Wednesday, April 22, 2015

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. Two years ago yesterday I had the honour of attending the glorious home-going celebration for George Beverly Shea. 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. It isĀ available from our Crossroads e-storeĀ HERE. As a Canadian, George was honoured at his funeral by a representative of one of Canada’s finest. I’ve put on 40 pounds since the picture below.

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

10 thoughts on “Wednesday, April 22, 2015

  1. Hello!,

    I just had to write and say what an amazing voice George Beverly Shea had. So vibrant and so strong! Sadly I never heard him sing while he was here with us on earth. However, I did listen to him sing via the link David sent to us today and I have to say his voice was just as amazing at 103 as his voice was back in 1957! God Bless George Beverly Shea!

    Vicky

  2. WOW!
    You look so much better today than two years ago. What a living testimony to the power of prayer. It is truly “jaw dropping remarkable”.
    Shalom,
    Graham.
    2012 Holy Land Yellow Bus.

  3. Thanks for sharing that clip with us, David. Praise God for your health and wellness, two years later–amen!!

    The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” Jer 31:3

    Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Isa 41:10

  4. Appreciated the being to view Bev Shea’s funeral service…thank you!

    Great picture of!!

    Reading the scripture in Galatian’s was a blessing…uplifting. I prayed Galatians 2:19-21.

  5. I have been in hospital for a week. So happy we are in Galatians Please pray for me as it was a difficult time. I . I know the Lord was with me and there is purpose in it all. God bless all the bloggers and Pastor
    David.

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