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"For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh" (Galatians 5:13). "But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification" (Romans 6:17-19). "Trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord" (Ephesians 5:10).
Over the last several years at various eastern shore points we have noticed that many of the shore workers come from eastern European countries on some type of summer work program. We try to converse with them and learn about their lives.
Last week in Cape May New Jersey I visited with a young man from Bulgaria and inquired about his impression of temporarily living in America. He stated from his perspective the freedoms were greater in Bulgaria and I asked how so. His perspective on freedom was this, "In Bulgaria we could go to clubs where alcohol is served at the age of 13. In New Jersey I have to be 21." Interestingly, he viewed this law as a limiting his freedom.
One of the great blessings of serving Christ is genuine freedom. Many of us have memorized His statement, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32) although I would venture a guess that most have only memorized the last phrase, "You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
A few verses later in the same teaching context Christ shared another phrase that many have memorized, "So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8:36). Jesus is speaking here of being freed from the bondage of sin. In verse 34 He states, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin."
However it seems many see this freedom from the bondage of sin as a freedom to sin. Certainly this is not true for earnest followers of Christ. "For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh". Rather, we are to experience genuine freedom through our Spirit-empowered life of consecration to God which stands in tremendous contrast to a life bound in sin, "For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification."
Our sanctification sets us apart for God so that we are always "trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord."
I'm free from the fear of tomorrow,
I'm free from the guilt of the past;
For I've traded my shackles for a glorious song,
I'm Free! Praise the Lord! Free at last!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we thank You for Jesus who released us from our shackles of sin and provided us the song of salvation. Our debt to sin was more than we could pay, and yet Jesus, who knew no sin, paid it for us. How grateful we are that we have been set free from sin and set apart unto righteousness resulting in sanctification. We set ourselves apart from being molded by the world and the evil influences of our arch enemy, Satan. We want to learn what pleases You so that we daily walk in our freedom provided through the cross of Calvary. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Last week we shared photos of our visit to Philadelphia and the Jersey shore we made early in the week. Today we have a recent collection of Lancaster County photos
Last Friday we passed this old order Mennonite farmer boy who was having trouble with his mower and was working on it as we passed by.
This photo taken at sunset on Saturday night is a little blurry, but Brooksyne was trying to pull Mollie (our border collie) back and snap this photo from our front porch. The green vegetation serves as a vibrant, breath-taking background for our summer photos! And what could be more natural looking than a horse drawn open cart during a lovely sunset evening.
On the way to church yesterday Brooksyne snapped this photo of an Amish family travelling on West Main Street in Mount Joy going to a church service. The children were waving and smiling which we were unable to capture in our photo.
The big send-off! The newlyweds, Jason and Amber, aren't boarding an airplane. Instead they're trying to escape "dangerous" paper airplanes flying overhead and many that crash landed around them.
This last Saturday we attended a wedding in our home church and saw our good friends, Jim and Wendy Gambini. Jim was the first pastor we had when we moved to Lancaster County 13 years ago.
Jim and Shirley, a couple in our church, prepared the delicious dinner buffet for the 180 guest wedding reception. Both are excellent chefs in the food industry.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Glorious Freedom" Video GVB
"I'm Free" Video Gaither Homecoming singers
"Let Freedom Ring" Video GVB
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
(Click on photo to enlarge)
"We want to encourage you daily in your walk with Christ!"
Personal Ministry Update (Revised 10/21/13)
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Our other blogs:
"A Daily Prayer" - A blog simply posting the daily prayer. We keep this up each day since it's merely the prayer from the Daily Encouragement Net message!
"A Little Foolishness" - Humor/satire blog (a great outlet for non-serious writing but at times with a subtle message!) (Note: This material is satire!)
"Clear Minded" - Longer, periodic articles on specific issues impacting the faithful believer and church. (Actually this is my intent but I haven't done much with it!)
"Hymns of Hope" - Brooksyne along with two friends made a CD using classic hymns. Brooksyne tells the background story of the 11 hymns. All of these songs are also available for download on the site.
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."
How to become a child of God
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. Other versions are also occasionally used.
© Copyright 2014 Stephen C. Weber - All Rights Reserved
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