Monday, April 22, 2013

FREEDOM

Suggested 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. 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. The documentary is now available on our Crossroads eStore here. Because Bev Shea was a prominent and beloved Canadian, the government of Canada sent a representative from the RCMP to attend the funeral in North Carolina. Below is a photo taken after the service with Chief Superintendent Ronald G. Mostrey, commanding officer of the National Headquarters of the RCMP in Ottawa.

 

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

18 thoughts on “Monday, April 22, 2013

  1. 20-21: “I have been crucified with Christ; and 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 delivered Himself up for me. I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.” Paul’s words to live by also help strengthen me.

    Thank you for your message today, David. I love the photo of you with the RCMP officer–you look divine! Knowing that God’s shepherd, George Beverly Shea, whom you helped tend the sheep with for Jesus, here on earth, has seen Him now, face to face, and is in the loving presence of God in heaven, is a celebration, indeed!

    God’s love and blessings to all, today!

  2. I think the one problem new Christians have is that they aren’t sufficiently grounded in the faith and therefore quickly fall away. It’s my contention that every Church should have a mentoring program or a program where newcomers are offered the essential teachings and resources whereby they can develop healthy patterns for Christian growth and maturity. Unfortunately this isn’t often what occurs. Newcomers enter into the church, continue to feel like they are on the outside track for many reasons, and soon their lively faith turns dull and they discontinue attendance to go it alone. This is a tragedy, for unless the Christian is well grounded, they likely will fall away. We need one-another for community, for discipleship, for worship, for prayer, for accountability and for fellowship . Introductory mentoring programs (for both young and old) are essential in a well grounded Bible Church, as a result, fervency for the faith and growth will surely follow.

    • I agree Scott. My own personal experience can attest to what you say. As a new Christain with no previous Christian background, I fell away for a time, and then struggled for a few years to find my way as a new believer, because there was no follow up to help me get grounded and stable in this new life as a believer. It was not until a few years later at another church in a different province that there was a study follow up called “New Life Studies” that helped me get grounded and rooted in my walk with the Lord. We do need to support one another and reach out to those who are just coming into a life walking with Jesus.

  3. What a wonderful tribute and honour to George Beverly Shea! I look forward to seeing the interview. A good memory verse was read today in Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Every once in a while it is important to reflect back on the complete abandonment we experienced with Christ when we first accepted Him into our lives and to know He is still there for us as He was then and always will be. Have a great day in Christ to all fellow bloggers!

  4. Amazing picture. I do wonder why the Canadian media did not get involved. He was a remarkable Canadian. He has great reward and acknowledgement in heaven, we know.

  5. Galatians is an amazing book. Max Lucado call it the Emancipation Proclamation for the church. Amazing how the Apostle Paul went into Arabia and back to Damascus and never contacted the apostles in Jerusalem for three years. He was convinced of his revelation of Jesus Christ. Like us, as you said David when we first were saved. And this blog is helping us to get grounded even deeper. Peter is afraid again and denying the Lord in a sense along with Barnabus and other Jews. But then I can’t judge too harshly; just some reflection. Like your smiling face, David. You are an inspiration to keep going. God bless you all. Lord reveal yourself to us in the book of Galations. Amen!

  6. Yesterday I promoted the distribution of the Not Suicide books at our All Saints South Grenville Parish service at St Paul’s in Cardinal, Ontario.
    I was pleased to mention our wonderful trip to the Holy Land with you and Norma-Jean last November and I mentioned to the parish family that I consider you to be the Billy Graham of Canada. The picture of you with Chief Superintendent Mostrey confirms that in my mind.
    Shalom,
    Graham.
    2012 Yellow Bus

  7. What wonderful words from Galatians 1-2. Let us all hold firmly to the joy we have in Jesus.

    Thank you once again David for sharing….you truly are an inspiration as our fellow bloggers say. Great picture of you and the RCMP Chief Superintendant.

    Can you imagine George Beverly singing in heaven now??? Bless your day fellow bloggers.

  8. HI David .M. and all you wonderful bloggers, Scott you are so right about
    being grounded in the Word right after conversion, I needed that and didn’t
    so I took a course from 100 Huntley St. and that was a good start, and than
    a Bible believing church realy helped me.N ow of course David’s blog,
    what a great help this , thank youDavid and all you bloggers God Bless you all ..R..

  9. My husband and I watched the documentary on the life of George Beverly Shea on Saturday night and were very blessed by it. It was so well made.
    Then Bill Gaither had another hour long special on him, also. It was a blessing to watch both of these. I just wanted to thank everyone who worked so hard on them. They were a job well done!

  10. Your blog today as many other times previously, brought tears to my eyes. First to be so honored to celebrate with the world the life of GB Shea…what a man of God. What a testimony to the whole universe. Just as you are, David. Thank you for that verse which reminds me that I am nothing without our Christ Jesus and all my works are nothing without His mercy. I pray that I will be renewed again as I was when I experienced the day of His saving grace. Be blessed, my brother.
    Titus3:5:

  11. I agree with the other bloggers in giving thanks for you and appreciating you and your family( as well as the Crossroads family) and everything you do. I thank my God upon every Remembrance of you! It is wonderful to see the great picture also, and to know that you were able to be there.

  12. Dear David iust want to say thank you for all the years you have given to Canada, and the rest of the world. i am a new christian, and learing daily through this blogg how to be anchored in the word. the encouragement i have received during these months of the 100 words and the fellow bloggers have truly brought be so much closer to my relationship with the Lord. i pray for you David and your family that the Lord would continue to use your life to win souls and bless others for i have surely been blessed by you.

  13. Another excellent reading and blog today. I am very late reading today so I get to read all the blog buddies’ replies and comments. I agree with them all. I too wished the media has mentioned the passing of GB Shea, this great man of God, after all he was a Canadian just like Rita MacNeil was. God bless each one.

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