Friday, January 22, 2010

Mid-Day Devotion 1/22/10

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
1 Peter 1:3-5

Through the abiding, transcending blessing of God in His Son Christ Jesus mercy had been shown unto each of us as a new hope came to encompass our lives. Once where we were lost to sin, spiritually dead amidst the power that it held in our lives we were born anew, given a new life according to the grace of the love of our Lord. It was there that we inherited the deep and abiding blessings of eternal life, no longer corrupted and defiled by the power of this world and it’s grim hold over us.

Let’s think about that for a moment. Through one man all sin and sorrow entered into this world, yet by one man was it set to flight, the law which once condemned us, now being fulfilled, freeing us as we dwell in the power of that transcending faith that gives our lives meaning and purpose. The hope and the anticipation of the saints and the martyrs, the prophets and the disciples would be gloriously rewarded as the long awaited Messiah would set captivity captive, bringing the wondrous gifts, the amazing miracle of God’s marvelous love even to the most lost of souls.

And that… that is the true nature of liberty…

You see liberty is not granted or given at the hands of men, nor can it be stolen away from us, or even ripped away from us as some seek to grab a hold of us, choking the life from our hopes and our dreams amidst this life. They may steal our time and our anticipations, they may destroy our bodies and rob us of our lives, but liberty… true and lasting liberty, it does not belong to corporeal frame or the temporal existence, it is the spiritual peace, the transcending love that guides our souls. That is how God can promise it even to the most wretched, most despised and scorned of souls, telling to them that, in faith, they are endowed with the rights and the privileges that come through His blessed inheritance.

That though does not mean that there will not be those who will seek to subjugate and oppress, those who will seek to rob the dignity and the integrity from life, those who will try to make slaves of men and women, holding them captive by the power they have amidst this world, in this age. Seeing the world for what it truly is, it is not hard to see the chaos and the pain, the sorrow and the agony that can be brought to bear in it as darkness forges chains that seek to bind us and hurt that seeks to break us. It is all around us and it hits us in the most significant of ways that bring unto us the worst sort of suffering and sorrow.

We look around and we know that there are always going to be those who are ripped away from their lives and the ones that they love so long as this world persists. There are going to be those who are held by poverty and sickness and disease. There are going to be those who, causing no harm to others, find that still harm befalls them. We are always going to see those who are taken by those who make prisoners out of free men, holding them hostage or trading flesh.

In those moments we perhaps wonder what happened to the just God that we were promised. It seems at times as if He was far distant from our plights and our struggles, from the hurt and the pain that is in this world. In those times we just don’t necessarily know what to make of all of it. We want to believe that He is there, that He is working, as He did in those ancient days as He led His people to freedom from the hands of their oppressors.

Yet just because we cannot see God does not mean that He is not there or that He is somehow absent from the struggles that His people face. The truth of His righteousness is that, even in our most lost of days, even in our most painful of struggles, even when it seems as if the plights and the challenges that are before us as trial and tribulation so easily seem to find us, God is there for us in the most significant of ways to work His ways in our lives, leading us through, guiding us through, lifting us where we have fallen and giving us strength when we grow tired and weary from the long road of this world.

We cannot then mistake the presence of pain and misery, the presence of the old Adversary in our lives seeking to cause our fall as the absence of God seeking to edify us as He bestows upon us His grace. He shall be there for us and beside us all of the days of our lives, drawing all those who call upon His name, all of those who need His mercy and His compassion closer to Him.

It can be hard at times to see what His plan possibly can be, but it is there, even as we find that we are bewildered and confused amidst the wisdom and the enlightenment of this world that demands of God that He adheres to our base perceptions of the way that the world should be, the world must be for Him to abide in it. But, as hard as it may be for us to see, He is there with His Spirit, that blessed spirit of liberty and freedom that He made manifest through His Son, Christ Jesus, to give us a new hope in the love and the compassion, the mercy and the grace that He bestows upon the lives of His people.

Do not fear then when those who are of this world come, for though they may roar like lions, when compared to the power of the Lord, our God, they are nothing more than kittens, unable to withstand the power that He has. Yes, troubles may find us, yes the struggles may be upon us, but through His freedom, as He draws us closer to Him, we shall find the abiding blessing of His hope through the vindication that He offers unto us, whether it is in this life or in the next. What then shall separate us from the love that the Lord has for us, for by Him, through Him we become more than conquerors.

Trust Him therefore with all of your heart, with all of your soul, with all of your might, knowing that His grace shall be sufficient for you as He makes you strong amidst the liberty that He brings, even when it feels as if you are at your weakest and there is no way you can withstand the pressure and the weight of this world upon you. The love of God, that love that transcends all that this world can show and has to offer shall always and forever be with you in the blessings of His faith inside of you.

With that hope, with that faith, with that abundant grace in our lives we then shall never have to fear, for we shall always find that there is a just God at work in our lives, moving through our souls to bring hope to our spirits through all that we are, in all that we face through all the places we are held, no matter how dark or grim the days may seem to be as unrighteousness and iniquity seek to inflict itself upon us.

What a wondrous blessing that truly and rightly must be seen as in our lives.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.


To You dear Lord do we come, seeking and imploring Your mercy in the lives of Your people

For Paul and Rachel Chandler, kidnapped in the Indian Ocean, do we pray, crying out to You as we uplift them in our spirits and our hearts as we search for Your grace in their lives. In such fearful and pained estate are they held dear Lord, as they are left to wonder about their lives, held in the dreadful knowledge that their time is at hand, knowing that it is only a matter of time before their captors, who robbed the integrity of their lives, rob them then of their lives.

Walk beside these two souls, showing them that You are beside them in even these their darkest of days, showing Your grace and mercy upon their lives as He cast Your Spirit upon them to bring them to peace. Spare for them their lives and bring them once more to the blessed liberty that does come through Your Holy Name, guiding them from the fearful places where they have been held in terror and dread by unrighteous men of brutal iniquity and pain. Let them no longer suffer under that horrid estate, but let them once more breath the air of Your freedom, letting them see that there is a just God who contends with their cause.

And if this be not Your will God, then bring them once more to their Heavenly home, to that blessed place where You draw Your people close to Your bosom, giving them the rest and the peace that had so eluded them in this life as they were ripped from all that they had known and loved in this world.

Pain, dear Lord, is always so near at hand amidst this temporal existence. We pray then that You release these two afflicted, subjugated souls from the suffering, so much greater than anything we could understand or hope to bear, that they have been subjected to amidst the mercy that You have for Your children.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.

Second Prayer:

Amidst Your mercy and Your grace do we dwell dear Lord, finding that Your love guides us through all the days of our lives.

It is in that knowledge, in that sacred trust and that blessed hope then do we pray for all prisoners and hostages, all captives and slaves who are held throughout this temporal existence. Hear their names, see their struggle, feel their pain and raise Your Spirit to them, granting them the hope and the peace that comes through Your blessed love for Your people. Let them know that they do not stand alone, but that there is a righteous God of peace and mercy that creates in them a transcending hope amidst the miraculous blessings of His hand.

Cut through the darkness that so engulfs their lives and let them be born anew in the strength of Your miracles as You shelter them in the shadow of Your wings. Let them know that they are Your compassion and that through You does come the liberty and the freedom, the justice and the peace that seems now, in these, the darkest of days of their lives, so elusive.

Let not unrighteous men hold them amidst their iniquity as they bring pain and hatred, darkness and sorrow into this world, seeking to rob your people of the peace and the mercy that you have promised them for their lives. Let them see that they have become nothing more than soldiers for contempt as they rob integrity from life and dignity from the soul. Convict them amidst Your justice as Your Spirit comes upon them to show them the errors of their ways and let them come to a sincere true sense of repentance in their lives, that they may abandon the path of slavery and embrace Your freedom and liberty through the remainder of their days, dwelling in love that lifts the burdens from even the most wretched of souls.

For our dear brother Ed do we pray dear Lord, lifting him and his family to You as they struggle amidst the trials and the tribulations of their lives. Let them see Your grace and mercy, let them feel Your love and compassion and give them that sense of peace that can only come from You as they struggle for answers in the challenges that they face.

For any and all who are held amidst bondage and captivity, whether of the body or the mind, the spirit or the soul do we pray Lord, seeking and imploring Your grace from their lives. Free them from any chains that bind them, whether sickness or poverty, disease or intolerance, that they may dwell in Your love through the remaining days of their lives, knowing that Your hand guided them through the challenges and the tribulations that they faced, showing grace and mercy as compassion came to bear in throughout all the days of this temporal existence.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.

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