Saturday, April 22, 2017

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. Four years ago today, 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. As a Canadian, George was honoured at his funeral by a representative of one of Canada’s finest (picture below).

At Bev Shea’s homegoing celebration in April 2013 with Chief Superintendent Ronald G. Mostrey, commanding officer of the National Headquarters of the RCMP in Ottawa.

14 thoughts on “Saturday, April 22, 2017

  1. Have you read Michael Youssef’s book “The Barbarians Are Here”?
    Preventing the collapse of Western Civilization in times of terrorism.
    He calls us to repentance.
    Thank you David for your daily blog.
    Bonnie

  2. God bless you, too, David and Ron, and fellow saints in the Lord! Our God is SO good, amen! Wonderful to read Paul’s teaching in Galatians 1 and 2, this morning. Blessings to all!

    I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Gal 2:20 NKJV (my favourite scripture verse, which I recite every morning, along with the Lord’s prayer and several other scriptures).

    I Have Been Crucified With Christ (Robin Mark) with lyrics
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoZWRfXdh4w

  3. For those who did not see my post from last night, here it is again:

    Thank you, saints, for your prayers for Marc. God has heard them! Marc is still in hospital. The doctors have asked that he be bumped up on the transplant list. He is hooked up to tubes and being closely monitored. Everything may happen much faster than anticipated. If they bump him up he could be getting a transplant ASAP. We thank you for your continued prayers for this to happen. What an amazing God we serve!! Amen!!

  4. Thank you Pastor David for the documentary clip about George Beverly Shea I loved it.
    Beverlee, so glad to hear that Marc has been bumped up on the transplant list. God is so good and He does answer the prayers of the faithful. I am praying for him and his dear wife.
    Glad your are feeling better Irene , have a blessed Day everyone. Eleanor M.

  5. Yes Lord. In agreement with the folk for Marc. I place him before You asking that You take over according to Your Perfect Will. I noticed today that Lakemount Worship Centre in Grimsby is praying for a member of their church (107 yrs old) who is expected to be released from hospital after some treatment this weekend! God bless her.

  6. Yes, have one of George Beverley Shea’s tapes. Have read the book you mentioned Bonnie. The Apostle Paul had some real challenges in life. Enjoyed your remembrances Pastor David. Is good news about Marc Beverlee. Lord bless him throughout the entire process. Got news that one of the machines used in my open heart surgery was contaminated and now will be tested even though only 1 in a thousand are infected. Got another heavy blanket of snow overnight and is still snowing. God bless all saints!

    • Will be praying for your test results, Ger. It feels like snow here in Kingston, too. Very strange spring we are having!!

    • Amen agreeing in prayer with you Ger…Lord I ask for your intervention on behalf of Ger for your protection from that infection, Thank you Jesus in Your Holy Name I pray, Amen!

  7. Thank you, David and Ron and all you behind the scenes who bring us this blog. It is an encouragement and a blessing. I know it brings praise and glory to God, and I am one who praises God for it.
    I pray for strength and courage, boldness and wisdom for all of God’s people; protection and provision too. Please help us, Lord, to deny ourselves; to take up our crosses and follow You as You lead us into doing the work You made for us, and us for. And thank You for all the joy, peace and the wonderful grace You give us daily.
    In Jesus’s Name, which is above all names, amen

  8. Thank you Pastor David for your prayer for today’s blog it was most timely in in my life so thank you again for your blog your faithfulness your consecration your dedication and your commitment to doing this blog everyday thank you very much and God bless you

  9. Thank you Pastor David for this blog and all your comments and photos and remembrances which you shared. Yes, free to be who God created us to be through the Love of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

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