind of difficulties and the pressures of life are relentless. One day passes by another and we do the same old routines again and again. Is this the liberty we are promised by Christ? What am I doing wrong? Do I start doing things less well, or not at all? I cannot answer those questions here, but many of our Christian sisters who have gone before, have been in much more stressful situations than us, and stress is not reserved for modern life.

How did those who worked in fields day after day, for no reward, just keep going? How did those who endured warfare, watching loved ones killed, surviving by the skin of their teeth, remain whole people? Those who went to lands where they were not known, and laboured of souls with very little seeming fruit, what was their motivation for endurance? Women who have suffered abuse and have experienced their person being destroyed through dreadful acts, how do they recover with dignity?

The answer is the same for us all. No matter what our physical, mental or economic state, for the Christian, we are free people…. We may be in bonds of one sort or another, but if Christ has set us free from the chains of sin that hold every human fast, we really are free….

The outer person can be in prison, but the inner soul is as free as a bird… No one can take that away from the Christian believer. Women in difficulty know this, and this is the source of the power they display as they cope with their life situations. It is the same for us. Only Christ will do…

So, if I am a free women, I must think and speak and live like the free soul that I am. It is possible to live free even in dark days. The Apostle Paul encourages us. It is deliberate- a standing firm, and not giving in to myself of anyone else. I am not meant to be burdened down with responsibilities, and there is strength and peace to cope. The feeling of being swamped can just drag us down into the depths, but He will keep us and lift us out of any boggy hole we have got into. The pain of loss and disease can almost crush us, be we are assured that his strength is made perfect in our weakness and he will bring us through, stronger and wiser.

JESUS has set you free, so that you will live a life of LIBERTY and no one can put you in chains again. Do not let them… It easy to follow the way of sin and follow the crowd, and find ourselves fitting in, but the free woman has total liberty to think and say and do the right thing. Just imagine that… the joy that we feel in our hearts and souls, is the fruit of that freedom… Let is stand and walk and talk in the perfect liberty of Gods word and the perfect example of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

JESUS the cornerstone

Faith and fear blog

Peter and John walked past a lame man, as they walked through the temple. The man held out his hands for money…Peter explained he didn’t have any, but told the man, in JESUS name to get up and walk.. The man believed and DID…!

Everyone saw it and as Peter preaches about JESUS, many people of all types, believed.

Peter and John were put in prison and the next day called before the authorities… The authorities were angry because people were believing in JESUS and not following them.

They threatened Peter and John and wanted explanations. Peter said the man had been healed in JESUS name- the only one who could deliver people.

JESUS is the CORNERSTONE- the one necessary stone in the whole building of GOD’S Kingdom. He is the one who holds everything in place and holds the weight of every other stone.

He is our Saviour- though the leaders had rejected Him- they had killed him but JESUS is risen to life again.

JESUS is our trustworthy Lord and saves all who call out to Him in faith…

More than curious

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The authorities were more than curious to know by who’s name and who’s power Peter and John had healed the man who had never walked…

Peter was adamant and full of the power of the Holy Spirit said all was done in the NAME of JESUS. The same JESUS they had crucified and killed, who rose from the dead on the third day, as He himself had predicted.

JESUS was the rejected one, the dethroned king and the humiliated Lord of heaven and earth. Now He is the crucial and load-bearing Cornerstone. Now He is exalted above all and the only one who can save from sin and certain punishment. Only the Lord Jesus can give strength to break the power of sin in our lives and give the desire to vehemently stay away from it.

The authorities had murdered the only Saviour, denigrated him to suffer complete shame, but now the rejected one is their only hope in the face of life and death.

The seemingly weak man was now stronger than any force imaginable, and far above any NAME that has ever or will ever be named…

JESUS, our Saviour and the love of all His redeemed people…

Mercy failure?

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The mercy of the LORD is comprehensive. There are no limits for the people who love Him, and he will keep us as we travel along in the depths. There are many reasons why women find themselves in the dark. The pressures on us are often outside, and demanding that we look and behave in a particular way. The need to look good is a multi- billion pound industry, and the seemingly unending array of new products, keeps us spending money. The pressure to not look “old” is built every time we look at the TV. The idealization of a “fit” body shape, and the business of keeping it that way, causes all kinds of systems to spend money on the necessities of life, extra-expensive…

All this can lead women into dark mind sets and desires, that further fuel the need to work long hours, and focus on the outward appearance of themselves, family, home, car, the list is endless.

Is this how God would have us live for His glory?

“Cast your burdens on the LORD and he will sustain you..” This phrase does not sound like consumerist culture… We all have a choice to have lives that reflect God and his love for people, or lives that grasp and toil for things that do not last.

We all at some point, choose the wrong way, and we find ourselves slavishly treading the mill of work and career, and find ourselves over-burdened and unhappy. We may not even know why we are unhappy, so we must work harder to provide better and make it go away.

When we choose badly and end up suffering the consequences, we have a loving Father who is always there to show us and help us out of the ditch. As we draw near to Him, He draws near to us and as we read His word, He teaches us His way and His standards. Even when things are our fault, his forgiveness in right there when we confess.

So why are there so many still labouring under the heavy load? Perhaps drawing near to our Lord is not that attractive, and we like the idea and feeling that we are providing and organising life in our own way. We are kept bound by the things of this life, the physical, the temporal, and eternal goals are not beautiful to us. Our minds are earth bound and heaven is too far away.

So we can see the root of the difficulty. My eyes are set on this life, and not eternal life to come. We have lost our taste of eternal life, and it has become shuttered over with earthly concerns. Our desires are out of joint with God, our perspective has gone right off the prize we thought we wanted.

At this point we need to take ourselves in hand, and do some serious self-examination. We need to check again that we have faith and exactly how it is manifested In the life. What have I taught myself to be important? What am I teaching others around me? What am I showing my children about the sacrificial Christian life? When Jesus asks for ALL OF ME, what does it mean? Surely He can’t mean everything??

It can get to the point where it is quite shocking… How far up my list of priorities is GOD?Should I have a list of priorities? Who decides what is important? If I put GOD first, then I can put the other things in the list? What things?These are great questions and when we pray and ask God to show us the truths in His word, we are heading in the right direction….

“How great the Father’s love for us…!”

Going on

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We want to be motivated by the right things for the right reasons. If we receive praise from others that makes us want to perform, that puts our motives in question. Nor do we want their negativity to make us want to do the opposite of what is said.

Our focus and motivation must be on Christ. He must be real, close and intimate, so that our walk with him is obedient and sincere. All the strength of a Christian is in him and without him we are unwilling and unable to take the initiative and carry on, because without him there is no point.

Our love for him will fail, but his love for his people will sustain us and create circumstances so that we can continue each day. We  can rely on him and put compete trust in his truth and power and know his abilities running through our veins.

Let our ears be closed to the carping and criticism of the minds of others and ourselves. Listen to the truth of God and seek earnestly to comply with it, and apply it to the will, and then the heart will be warmed and love will grow, even for those who hurt, criticise, and ultimately have no regard for our person.

God has also ordained that we have other people – husbands, children, family, children and a whole network of support in our lives, to guide us, advise us and keep us accountable to each other. It is important that we make the right kind of friend, and listen to the right people and we also must be the right friends and family to those God has put around us.

All those who call themselves “Christian” are not necessarily true or reliable and we need wisdom to see the differences in people and insight so that we can read other people and situations that confront us. Our charter is the Holy Scriptures and in no other place is there to be found reliable teaching and guidance for every kind of believer and unbeliever alike.

It does not matter if what I do is unseen or unknown. The calling is to follow Christ at all costs and to turn our back on all others and cleave to him. His comfort is beyond all description and the comfort that comes from knowing and applying God’s word to my mind and life, is the ultimate joy for the believer.

Finding myself at the bottom, ignored, side-lined and rejected, is not an indication of lack of spiritual life, or devotion, perhaps the opposite, judging by the New testament. Let us remind ourselves to look away from our own position and to look up to the face of Christ. To know him as Lord, is the crucial motivation and that will keep me serving him and following him until the end of the difficult pathway of the Christian life.

Unrest

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A state of mind where beliefs, thoughts and emotions become jogged from their usual train lines and the train (the person) becomes a runaway. Thoughts are fast and dangerous (seemingly) and cause much pain. Belief, cannot be trusted because the ground is unreliable and full of threat. What can we really trust in? Who is reliable and trustworthy?

Thoughts circle in a spiral pattern and take the feelings up or down on a kind of cycle. The cycle repeats itself and a pattern can be noticed. Thoughts are of various types, and can also be identified. This is an insight into the seeming confusion, and gives real understanding of the processing of thoughts, emotions and motivations.

It can also be thought of as a ladder, an ascent into pleasant thoughts, uplift and inflated ideas. Then the mind turns into the descent, which brings pain, false guilt and deep sadness. The menu of blame is the long list of wrongdoings that we have may or may not have taken part in, that it can be used against us by the enemy. Guilt can be real, or false, and painful to sort out.

Only the scriptures can give and teach us the right way and how to deal with blame.  Jesus sets us free as he met all the charges of the accuser and the law, once for all. There is no punishment- only the liberty of Christ. All those who trust in him, know this a reality in their lives. The false blame and reminders of real or imagined sins, are not from God.

Jacobs ladder led him up to the glory of God and he met God there and enjoyed sweet fellowship. When he awoke, he was changed. Similarly a psychological episode can change a person and is like a new start. Sometimes a person might think they have become a Christian again. Throughout life we have a continued progress in the Christian pathway and in our characters, which should lead us closer to the Lord Jesus, and further away from ourselves.

To be like Him, is the Christians deep desire. All others fade, and yet those who also love Him, are companies in the spiritual journey to heaven. To meet a fellow sufferer, can be such joy. There is too much ignorance and rejection of sufferers from mind illness, and they are viewed as weak. We need to reevaluate this viewpoint and allow sufferers to readjust “normal” thinking.

The mind is such an amazing gift from our Maker, yet we fill it full of rubbish and abuse our consciences until they don’t work any more. Perhaps if we all had a taste of mind illness, it would show us ourselves in a new light. We might not like it very much… Perhaps it would jog us out of our complacency and into an invigoured state. We would definitely have to learn to fight better and value the presence of Christ with us.

Women who glorify God