First Steps – July 8, 2019

In the aftermath of July 4th, the thoughts of freedom still loom in the air. Freedom is a topic much discussed in the New Testament. Below are a few examples:

John 8:36
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Romans 6:22
But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.

1 Corinthians 6:12
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything.

2 Corinthians 3:17
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Galatians 5:13-14
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Galatians 5:1
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Ephesians 3:12
In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

The Bible assumes people are slaves — bound to sin, but the work of Christ sets one free from the hold of sin on a life. This doesn’t mean absolute moral perfection, as if to say a person will never sin again. It means that the propensity or desire to want to sin is broken. At the same time, freedom from God is meant to be shared in service to others.

Freedom in all forms is valued and stems from the heart of God. As you continue to reflect on the many freedoms you enjoy, I hope that you will offer prayers of thanksgiving to God for the gifts that are given.

      

 


This week’s reading:

  • Monday –  John 11, John 13, John 14
  • Tuesday – John 15, John 16, John 17, John 18
  • Wednesday – John 19, John 20, John 21
  • Thursday – 1 John 1,  1 John 2, 1 John 3, 1 John 4, 1 John 5
  • Friday –  2 John, 3 John

Please Pray for:

  • St. Paul children and youth ministries.
  • The Ukraine Mission Team.
  • Ongoing Building Renovations, Modifications.
  • Our families, homes, workplace, church, and community.
  • Those who are unwillingly absent.
  • Those who are grieving and depressed.
  • The United Methodist Church.
  • Our nation and our leaders.

First Steps – July 1, 2019

When we read the Gospels we discover that Jesus was moved with compassion. To Jesus, the crowds were “sheep without a shepherd.” Compassion comes from perception. How do you see the people around you? What do you see when you are in traffic, at the ballpark, or in the grocery store? This week, pay attention to how you see another. What do you see? What do you perceive? 

Some will say, “I see thieves, liars, adulterers, gossipers, back-stabbers, and people who are no good.” Honestly, so did Jesus. Actually when you think about it, we all are to some degree; yet, Jesus was moved with compassion when he looked at us. Maybe Jesus was able to see pass the exterior and perceive something worth having compassion. How about you?

      

 


This week’s reading:

  • Monday –  John 1
  • Tuesday – John 2, John 3, John 4
  • Wednesday – John 5, John 6
  • Thursday – John 7, John 8
  • Friday –  John 9, John 10, John 11

Please Pray for:

  • St. Paul children and youth ministries.
  • The Ukraine Mission Team.
  • Ongoing Building Renovations, Modifications.
  • Our families, homes, workplace, church, and community.
  • Those who are unwillingly absent.
  • Those who are grieving and depressed.
  • The United Methodist Church.
  • Our nation and our leaders.