“For you have rescued me from death; you have kept my feet from slipping.
So now I can walk in your presence, O God, in your life-giving light.”
Psalm 56:13 NLT
I don’t know about you, but it seems that summer has just started and our fall activities are rushing down upon us. For most children school starts in just two weeks. Like most of us, I unconsciously assumed that “normal” life would be resuming by fall. Instead, the trauma and anxiety has just taken on different forms. When will this be over?
The verse above, Psalm 56:13, speaks to us in our present situation. When we feel discouraged let’s not forget that God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, has rescued us from death, and transferred us out of our tombs, the darkness and despair, into his glorious light. Colossians 1:13 tells us that as believers in Jesus we have been rescued and are now seated with him in the heavenly realms, far above all our enemies.
Ephesians 1:3 tells us we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in heaven, and 2 Peter 1:3 tells us that we have been given all we need to lead the godly lives to which we have been called. As long as we follow Jesus, he will lead us in the peace of mind and heart he has promised. (Jn.14:27) Because we belong to Jesus, no matter how dark it may become, we can live in God’s life-giving light every day.
As we study the Bible we learn that Jesus is at the center of everything, creation, salvation and our growth into his likeness. Where is Jesus for you right now? Let’s choose to put Jesus in the center of our lives, of every part, every hurt, every victory, every challenge and every relationship. That way, whichever direction we turn, we will see him and be reminded that we are not alone and he is still in control. We have already been rescued and nothing can remove us from Jesus’ loving, strong arms. We belong to him. There is no fear in his love. He is faithful to guard and protect all that is his.
So, join me in a long sigh of relief. How long will this chaos and trauma in the world go on? We know one thing for certain. Jesus is returning to make all things right, and, even now, we are living in his presence in his eternal Kingdom of light.
So, Jesus, we choose to keep our eyes focused on you as the beginning and the end, and the ruler over everything in between. We choose to trust you, no matter our present circumstances. Thank you for choosing us, and for having a plan and purpose for our lives, even when we can’t see or understand it.
Dear friends, this is a time when our faith may be tested! Be blessed to keep focused on Jesus and keep him in the center of your life. Be blessed as your faith is multiplied and his deep peace permeates your every cell and every thought. You are safe with Jesus. He loves you and he knows the beginning and the end. He will guide you and grow you more beautiful in his presence and life-giving light. Amen.
Mary Sumner ~ July 21, 2021
“And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” ~ John 8:32 NLT
The 4th of July can mean many things to people. This year it meant experiencing more freedom from the restrictions we had to endure the last eighteen months. What do you think of when you hear "freedom"? For decades I was totally ignorant of the meaning of freedom as Jesus' promises in the verse above.
Freedom in the Bible implies profound spiritual release that only can come through knowing and believing in Jesus Christ. Let's just consider a few ways we may be bound up, blocked or prevented from enjoying all the benefits of being true followers of Jesus.
Sometimes we can feel burdened by feelings we have to work, perform a certain way, to earn God's love and approval. Jesus makes it clear in John 6:29, ".. This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the One he has sent." That one is Jesus. We were chosen before we were born. If we believe in Jesus, we belong to him, and God will not love and accept us any more or any less based on what we do. We work from love and acceptance, not for it. That is freedom!
Has your spiritual life become dry, lifeless? In John 7:38 Jesus promises that if we are thirsty we are to come to him and ask and receive the Holy Spirit, then eternal, abundant "rivers of living water will flow from your heart". Watch the new life and excitement spring up in you! Life filled and directed by the Holy Spirit is freeing!
Are accusing thoughts keeping you bound in shame and doubt? Romans 8:1 promises that, because of Jesus' sacrifice, there is no condemnation for those who believe and trust in Jesus. Those thoughts are from your own mind or straight from the devil! Refuse them, confess your sin and leave it with Jesus who already took it. Receive forgiveness and cleansing (1 Jn.1:9) Stand in your new identity in Christ and rejoice in your freedom.
Maybe you are blocked because you can't see the way forward. You have been sitting in the same dark place waiting. Our God is light, there is no darkness in him. (Jn.1:5) He sees the beginning from the end and he knows our purpose and how and when it fits into his eternal plan. We don't need to know the end, just the next step we are to take today. Day by day let's ask Jesus for his word to guide us. Then let's step out in the confidence and the authority we have in Christ to become the women he designed us to be. Plug into his plan and the power to achieve it. Be free from the fear of needing to know and be in control. Then experience the joy of true freedom!
Dear friends, this is a time to be thankful! Be blessed to rejoice every day in your new relationship with God that guarantees your real freedom. Be blessed with overflowing favor and love that is yours in Christ since he has made you friends of God. (Rom.5:11) Look around and see that Jesus likes to hang out with his friends. He is right there beside you and will always be with you. Amen.
Mary Sumner ~ July 5, 2021