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Redeemed!

 “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree…”

Gal. 3:13 KJV

We are redeemed from the curse of the law.  That’s a pretty big statement—anyone who has read Deuteronomy knows what I mean!  But wait—what are we actually redeemed from?  What is the curse of the law? 

The Jewish law was, and is, nothing like our laws.  There is no bail.  No trial by jury.  No “innocent until proven guilty.”  No, because their Judge is the same as ours—the one, true God who sees and knows all.  So, if you sinned, God knew.  And the punishment?  A curse that had been promised generations before to all those who disobeyed. 

“But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field.  Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store.  Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.  Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out.  The LORD shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me. “

Deut. 28:15-20 KJV

The passage continues for a while, describing in graphic detail said cursing, vexation, and rebuke.  You might want to read it. 

So now, having a proper perspective of this curse, look at what Jesus did for us! “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us…” 

Jesus took all that horror and pain on Himself when He died on the cross at Calvary, so that if we ask Him to forgive our sins, He will, and none of this will apply to us ever again.  Even if we do sin after we’re saved, it says “ye are not under law, but under grace.”   

Now, go forth in victory, knowing that you are redeemed!

Virtual Choir

I saw this on the news last night.  Eric Whitacre, a Grammy winner, had the idea to have hundreds of people send him videos of them, an individual, singing a song according to a video of him conducting it.  Then, he would combine all the tracks into a single track—a virtual choir.  This is what resulted.  Be prepared for chills, and you might want to have a tissue nearby for good measure.  Oh, that we had more church choirs like this!


Idols


"Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play."

1 Cor. 10:7 KJV

I read this verse this morning and found it quite interesting.  Paul is talking about idolatry here, and uses an example.  But the people in the example are not bowing down to any statues made of wood, stone, gold, or silver.  If that's the case, what are they doing that's so idolatrous?

These people were making idols out of recreation.  Eating.  Drinking.  Playing (in an adult sense of the word).  They weren't working, or doing what God wanted them to.  They had made idols out of relaxation and free time--not keeping God and His commandments first.

We must be extremely careful not to let anything take supremacy in our hearts over Him. And anything can, oh, so easily.

When we hear "idol," we immediately think of gold shaped into the image of some mutant creature.  But idolatry can be so much more, labelled under the slightly-less-powerful titles of "obsession" and "infatuation."  The idea for all of them is that you are thinking about something other than God most of the time.  Problem, anyone?

I have struggled with many "heart idols" in the past.  Wearing a certain clothing brand.  Watching an obsessive TV show.  Even obsession with photography when I was first getting into it.  

Different people struggle with different things.  For some girls, their idol is their boyfriend.  For others, it's their education.  For parents, it can even be their kids!  (I'm not saying it's a bad thing to devote yourself to your kids; it's simply unhealthy when you start ignoring God, replacing Him with them.)

So, don't be afraid to search your life for idols and ruthlessly root them out.  Pray about any you find, and the Lord will reclaim that part of your heart for Him.  Keep the Lord first!

~Laurie


Milk vs. Meat

**So sorry for the unintentional hiatus; we've been extremely busy as of late, and blogging simply fell in the cracks.  However, with some daily-schedule-reworking, I should be posting much more now.  Now on to the real topic of this post...**



"...Ye are dull of hearing.  For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.  For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."

Heb. 5:11-14 KJV

This was part of my devotions today.  And, of all the various rebukes in the epistles, this strikes me as one of the hardest.  

At one point, a couple years ago when I was not walking closely with the Lord, these verses seemed written for me.  Oh, the shame.  I wanted to crawl in a hole and never come out.  Everywhere, it seemed, the Lord was telling me to spend more time in His Word.  After all:

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness..."

2 Tim. 3:16 KJV (emphasis added)

There's that righteousness again.  And we find it right here in the Word of God.  So, I determined that I wasn't going to remain a "babe" in regards to the Word.  And what a blessed journey it has been--I wouldn't trade it for anything!  What is baby formula in comparison to a rich steak (no offense to any vegetarians/vegans)? :)

So remember: keep the Word of God first in your life.  He won't let you down!

Sing them over again to me--
Wonderful words of Life;
Let me more of their beauty see--
Wonderful words of Life.

Words of life and beauty,
Teach me faith and duty:
Beautiful words, wonderful words,
Wonderful words of Life.

Today: A Day Which the Lord Hath Made



"This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."

Psm. 118:24

Taking a short break from my "Irrational Fear" series to share this.  I think this verse is inspiring.  Don't you think it's inspiring?  

I mean, take a plain old day.  Just...a day.  Maybe a day on earth, that's boring and dry and flat (if a day can be described as such (I think it can)).  Or a day on Venus, or Neptune or some planet we don't yet know of.  And think...the Lord made it.  The Lord!  The God of heaven and earth! He made this tiny, seemingly insignificant day.  He took the time to make it and care about it.  I think it's pretty neat.

And, of course, the only logical follow-up for this now-amazing day is that we rejoice in it, as we're living through it and watching it unfold before our eyes.  And we're glad in it.  Just plain old glad.  Have you ever had those moments when you feel like you're just...happy and grateful and completely content?  All at once?  That's my idea of gladness.  It seems like a very small, name-of-a-plastic-container sort of word.  But I think it's beautiful...it describes how we're supposed to feel about something the Lord made.  Just happy.

Now, let's be amazed the Lord made this day, and let's be rejoice and be glad in it!

~Laurie

(picture taken by me in Verde Valley, AZ)

Irrational Fear

Lately, one of the enemy's attacks towards me has been fear (surprise surprise).  It has brought to my mind what an important topic this really is, since fear is one of the most prevalent spirits plaguing the earth right now. 

And in reference to the end times: 

"Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken."

Luke 21:26 KJV

Wow, really?  Men will be dying of fear--fear of what's happening before the coming of the Lord?  For non-believers, this should be one of the more frightening verses in the Bible (no pun intended).  But for believers, it's a different story.   

The Lord does not want His children to fear anything, including the devil.  This is one of my favorite verses: 

"For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

2 Tim. 1:7 KJV

If God didn't give us fear, then who did?  I think the answer is obvious.  Satan, of course!  Naturally, we aren't signing any packages from him, so why do we accept fear about anything?  Our health, relationships, finances--every aspect of our lives--are under God's dominion and care, so we have no reason to fear.  This brings me to my main point:  All fear is irrational!  

Here's the definition of "irrational," according to Dictionary.com:

ir-ra-tion-al
[ih-rash-uh-nl]
adjective

1.  without the faculty of reason; deprived of reason
2.  without or deprived of normal mental clarity or sound judgement
3.  not in accordance with reason; utterly illogical
4.  not endowed with the faculty of reason; irrational animals

The definition goes on to state the mathematical definition of "irrational," but I want to concentrate on these initial definitions.  

I think the Bible confirms the fact that fear is irrational pretty well.  In the second definition of "irrational," it says "without...sound judgement."  In 2 Tim. 1:7, it just said that God has given us a sound mind!  Of course, sound judgement comes from a sound mind.  And when we claim this promise for our own, there's no room left for fear. 

Fear has no place in a Christian!