Freedom From What Binds Us


Rope About to Break

My Bible Study Group is studying Daniel, authored by Beth Moore. I am so encouraged when I hear men and women of God show us more truth in a single verse. I love to see how to unpack old, familiar verses and apply those truths to our lives in a new fresh way.

I’ve been focused on Daniel 3:25.

He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”’ 

Most of us are familiar with the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego being thrown into the furnace because they would not bow down and worship the statue of King Nebuchadnezzar.  I’ve read this story many times since I became a Christian. It’s a story we teach our children in church. But there is so much in this story; it applies to every step of the Christian life.

When our heroes were thrown into the fire, they were bound. The text tells us that when the King looked in the furnace the men were unbound, and when they came out of the furnace, nothing on them was burnt – just the ropes had been removed. A fourth man walked in the furnace with these men. Most scholars agree this man was the preincarnate Jesus. Jesus freed Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. He can free us too.

There are many things that bind us. Some have addictions, fears, doubts, or wavering faith. Remember that our Lord is stronger than all of those things.

What binds you? Jesus is more than willing to remove those ropes. There is freedom in Christ. He wants us to be free.

Galatians 5:1

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Blessings on your day.

Daniel, Lives of Integrity, Words of Prophecy,, by Beth Moore, Lifeway Publishing, Nashville, TN, 2006

Scripture: www.biblegateway.com

Image: google images.

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What Is Your Olympic Moment?


olympic-rings[1]I received several awards throughout my military career, but the one that stands out the most was being named “Sailor of the Year” in 2001. In military fashion, the Sailor is called to the front of the formation, and the award is read and presented. For that year my Commander thought I excelled above my peers. I was also awarded a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for my accomplishments. My hard work paid off. I had left my mark. You might say that was my Olympic moment.

Deep inside, each of us we want to matter; we want to leave our mark on the world.

I believe each of us have been created to fulfill a special, unique purpose in life. There is a calling God has upon us that only we can fulfil. God’s Word tells us we are designed for a special purpose. 

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 

Acts 26:16

But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, 

Romans 8:28

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 

John 15:16

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 

Matthew 28:19

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Ephesians 2:10

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. 

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. 

We were created for a grand purpose, or possibly many purposes. I don’t think God uses us for one thing only. God helped me achieve things for Him as my faith grew. We may not stand in a spotlight, but each of us is destined to greatness. There is something significant (or many significant things) that only we can do. We’re designed to make an impact on our world.

What are you created for? What gifts has The Father blessed you with, gifts you are to share with the world? Use those gifts and chase your dreams. Live your life intentionally. The world needs what you have to offer.

It doesn’t matter how big the crowd is. God is cheering for you!

Scripture: www.openbible.info

Image: google images

Storms


jupiter

On the planet Jupiter there is a storm that has been raging for more than a century. The Great Red Spot is the most conspicuous feature of the planet. It’s reddish in color and approximately 12,400 miles by 7,500 miles wide – it’s huge!  It has been continuously observed since 1878. (Source: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/243638/Great-Red-Spot). Will this storm never end?

I’ve been going through a raging storm in my life for quite a while. The details are not important. We all go through storms in life that, while in the storm, seem to never end.

There are several things I am learning about the storm I am in.

  1. God always provides.
  2. He will quiet my spirit when I turn to Him.
  3. The storm is an opportunity for me to grow my faith.

We are never alone during our storms. God is with us through every storm we encounter. The Apostle Paul faced many storms in life. Here is one:

Acts 27:18-25

18 “We took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard. 19 On the third day, they threw the ship’s tackle overboard with their own hands. 20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved.

 22 “But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. 23 Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me 24 and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ 25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.”

The reason Paul was on this ship was he was being transferred to Rome to stand trial.   How could Paul have remained so calm and faithful during these storms? I think the reason is he cultivated his relationship with God so that his faith would not sway during these violent storms. In fact, his faith grew even deeper. (Consider the letters he penned from his prison cell.)

The storms do not revolve around us. We just happen to be in the midst of the storms. What is important is how we react to the storm we are facing. If we look for opportunities to serve God even during the storms of life, our relationship with God will grow richer and fuller, and our faith will grow. The result? The storm will be calmer, despite how it seems to rage on.

Psalm 107:29

He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. 

Blessings on your day.

Image: Google Images

Scripture: http://www.biblegateway.com

Groundhog Day


groundhog

How often have we repeated the same mistake , wondering if we would ever get it right?

Several years ago, “Groundhog Day,” starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell, was released. The movie become a classic. We see our star caught in a time loop and reliving the same day over and over again. Eventually, he re-examines his life, makes changes and finally gets it “right.” The movie parallels personal growth and correct behavior in a most humorous way.

When we find ourselves making the same error, it’s not funny; often it’s tragic. Is there a way to “get it right the first time?” If we heed the advice offered in the Proverbs, we may avoid, or shorten, the “time loop” of errors we catch ourselves in.

Scripture has a lot to say about wisdom, so I started an in-depth study of the Proverbs this year.  I want godly wisdom to be my guide. I don’t want to make mistakes. So here are a few verses I’ve pondered. I would love to know what Scripture references come to your mind.

James 1:5

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it be given will to you.

James 3:17

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

Proverbs 3:13-18

13 Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding,
14 for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.
16 Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed.

Proverbs 19:20

Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.

Proverbs 1:7

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

I’m blessed to have the counsel of my Lord and Savior, through His Word and prayer. But He also speaks to me through the godly relationships I have cultivated throughout the years. Our friends are more than someone to have a good time with. God often speaks to me through them. Thank the Lord for your friends, and nurture those relationships. They are a lifeline.

May we all walk wisely.

(Reblogged and adapted from February 2, 2013).

Scripture: http://www.biblegateway.com

Image: Google Images

The Wisdom Project – 2014


1 wisdom

 ‘Incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding.’ Proverbs 2:2

Last October I read a devotional by Dr. David Jeremiah. In it he discussed a challenge that he said would change our lives: read one chapter of the book of Proverbs each day for a year. There are thirty-one chapters in Proverbs, so reading a chapter a day would equal reading the whole book each month. He wrote that reading the entire book of Proverbs twelve times a year would change our lives.

In my blog post of November 30th, 2013, (https://juliegarro.com/2013/11/) I committed to take this challenge. I just completed reading the Proverbs for the first time this year. Do I feel wiser? No! In fact, I’m more aware of my lack of wisdom. Maybe that’s the point. On our own we are foolish. We need God’s help to live and act with wisdom.

Recently, I began to ask God for wisdom on a daily basis. I think I see things differently with His help. I’ll never be truly wise, but I can make wiser choices by asking God for His wisdom and guidance in all matters.

It’s time to start my reading Proverbs for the second time this year. What will God reveal to me this month? Would you consider joining me?

Blessings on your day.  

Excellent article on Wisdom: http://www.intouch.org/Content/50431/LP130728.pdf  

Devotional: Sanctuary, Finding Moments of Refuge in the Presence of God, by Dr. David Jeremiah, Published by Thomas Nelson, Nashville Tennessee (October 9th Entry)  

Scripture: www.biblegateway.com

Image: Google Images