Friday, February 5, 2010

Mid-Day Devotion 2/5/10

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Galatians 3:28

For us… freedom is nothing that comes easily, nor is it anything that comes through simplicity. We do not offer equality between men lightly. Our concepts of liberty and justice, tolerance and acceptance, it comes despite of us, not because of us, through the careful evolution of our society after generations of struggle and challenge. It all comes despite our perceptions, despite our baser human nature, through the trials and the tribulations of this world to change the fundamental view that we have of it, altering our hearts and changing our souls in the process.

It comes because of the transformative, wondrous nature of the Lord, that Spirit of our God working within us to create in us a new heart amidst the new hope that we have in our new lives. (1 Peter 1:3) where we have fallen or faltered before in the past, where we have come short of the grace and the mercy of the Lord amidst our own sinful nature, it is the transformative presence in our lives that teaches unto each of us how it is that we are to love our fellow man. (John 13:34-35) Finally then are we able to put behind us the sinful nature of our past and move to the glorious triumphs that we find in the blessed unity, the blessed fellowship of mankind amidst the love that He has for us.

Yet for God Himself, for our blessed Heavenly Father, there was never a time when freedom and equality was hard for Him. He formed all mankind by His own hand, lifting the first man and woman from the dust as He created them in His own image. (Genesis 1:27) For Him they had always been equal, there was no slavery, no bondage, no intolerance, no separation or distinction that would rob any of the value or the integrity that the Lord had given to their lives. All were formed with a purpose, one that would be laid out even at the moment of their first conception, while they still found themselves in the womb. (Jeremiah 1:5)

Perhaps man puts his own value or worth on life, perhaps man is willing to make slaves of others, or to hold them in dark bondage. Yet the Lord God Almighty, caring and loving, full of grace and mercy, compassionate to the cause of His people as He vigilantly stands by their side, never smiles upon the face of such tyranny and oppression.

Consider, for a moment, the words of the Lord:

“Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant.” (1 Corinthians 7:21-22)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:3)

“Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.” (Ephesians 6:8)

For God all are equal, there are no distinctions between people, and they are all equally entitled to the abiding blessings, the wondrous miracles of His love as He contends with their cause, offering unto them freedom and liberty, justice and tolerance through Christ Jesus, His son, who washes away the darkness and the iniquity of this world to ransom even the most lost, even the most pained of souls. It is through that blessed Son that captivity is set captive as ascended on high to pave the path for us to our Heavenly Home. (Ephesians 4:8)

It is through this that we know that this world, though it may come with power and authority, though it may seek to devour us whole, though it may come with strength and might, has no claim over us. Yes, unrighteousness may seem to be on the rise, and darkness may seem to be on the march but through the freedom that is offered in the Lord, and the blessed equality that we receive in the Son we know that it shall have no power over any. While sin and transgression falls, the grace of the Lord stands making even the weakest strong as it heals the most pained, the most wounded of souls.

Through this it is then that we know that vindication shall come to the captive and the slave, to the hostage and the prisoner as all the chains that bound them, all the darkness that encompassed them are put to flight, leaving nothing but the compassion of the Lord as His Spirit moves through their hearts to bring them to His transcending peace. Then shall they know that justice has come to bear in their lives and a love has come into it to surpass the agony and the anguish, the sorrow and the suffering that they now feel, as their Heavenly Father leaves them not in these grim places, in this gloomy estate that they now find themselves amidst as He binds up their wounds.

Perhaps it may seem as if He is far off or that the struggles of this world and of this age are so near at hand. Yet the triumphant song of the Lord’s lips shall forever be the hope and the endurance that gives His people perseverance in all of the challenges, regardless of the trial, regardless of the tribulation that it brings, as His love swells in their hearts and gives courage to their souls, showing that He will never fail them or forsake them, He shall never abandon them or leave them.

Come what may, come what must, come all the world like a roaring lion, seeking the weak from the flock of the Lord to devour it, there shall be no claim that it can make over the souls of the Lord’s charge, for He shall protect them, seeing all as having worth and value, as having an intrinsic value to their lives that He first gave unto it as He set out for them the course of their lives. We may see the world with the tunnel vision of the lines of distinction that we associate with others, but no such lines exist with the Lord, as He shows unto each of us that He loves all of His children, regardless of how they may be viewed, regardless of how they may be treated by this world.

Let us then strive to serve the Lord by imitating Him, seeking to show love to all people, to let not our own intolerance or hatred encompass us, and to let not slavery and bondage stand, but through all things, and in all things, fight for the cause of true and abiding freedom, lasting and encompassing liberty that true justice shall come to join with true love as we contend with for the cause of our brothers and sisters, made our family through our Heavenly Father. Then shall we know the truth of the Lord as His grace encompasses our lives and we will find ourselves truly capable of calling ourselves disciples of Christ, for we have let the love that we are to show our fellow man to overtake our lives and encompass our being in all that we are and all that we do through all of the days of our lives.

Lord, grant that unto us all.

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


From You dear Lord do we learn of the true nature, the true miracle of abiding love and lasting freedom, as You show us that true equality exists only through You and the eternal blessings of Your Son, our Savior, Christ Jesus.

Let not darkness and iniquity rob the value and the worth from human life, holding Your creation cheap as it makes slaves of Your children as they are ripped from their homes to be held in captivity and bondage. Show the strength of Your promise and the love of Your people that even the most lost of souls, now forced to dwell in the darkness of bitter hatred and brutal iniquity shall be led down the path of Your liberty, Your light guiding them as a lamp unto their feet, as they are given endurance and perseverance despite the trials and the tribulations, the challenges and the hurt that they now find themselves amidst.

Though they know now pain and sorrow, though anguish and agony encompass their lives, show them by the love of Your heart that hope shall come to encompass their lives as You give them the courage to face all of these, their deepest, grimmest of ordeals, whispering to them that Your grace shall forever be sufficient for them all of the days of their lives.

To You Lord, do we give praise and glory for the thwarted hijacking. We have seen Your hand at work as the Danish Navy rescued a ship that was about to be carried off by the sin and the iniquity of unrighteous men who sought to make slaves and prisoners out of others, trading in flesh and blood as they abandoned the path of Your love and mercy. To You do we give all thanks, knowing that, through the blessings of Your miracles You work to bring about the freedom and the liberty of Your people in all that they do and all that they face.

Let Your hand then forever move in such ways in the lives of all who are now held, who are now torn from their homes and their families, that they shall, in hope, see You at work for the cause of their freedom.

Then shall all give praise and glory to Your blessed name for the wondrous works of Your hand as it moves through this world and in this world for the cause of Your people.

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

Second Prayer:

Be our precious Shepherd Lord, guiding us, guarding us, protecting us by Your rod and Your Staff as we find ourselves amidst this world and in this world, forced to face the challenges and the ordeals of it.

Hear the names of the prisoners and the hostages, the captives and the slaves who are taken from their homes, and ripped from their families, and find them amidst the dark path that they have now been taken down that they may be rescued from the mouth of the wolves and the paw of the lions that they shall not be devoured amidst the struggles that they face. Lead them once more to the green pastures of Your refuge that they will find the encompassing peace of Your protection and the wondrous miracle of Your love in their lives.

Stand beside Your children and lift Your hand against all those who would lift their hand against them that they shall know that You are a God of righteousness and love who forever and always contends with the cause of Your people.

Lead then those who would devour the sheep of Your flock from their dark appetites amidst this temporal existence, that they may abandon their own darkness, that they may abandon their own iniquity and hatred and come before You pleading for mercy to overtake their lives. Then shall they finally leave behind them the darkness and the pain that has encompassed their lives, no longer serving as agents of hatred but rather forever dwelling in Your love.

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

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