Let Freedom Ring in 2018

Today is the last day of 2017. Tomorrow is a brand new year. It can be a day of new beginnings if you choose that path. Yesterday as I was reading and thinking about the new year let freedom ring in 2018 kept coming to me. So I began to look up different scriptures on freedom. There are many that speak to the freedom given to us as Christians. The biggest problem for most Christians is that they don’t choose to open up the gifts given to them and partake. It is a choice. God is not going to force you to live free. He has provided everything you need but you have to take the steps to enjoy them.

If 2017 was a difficult year for you make a determination you are not going to enter this new year trapped in the unhealthy patterns that you did this year. Walk into 2018 with a desire and a plan to be free from the poor choices that stole the abundance God wants for you.

If there is any verses that come to mind concerning choices these are the two I would say we each should embrace. Deuteronomy 30:15-16 is the first “Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. For I command you this day to love the Lord and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy.” Now, don’t get bent out of shape about the word choices. Command just means to give you a charge. He wants you to understand how important this is. Then the next scripture is John 10:10 “The thief’s purpose is to steal, kill and to destroy . My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”

God has always laid before us a choice. He leaves it up to us to choose. So if you dragged around old stinky habits that produced nothing but defeat and death then make a change. Choose life! When Jesus died on the cross he canceled the power of sin to keep us bound. This means that we can choose to be untangled from the ropes around us. They can be broken because Jesus won the victory for us on the Cross. There is no power in hell that can keep you bound but YOU! Romans 6:22-23 says, “But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Your freedom and my freedom was purchased 2,000 years ago. That gift is there for whosoever will. You have to choose it. Do you want to be free from an addiction? He has provided the escape. Do you want to be free from fear? He has provided the answer. Do you want to be free from lack? He has provided a path to abundance. Do you want to be free from anger and rage? He has an answer for that too!

As the year is closing out why not make a list of the unhealthy choices you want to change. The Bible has verses for every need. If you will take the first step toward spiritual health God will be there. He never forces us to walk in freedom. He has always given us a choice.  “Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples IF you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

It is knowing and choosing his ways that brings freedom. Make the choice for freedom and let freedom ring in 2018! Happy New Year and may blessings overtake you in the new year!

Living by the brook,

Marilyn

God Has Always Had A Plan

Aren’t you glad that God always has a plan? Since creation He has had to rescue His creation over and over again! As I sit this morning in my study on the day before Christmas Eve I was reminded that man has always needed to be rescued from himself. Since the beginning of time the endless stories can be told of how man was knee-deep in a mess and God showed up.

When Adam and Eve made the biggest mistake ever while living in the midst of perfection to this very day God’s human creation needed someone greater than themselves to get them out of a mess.

God had to banish Adam and Eve from re-entering the Garden by placing two cherubs with flaming swords so that man would not be trapped in that state forever without hope of deliverance. (Gen 3:23-24)

When the children of Israel had been slaves in Egypt for a hundreds of years God had a plan. Don’t you know they knew there had to be a better way? Even in their bondage they were longing for an Exodus. When it was at the darkest moment God sent a deliverer named Moses. A chosen Hebrew raised in Pharoah’s palace to lead a million of his own kind to freedom from a horrible task master. (Exodus 3:7-15).

The people of Israel had cried out for a king since the Lord delivered them from Egypt. They begged for someone besides the God whose name they did not know to be their leader. God spoke to Samuel to choose a young man named Saul to be the first King of Israel. (I Samuel 9). Unfortunately for Saul because of his wicked heart his kingdom was taken and given to another. God had a plan all along.

God spoke to Samuel to quit mourning over Saul and choose another to be king of Israel. God had a plan for the youngest of Jesse’s son to be anointed as the next king. David a young, handsome teenager would be chosen and anointed to reign as king after Saul. But there was more to this story because the Messiah of the world would come from the lineage of David. Our Deliverer was not yet here but he was already a part of God’s plan. Approximately 490 years before the answer to man’s salvation would arrive the plan was in place.

We do not always see how God is moving all the pieces. We usually see the problem not the plan that God has. Our focus is narrow and we cannot imagine that the mess can be part of the path for the plan to unfold.

So, those 490 years of waiting became the future. A young girl named Mary was betrothed to Joseph who was from the lineage of David. He would be the father of Jesus. Isaiah 9:6 is becoming a reality. “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called”Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!)

Yes, God had a plan! Jesus, miraculously conceived, born according to prophecies spoken and He came in human flesh so that He could be the One offered for the sins of all mankind in order to bring back what was stolen all those years ago in the Garden.

And now as we celebrate this weekend the Joy of Christmas may you remember this one thing…..God has a plan! He has a plan for you and your life. If you cannot see past the circumstance staring back at you remember that God has not forgotten you. He is not withholding, He is waiting! All the years since creation God had a plan. In the fullness of time Jesus came! In the fullness of time your answer will come. You may not be able to see it now but hold onto the truth found in scripture that God is not withholding. Psalm 84:11 says “For the Lord God is a sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.”

God brought a Savior for all mankind to be the bridge back from what was broken in the garden. Celebrate this weekend with gratefulness because though there may be trouble all around us God still has a plan! One day the Savior of the world will break through the eastern sky riding a white horse and written on His side will be King of King and Lord of Lord! YES, HE TRULY HAS A PLAN!!

Living by the brook,

Marilyn