Thursday, May 12, 2016

May 12, 2016: Victim: No! … Victory: Yes!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2016 - Day 133  

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a You Tube video of Nichole Nordeman singing her song Finally Free, powerfully declaring our freedom from condemnation in Christ.

Highlight Passage:  John 3: 17 [NKJV] …  
17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 
… Jesus - God’s Son - setting us free with His saving grace.
Highlight Context – John 3:1-21 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… Jesus explains God’s love … NOT His condemnation

Reference Passage #1 - Romans 8:1 [NKJV] …  
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 
… If true - AND IT IS! - we no longer live in self condemnation … we are FREE in Christ.

Reference Passage #2 - 2nd Corinthians 5:17 [NKJV] …  
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 
… If true - AND IT IS! - we no longer live in self condemnation … we are FREE in Christ.

Reference Passage #3 - 1st John 1: 9 [NKJV] …  
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 
…Anytime, anywhere … our God is willing/able to cleanse us from ANY unrighteousness. But we so often shackle ourselves in self condemnation, don’t we?

My Journal for Today:  … Our Daily Bread author, Randy Kilgore, reminded me today of one of the toughest lessons for new Christians or those who’re walking free of the bondage of their own self condemnation; … and that is to accept and live in the realization of their own salvation. He wrote of leading others to Christ and having them get wrapped up - even shackled - in either self condemnation or being judgmental of others.

I work with Christian men who’re often in a very broken and brittle state, having walking free from the bondage and darkness of habitual sexual sin and having broken into the light of Christ’s love. And it’s often the case that these men have trouble seeing the lesson Jesus taught to Nicodemus in that dark garden about His mission in life - i.e., to save mankind and set us free from our bondage to sin. These men, who’ve seen themselves as self-imposed VICTIMS, now have trouble seeing and accepting the truth of 1st John 1: 9, 2 Cor. 5:17, and especially Romans 8:1 [see above].

It’s really interesting to read Paul writing to the Romans, where, in Chapter 7, he writes of feeling so condemned by his own sinfulness; but then he breaks into Romans 8 with the proclamation that there is “NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus!’ And I maintain that if one can understand and live in the freedom offered in Romans 8, he (or she) can be set free of the self condemnation of Romans 7.

So, where are we today, my friend? Are we living in the bondage of Roman 7; or have we bought into the reality of our newness in Christ (see the attached photo) and living in the freedom of Romans 8? … I pray the latter for us all.

My Prayer Today:  O, Heavenly Father, … My Lord, … I pray for any here with me today ... that we see ourselves being set free in Christ (see attached photo).       Amen  

Blogger Note:  Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries.  If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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