Thursday, July 04, 2013

Daily Encouragement (07/04/13) "Glorious Freedom, Wonderful Freedom"

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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Lancaster County Rainbow (Connie Pickel)
Lancaster County Rainbow
Photo taken by our friend Connie Pickel.

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"Glorious Freedom,
Wonderful Freedom"

"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8:36). "For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God" (Romans 8:20,21).

Glorious freedom, wonderful freedom,
No more in chains of sin I repine!
Jesus the glorious Emancipator,
Now and forever He shall be mine.

July 4 is a holiday here in the USA and many are off work today as well. We are planning to have a cookout! It's "Independence Day" which is historically a time we express thanks to God for our political freedoms. Many take these freedoms for granted and may not even notice that they are systematically being diminished.

We are aware that these messages are read all over the world by our fellow brothers and sisters who live under varying degrees of political freedom, some with very little. Most live in countries with relatively good freedoms. Others live in places with religious oppression and in some cases outright persecution. However we really doubt if this material reaches those living in actual slavery, although sadly millions still live under such conditions.

Today we want to share about a freedom that is available to all that is infinitely greater than any political or religious freedoms we may or may not enjoy in this present life. One hundred or one thousand years into eternity I suspect for those who have
surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ; where we lived and the conditions we lived under during our brief earthly sojourn will be of little regard.

Once I was bound by sin’s galling fetters,
Chained like a slave, I struggled in vain;
But I received a glorious freedom,
When Jesus broke my fetters in twain.

In John 8 Jesus confronted the Pharisees and religious leaders of His day who had challenged His authority. The encounter specifically began when Jesus asserted, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (John 8:12). The Pharisees challenged Jesus and the validity of His testimony and of course that has been at the heart of resistance to God's redemption plan ever since.

Jesus taught that those who "hold" to His teaching are truly His disciples (v. 31).  He said to them "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32).  This especially insulted the proud Pharisees who responded, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?" (v. 34).

But Jesus was speaking of a slavery that impacts the entire human race; rich or poor, powerful  or weak, highly educated or unlearned, politically free or oppressed.  People from every background are slaves to sin!  Yet this is the very slavery from which Jesus came to free us: "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8:36).

In Romans 8 Paul is referring to this slavery to sin and the freedom the Redeemed are able to experience as children of God. It is, indeed, a glorious, wonderful freedom!

If you are a citizen of a free country don't take it for granted. Give thanks to God for this wonderful privilege and consider those who sacrificed for your freedoms. May this prompt you to pray for our brethren who do not have these freedoms. Above all give thanks to God that Jesus paid the supreme sacrifice so that we might be freed from the slavery of sin. That's something that we can all rejoice in no matter the political climate of our country. 

Today, are you free indeed?

Christ provides:
1) Freedom from the bondage of sin (Romans 6:18).
2) Freedom from guilt and shame (Colossians 1:21-23).
3) Freedom from fear of death (Hebrews 2:15)

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, how wonderful it is to enjoy the privileges available to those who live in a free country We give thanks for those who enlisted and served in our military, fighting for and maintaining our independence. And how glorious it is to enjoy freedom from sin, thanks to the sacrifice of Your Son Jesus, on our behalf.  Our lives, once enslaved to sin, now enjoy the freedom from that which once held us captive to Satan's bondage. We live in victory because You have set us free and we are now free indeed.  Thank You, Father, for delivering us from the domain of darkness and transferring us into the kingdom of Your Son in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins!  Amen.

Friendly Dave at Mac-It 7/3/13
Yesterday in the course of our chaplain visits Dave greeted me with an extended hand (covered with grease). Dave of course was just having a good time. I give him a pat on the back rather than our usual handshake.!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Glorious Freedom" Video  Gaither Vocal Band

"Amazing Grace - My Chains Are Gone"  Video  CCHS Concert and Chapel Choir

"Place Of Freedom"  Video  Church of the Highlands Praise Band

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Stephen, Brooksyne and Ester Weber 04/21/13
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber

(Click on photo to enlarge)
"We want to encourage you daily in your walk with Christ!"

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Personal Mission Statement
"I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
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