Monday, May 31, 2010

SACRIFICE FOR FREEDOM

As I've listened to the radio and watched shows on televison commemorating those who fought for our freedom, how thankful I am for those who gave their lives so we could have that freedom.  Then Galatians 2 comes to mind and I recall how Paul was standing up for freedom also, freedom from the chains of legalism and religion. He eventually gave his life in that cause.  And then I am reminded that Jesus' sacrifice was for our ultimate freedom from the bondage of sin and spiritual death. Thank you for dying so that we may have life!  Without your sacrifice none of us would understand what true freedom is. 

Posted via web from John Walter's Life Stream

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Two principles for winning the battle

In Ephesians 6,after Paul encourages me on how to live he reminds me that I have all that I need to live the life God calls me to live. Sometimes Christians fall into the trap of the "former life thinking"...I am a sinner therefore I sin. However, as a new creation in Christ, I am no longer a sinner but I am now a saint. I have the power to overcome any temptation. I don't have to sin anymore. Paul instructs us to do two things. !. To prepare for battle. Stay in constant communication to God, read your Bible and absorb truth, have faith enough to obey Him in every decision. Before the trials come, be grounded and prepared. 2. When the storm hits, stand firm. Don't fear and run to things that you might have run to in the past. Hold your ground, trust God and do the right thing which most of the time is the most difficult choice. Two simple directives that can make all the difference in the world for us.

Posted via web from John Walter's Life Stream

Friday, May 28, 2010

Eph. 5 Mutual submission

Many sight this passage in verse 21 as one to justify a husbands dominance over the wife. But in the following verses Paul describes how mutual submission works in 3 types of relationships: wives and husbands, parents and children, and slaves and masters. This idea of considering the needs of the other in relationships was world-shattering for its time. Paul takes the unorthodox stance that those who had the traditional power should submit as well as Christ submitted his life for us.
I've found that this principle is really the key to a great marriage. When both husband and wife surrender their own needs for the good of the other, then they are guaranteed a healthy marriage. When one or both live for themselves, the problems begin.
I pray that I can deny myself, pick up my cross and follow Jesus in my marriage and in every area of my life.

Posted via web from John Walter's Life Stream

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Walk in a manner worthy of your calling.

I find it interesting how Paul always begins his letters building a foundation of theology and then gets to the application in the second half of the letter. It's always more fun delving into the theology and discussing the meaning than reading about what we should do with it. But knowledge without function and purpose is just hot air.
In Ephesians 4 Paul gets to the point by reminding us to walk worthy of our calling. And gives the characteristics of one who is a child of God. Isn't it interesting that these are not characteristics that are preached about on Sunday very often; humility, gentleness, patience and relating with each other in love. He gets more specific in the middle of the chapter but ends again with the admonition to be "kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ." And I must always remember as Paul taught in the previous chapters that I can't do this on my own, but only through the power God provides through the Spirit.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The immeasurable riches of Gods grace

In these incredible scriptures, Paul continues to remind the Ephesians and us today that all we have in Christ comes by God’s grace.For by grace you have been saved through faith, not of your own doing, it is the gift of God.  And then he adds the reason God created us and the reason for the gift of grace, our purpose for this life on earth; to do goods works for Jesus.When I get off course and begin to be overly concerned about myself, my happiness, my comfort, my security, this verse reminds me that His purpose for me is to glorify God by loving God and others.He blesses me not so I will be happy, but so that I may bless others.  And that it is accomplished not by my power or strength but through his grace and the power of the Holy Spirit.God, may I surrender my will to you today and allow me to be your vessel to bring the light of the gospel to those I encounter today!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Untitled

Why do we so often forget about the hope that we have in Christ and the immeasurable greatness of his power?  Reading Ephesians 1, I’m moved by so much of this chapter as Paul reminds me of the power, position and calling I now have as a follower of the King.  If only we could fathom the riches we have in Christ. Not just understand but actually live by His power, how would my life change? What could I accomplish through Christ? What could God accomplish though me? God I don’t want to live a life on my own power, paralyzed by fear and doubt. Help me understand who I am in Christ, what you have called me to, and the power that I have through Christ to bring reconciliation to a world that desperately needs Jesus.  Join me and others as we read a chapter a day.  Today, Ephesians 1. 

Posted via web from John Walter's Life Stream

Friday, May 21, 2010

Magic Kingdom not so magical

Barbs and I spent a week in Orlando on vacation earlier this month and four days at Disney World parks. Disney had a great vision but I'm not sure the parks bring about what Disney intended. He called the place the happiest place on earth. At 3 PM on the first day at the Magic Kingdom I didn't see many smiles. As a matter of fact, most of the people seem tired and angry. Why was that? At the happiest place on earth of all places.

A new low on violating religious freedom in the USA

I read in dismay this past week about a powerful senator indicating he would vote no for Russell Vought, President Donald Trump’s nominee ...