Fall seven times stand up eight.
“Fort Negey was a complex constructed as a multi-tiered defensive fortification,” read the sign at this Civil War Monument in Nashville, Tennessee. After the city of Nashville surrendered to the Union Army, this fort was built in order to defend the city from being retaken by the Confederate Army.
The upper picture is what part of the fort looked like after it was finished. The lower picture is what this same section looks like today. The upper could actually defend the city. The lower couldn’t defend it against anything, much less erosion. Why? Neglect.
Jesus freed you from slavery through surrendering to Him. Jesus also gave you biblical weapons – the FREEdom process – to defend yourself from being retaken by slavery to your drug of choice.
Whether you’ve neglected them or not, a secure child of God, who is in the process of being saved, will keep using the FREEdom process no matter how many times they fall! Going backwards is the only road open to those who neglect to use them.
(I will be teaching a class on the FREEdom process this July 2018. Get more information by simply replying to this email.)
Promises left unused are like leaves floating on the wind.
A life lived by faith is the only life worth living. God made all kinds of promises in the Book of Books; and yet, people leave them on its pages. These promises were made to be lived out through faith based action.
For example, God says in 1 John 1:9 that if we confess our sins, He will forgive them. He wrote it down in blood. It’s there on the pages of Scripture for all to see.
How many, however, leave that promise in black and white by carrying around tremendous baggage from their past and/or current mistakes?
A Jesus given faith is one who takes hold of that promise by confessing/acknowledging their sin to God; and then, believes their sins are truly covered and paid for by Jesus. They are gone. Never to brought up again by Jesus…ever. So, why do we? Leaving that baggage behind is a useful faith.
This is the same process for all the other promises God wrote down in Scripture. How about today taking just one of those 1,000s of promises in the Book and doing what it says; and, believing God will do what He says.
This is the only way to a useful and satisfying faith in Christ.
A full set of tools, when used, leads to successful Jesus living.
I was given sage advice when I started working construction. My boss said, “Son, before you climb that ladder, make sure you have all the tools you’ll need to do the job once you get up there. It’ll save you energy and myself money when you do.”
This is sage advice for believers as well. Before you head out to face the world each day, fill up your tool bag with truths Jesus gives while listening to Him in His Book. He knows what truths, or tools, you’ll need to take with you that day to defeat your enemy. He also knows what tools the Spirit will use to make you more like Him too (1 Cor. 3:10-15).
So, don’t climb up the ladder of your day without your biblical tools. They’ll save you the trip down!
The Promised Land was not taken without a fight. And, it was lost because the fighting stopped.
Repeatedly, throughout the book of Judges, you read where the Israelites would defeat their enemies as they gained strength. But, they refused to completely annihilate them as God had said. Instead, they would enslave the conquered people who would now serve Israelites. Bad idea.
Eventually, the now enslaved made slaves of their captors. This was done, not through fighting, but through compromise. They stopped fighting and started following the idols of their captives. The Israelites exchanged the victory giving God for the gods of the losers.
Scripture says that “it is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” Jesus defeated our enemies. We are free, but not from fighting! Galatians 5:1 goes onto say that we are to fight from going backwards into slavery.
Lasting freedom from all our stupid choices with their negative consequences, has been given to us. This freedom, though, is maintained by continuing to fight by faith with the truths Jesus gives you in His Word. We are to wipe out our enemy…entirely! Compromise leads to slavery, just like it did with the Israelites.
In our current culture, fighting is becoming a by-word and compromise the vogue thing to do. Not when it comes to your freedom in Christ! Compromise in any area of your life will only have disastrous results. Just ask the Israelites of old.
“A ready person never needs to get ready.”
A friend of mine has what’s called a go bag. It’s filled with the necessary items she’d need if she had to leave her home or to go on a trip on short notice. She’s prepared.
Jesus scolded the leadership of His generation for not being prepared. He said they were able to read the signs in the sky (red sky at night sailors’ delight) to be physically prepared. Yet, they couldn’t read the signs of the times to be spiritually prepared, even though God laid it all out in advance.
God did this for at least two reasons. One, it’s a way to show that He’s God. And two, it allow us to express our love for Him through each choice to trust His Word.
God wrote about Jesus’ first arrival. The leadership should have known this and been ready to bow down to their King. They weren’t. And they didn’t.
Will Jesus scold our generation for not being ready for His next foretold arrival? Signs are being painted all over the world and written about in your local paper. Jesus tells the story of ten virgins. Five were ready. Five were not. Is your go bag ready?
Here’s how to be ready. First, choose to surrender to Jesus as your King and make Him the Lord and Savior of your life, if you haven’t already done so. Second, choose to love Jesus each day through every decision you make to listen and follow Him (Jn. 14:23). And third, choose to share Jesus and what He’s done in and for you with those around you.
Don’t be caught by surprise. Have your go bag ready!