I offer my devotion to my Abba, Father

God came so that we may have freedom.  More and more as I walk this walk I see how Satan targets our minds and seeks to steal some of that freedom from us.  He got to me this week but not for long!  As soon as I immerse myself back in prayer and God’s word I am able to use this double-edged sword to cut Satan down to size and I encourage you to do the same.  Satan is a liar, a deceiver and he targets the vulnerable areas of your mind.  When he does this just take a look at Romans 8, we are sons and daughters of God and NOTHING can separate us from God’s love.

Romans 8: 14-17 – For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.  Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Romans 8:37-39 – in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

SURRENDER

It’s only in surrender that I’m free, loved forever, that’s me, and I will walk in freedom, devoted to your will, for there is nothing I want outside the will of God and in the will of God there is nothing I fear, I surrendered my heart to you and in return you have protected it with a love that calms all fears, you are so near to me I can reach out and touch you, so close I can feel your heartbeat, it’s so neat that with you on my side I am more than a conqueror, because you loved us first we are free to love unconditionally, nothing in all creation can separate us from your love, nothing on the earth or in heaven above can keep us apart, I am a child of God, led by the Spirit who has broken the chains of slavery, yes I am free, no longer in fear, no longer living near the edge, I am Christ centred having entered into adoption, heir to God himself, a co-heir with Jesus, now that’s got to be a plus, I am a new creation and yes I am full of elation, I offer my devotion to my Abba, Father, I share in his sufferings and I share in his glory, I happily tell others my story, freed from a shameful past, at last happy to speak of what was, what is and what is to come, cos it all speaks of God’s glorious Kingdom, my adoption into his family, the love that he gave that set me free.

He took me from that place of death

Just love reading Ephesians I think it’s the most inspirational book in the Bible for me.  I have just taken Ephesians 2 and interpreted it from my perspective in life.  Before I met Jesus I knew my life wasn’t complete but I don’t think I realised then that I was “dead” in my sins.  But now I am free I can look back and totally get it, wow praise God for the gift of faith he has given me.

Ephesians 2: 1-10 – As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.  All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,  made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

NO LONGER A FOLLOWER OF THE WORLD

A follower of the world, gratifying the craving of my flesh with impure thoughts, adulterated desires, I was dead, my prospects hopeless yet I didn’t notice as I followed the ways of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, he who delighted in my fall and like all those other sinners I was by nature deserving of God’s anger, like a dagger piercing my heart I start to see how my sin defined me until God who is rich in mercy forgave me, all this because of unconditional love, outrageous grace that saved me, raised up by a compassionate God, raised up with his own son and seated with him in heavenly places so that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, an expression of kindness, a healing of my blindness, he rose me up, took me from that place of death, rescued through grace, through faith given me as a gift by God who loves me, I cannot boast, I cannot claim that this was me, this was of God and for his glory, me, God’s handiwork, me, created by him to do good works, me, finally face to face with the plans he prepared in advance for me to do, alive with Christ, seated in heavenly realms, overwhelmed, a follower of Jesus, dead to my transgressions and my sins and now at last my life begins.

The tragedy is my identity was in my sin and not in my Saviour

We are free from condemnation – we are free of the shame and guilt of our past, once we give our lives to Jesus there is no more guilt.  When I look back at my life and how I felt God could never love me I see now that I was so wrong.  God never stopped loving me but because I didn’t realise that he loved me I lived in a shame filled void until that day when I finally gave my life to him.  I feel like I owe Jesus so much because he has forgiven so much in me and I praise him constantly for his love and forgiveness.  As I grow in him I am beginning to see his nature and I get why he never gave up on me, because his love is unstoppable and unchangeable, his love is perfect, oh to reflect that love to others in some small way.

Romans 8:1 – Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

Romans 8:37 – No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us

FREE FROM CONDEMNATION

I am free from all condemnation, restored into something amazing, I was never created to live in shame, I was never unworthy, it’s just that the enemy thrived on telling me that I was guilty, I carried the guilt like a dead weight, depressed and ashamed, the tragedy is that my identity was in my sin and not in my Saviour, I thought I had fallen out of favour with God, no longer loved because of my messed up lifestyle, unlovable, unforgiven, I possessed a poor self-image due to my perception that I lived in a world devoid of unconditional love, God was absent to my mind, I mistakenly thought he had forsaken me, could never welcome me back because of my identity and then he reached out to me, my sin exposed not to shame me but to change me, to save me from deception, an expression of his devotion to me, he had never forgotten me, never left my side, I had been blind but in that instant when God opened my eyes everything changed and has never been the same again, richer now because I am content, a contentment only felt by those whose sins have been dealt with by God, whose shame has been defeated, whose life has been restored and the more that God restores to you the greater the praise on your lips, the tighter the grip the enemy had on you the greater the gift that God has given to you, I used to say I’m not enough but now I say I am more than a conqueror through him who loves me, I am saved and I am free.

Talk about amazing grace

I was introduced to a new song yesterday “Mercy Saw Me”.  What an amazing song it really moved me to tears the first time I listened, some of the lyrics spoke so closely to my heart.

In particular this lyric:

“Mercy saw me through the storm, not what I was but what I could be, that’s how mercy saw me”.

When God chose us he saw what we could be and not what we were, he looked through the sin and saw what he had created, and he loved us. Talk about “amazing grace”.

  • Psalm 51:1-2 – Have mercy on me, O God according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
  • Psalm 103:8 – The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love
  • Micah 7:18 – Who is a God like you who pardons sin and forgives the transgression
    of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.
  • Romans 12:1 – Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

TALK ABOUT

Talk about amazing grace cos when you looked at my battle scarred face you didn’t see the cause of the scars, you didn’t care, you saw the future, you saw all that I could be and by grace you saved me, full of sin, full of shame yet you still called my name, you saw past the broken vessel, yeah sure you knew that I was flawed but you adored me none the less, OK so I was a mess but you saw beauty from that brokenness, your sacrifice for the ashes of my life, you took this messed up body and set it free and God I cannot see a way to thank you enough for the love, for the forgiveness, for giving me a chance when I had screwed up so many times, for giving me time to come to see that all I needed was faith and I would be free of the past, free of the hold that Satan had over me, I rejoice that you helped me see a new way, by grace I am claimed, through your mercy I am saved, because of your unfailing love I am redeemed, it seems that through the storm you were watching me waiting for me to see that you offered a better life and God I offer my body as a living sacrifice, I dance, I sing, I worship my God who pardons sins so easily, who delights to show mercy, who is compassionate, slow to anger, unfailing in love, thank you for seeing the potential in me, not who I was but what I could be, not what I did but what I will do, not loving myself but now loving you.

Flashes of revelation delighted me,

In church today the Old Testament reading was from Ecclesiastes 1 and it kind of threw me a bit.  Now I know that God is not saying that our lives our meaningless and when you read it all in context that is not what it is about.  But the words reminded me of my life before I found God.  It really was all meaningless, there was a void, a God shaped hole that needed filling and no matter what I did it was not satisfied, that is until I finally came to my senses and asked God in to my life.  I went on to read a bit more of Ecclesiastes when I got home and I really love chapter 3 and the concept that we should be happy with our lot, to find satisfaction in our lives for they are a gift from God.  Within our lives there is a time for every aspect of human life to laugh, to plant, to mourn, to dance and so much more.  I rejoice that I can say my life is not meaningless and I resolve to offer my life to God for him to use to ensure that my life and my actions have meaning and touch the lives of those around me in amazing ways.

  • Ecclesiastes 1:2 – ‘Meaningless! Meaningless!’ says the Teacher. ‘Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.’
  • Ecclesiastes 3:1 – There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens:

MEANINGFUL

My life was meaningless, without purpose, trivial and hollow until I chose to follow Jesus, I went through periods of desperation as I questioned my purpose, never certain of the future, aware that I was a loser, the devil my accuser would point out my flaws and failings, derailing me at every juncture, puncturing my bubble and causing trouble, yet Jesus opened my eyes to the lies of the enemy and I stood my ground, turned my life around and recognised that now I had found my purpose I could surface from my life of uncertainty to be the person God appointed me to be, a time for me to rise from the ashes, flashes of revelation delighted me, I was loved, I was free, reborn into God’s family enjoying a season for every activity, and I can laugh and I can dance, I can speak out and take a chance, I can love and I can embrace for I know that God is in this place, wherever I am then God’s there too, meaningless no, meaningful yes, God will use my mess to bring him the glory that’s the awesome part of having a story.

Confined only by the walls I built myself

I was listening to the song “break every chain” this morning and it got me to thinking about how God works in our lives to break every hold the enemy has over us.  Sometimes we just need to recognise that we are holding ourselves back, we may remain in our prison but the door has been flung open a long time ago, we just need to trust God and step out of that cell!

2 Kings 20:5 – Go back and tell Hezekiah, the ruler of my people, “This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the Lord.

Isaiah 58:6 – Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?

LOOSE THE CHAINS

I have heard your prayers and I will heal you, I will loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, I will break every chain.  Power rises up within me, Holy Spirit leads me, darkness is no longer a threat as I let the words of God sink in, my God will break every chain, take all the pain, the shame as my shackles fall to the ground, the sound of an enemy defeated as my chains fall off and I am free, the enemy broken and destroyed for my God has triumphed over evil, claiming victory, death could not hold him down, death could not contain my Saviour in the ground, he rose victorious granting me forgiveness, freedom from the ties of guilt and I was confined only by the walls I built myself, carrying my prison with me when in truth I was already free, Jesus had opened the door to freedom, I look out at his Kingdom, I forgive and set a prisoner free and as I forgive I see that prisoner was me, freedom from fear and doubt, release from addiction and depression, the returning prodigal reunited with her loving God, the Lord has heard your prayer and will heal you, reach out to receive deliverance, if not now, when?  He is your shield, your strength, your portion, he has sealed your adoption into his family, it’s time now to see that you are forgiven, loved, blessed and free.

I’m living in a Godly culture

Our readings in church today were from Luke and I was taken in by the story of the sinful woman and the parable of the money lender.  You know I sat in church and thought “God I owe you so much cos you have forgiven me for so so much”.  But then I thought you know, my sins may seem big to me but we all have so much to thank God for, I suppose sometimes I think because I didn’t become a Christian until later on in life and because of the paths I took I am like the “sinful woman” who anointed his feet, I have so much to thank and praise God for that it kind of overflows into an immense love and desire to serve, but let’s face it we ALL have so much to thank for because without his forgiveness we are nothing.

Luke 7:41-43 – Two people owed money to a certain money-lender. One owed him five hundred denarii and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?’ Simon replied, ‘I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.’ ‘You have judged correctly,’ Jesus said.

YOU NAILED IT

Forgiveness, because of you God I will never be the same, a thousand times I failed, a thousand times you nailed it, forgiveness for each and every time I strayed, for every sin, every blot on my copybook, you took a look as a loving Father and rather than turn your back on me you let me see that I was still your child, still loved and could still be forgiven and you didn’t even care how I was living my life before I met you, cos you paid my dues when you died on the cross and that was enough, your love was clearly demonstrated, no need for you to remonstrate with me, you gave me freedom and eyes to see, the choice… well that was mine, you always knew I could be refined, I just needed to define the path I would choose, choose to win or choose to lose, and at last I chose to be a winner, no longer a sinner condemned and unclean, but washed in the blood of Jesus, no longer beating myself up at every juncture, cos I’m living in a Godly culture, forgiven and free, blameless and shameless, I draw on your greatness and give you my weakness and God, you are the greatest cos there’s no limit to your forgiveness, whatever our stories, whatever our weakness you come to meet us and I can’t tell you what that means to me, forgiven and free, God my love for you knows no limits, no boundaries, you took all my flaws and imperfections and turned them into mighty blessings, you are more special to me than I can tell, so God, in a nutshell, you saved me from hell by your amazing grace, and for that I LOVE YOU (words in upper case!)