Monday, April 22, 2019

FREEDOM

Today’s Reading: Galatians 1-2

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

In today’s reading, Paul refers to Antioch (Galatians 2:11), which was the base for Paul’s missionary journeys, and where Jesus’ followers were first called “Christians” (Acts 11:26). This photo shows an overview of the modern city of Antakya, Turkey, which is in the area of ancient Antioch.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Galatians 1:6

I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel.

 

As believers in Jesus, can we recall the first days of our lives as Christians…days of enormous joy and peace? This should be particularly memorable if we came to faith in our late teens or older. There is an immense freedom we felt when we realized that Jesus loves us just as we are. We need to ask ourselves, “Am I still full of that joy, peace, freedom and sense of acceptance?” For many Christians, these important things quickly fade as the enemy sneaks in like a thief and steals these precious gifts from God.

This is what happened to the Galatian Christians. They had discovered the freedom that was available in Christ but soon turned to “another gospel,” which was no gospel (“good news”) at all. They started out well and wanted to please God, but they became joyless legalists as their lives became focused on merely following a set of rules. Paul wrote some very hard words to these brothers and sisters in Christ. He told them, clearly and directly, that they were wrong. He called them back to the freedom that was theirs in Christ, to the joy of serving Jesus, not because of bondage to duty, but because of the love of God and the power of the Spirit.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, I pray for a daily renewal of Your life, Your joy, Your peace, and Your love! I need You, Lord. Thank You for Your promise of Your presence! Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

At 13 years old I joined the Church. I tried to live in a way that was pleasing to God, but by the time I was 15, I gave up. It was too hard to always do what was right. I was placed in a Christian boarding school for my Grade 11 high school. I really messed up, sufficiently enough to have me removed from the school. Therefore, I had no alternative but to move in with my sister Willa and her husband Harold Hodgins. I enrolled at the Pembroke Collegiate, and this was destiny for me. There were four Christian teenagers in my class, one Baptist and three Pentecostals. I watched them closely for three months, and then came my night of decision. I understood clearly for the first time that my salvation was totally the work of Jesus and not by my behaviour. My first public confession of faith was at a Youth For Christ rally in the high school auditorium. It consisted of one sentence from the Bible, words which have reinforced my faith ever since. Paul’s letter to Titus, chapter 3, verse 5: “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy, He saved us.”

Yours for learning the lessons which the Apostle Paul taught,

David

P.S. I had the honour of attending the glorious home-going celebration for George Beverly Shea in April, 2013. At 104 years old, God called him home. He and I had similar backgrounds. We’ve compared notes several times. I hosted a documentary on the life of this man who has sung in person to more people than Elvis, The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, and The Rolling Stones combined! He served for 60 years as Billy Graham’s soloist, and much more. For a 2013 video of Will Graham and I showing clips from the documentary, click HERE. As a Canadian, George was honoured at his funeral by a representative of one of Canada’s finest (picture below).

At Bev Shea’s homegoing celebration in April 2013 with Chief Superintendent Ronald G. Mostrey, commanding officer of the National Headquarters of the RCMP in Ottawa.

4 thoughts on “Monday, April 22, 2019

  1. Great scripture, message and prayer. Happy Easter Monday, fellow saints in the Lord. May His spirit and light shine through you, today. Dark, rainy day here in the County. God’s blessings on you.

    Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Psalm 103:2 ESV

    10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) – Matt Redman
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXDGE_lRI0E

  2. How joyful that we have this Easter celebration each year.
    Another meaningful quote from the Dr. Denison forum:

    Phillips Brooks.
    Solomon observed: “Everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man” (Ecclesiastes 3:13). If I do not find joy in the vocation to which God has called me, I dishonor the One who has assigned it to me. William Barclay was right: “A gloomy Christian is a contradiction in terms.”
    When Christians are relevant, gracious, and joyful followers of the risen Christ, the world will know: He is risen, indeed.

  3. I hope everyone observed and enjoyed a meaningful weekend.Thanks,beverlee for one of my many favorite songs.God bless
    The proof that He ‘is risen’ is “us”.If He had not been resurrected then Christianity would have no roots.Jesus would have been thought of as just a well meaning but deluded teacher.But the laugh is on them.There were too many witnesses who saw Him after He arose.That is why no writer of the time tried to deny what happened and,no doubt,why Christianity flourished.His arising was the rocket that launched our faith.Praise God !
    I was one who came to faith late in life.I used to speak to the Father all the time but knew little of Jesus (although I knew enough to pray in His name.)It wwas through Day Star and TBN,on Galaxy 19 satellite (before they were on mainstream TV.) that I watch.ed Christian programing.My faith was growing with some knowledge learned there when my neighbour (now best friend) invited me to their church.About 3 Sundays after I attended I felt the greatest warmth come over me and ‘knew’ that is where ‘I belonged’.I. did not know then it was the Holy Spirit.Much is left out but now I,after the second time it was offered to me,am a deacon in that little church.(a larger church would have better pickins,lol.)
    ‘Tis my 3rd time through the bible and just now noted that Paul had been preaching independently from the apostles for 3 years while doing so correctly.(What does that tell you?) Amazing !How did I miss that before?
    We had a great breakfast with our other 2 churches at our church yesterday followed by a sound teaching from a gifted teaching pastor.(Nobody ever brings it up but our ”teacher’s” name is Christopher [Chris].)

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