Sunday, December 4, 2022

 The Unspeakable Gift

Jack Davis

“Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” 

II Cor. 9:15

Oh, what a gift! What thanks can we offer? What thanks, do we give? Who is able to tell, or express the entire contents, the eternal benefits of such abundant giving?

James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” In Hebrews six, verse 4, we read of a “heavenly” gift. God loved so much He gave the best in the universe, Jesus loved me and gave Himself for me. John 3:16, Gal. 2:20.

Who is able to comprehend all it cost God our Father, and Jesus Christ our Lord to provide such for us? Do we grasp the full meaning of such statements as: “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Rom. 8:32 or II Cor, 8:9, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” And that “God made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” - II Cor. 5:21.

How does such indescribable, inexpressible, inestimable, incomparable, generosity beyond words dawn upon our hearts? Jesus told the woman at the well, that if she knew God’s gift she would have asked of Him, for He gives living waters. Thank God, He has provided that we fully know him, the greatest of all gifts from the greatest of all givers. The Holy Spirit has been sent to unwrap, unfold and reveal to our hearts the manifold grace of his marvelous giving.

“I have many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the  Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mind, and shall shew it unto you” - John 16:12-15. 

Consider I Cor. 2:9-12, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” 

The immeasurable measure of all God’s giving, is the gift of Christ. For it all comes to us in, with, through or by His Son. “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of  Christ” – Eph. 4:7. This unspeakable gift, all undeserved, unearned, contains unsearchable riches – Eph. 3:8. We each partake of Him in individual measure. 

We make the choice and appropriate or apprehend what we want of Him. There are differing degrees or measures of assimilating Him into each of our lives. Our apostle Paul has proclaimed unto us wealth that is indeed untraceable, fathomless, boundless and exhaustless. Such riches are only to be discovered “in Christ.” Endless treasures are available to those in Him.

“What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord” – Psalm 116:12-13. “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not all his benefits” – Psalm 103:1-2.

Although we cannot express all that is God’s unspeakable gifts, yet appreciation for such giving should produce Thanks-givers, Thanks-livers. Rom. 14:6-9 and II Cor. 5:14-15. Thank God, that we can express our thanks from the depths of our being, “all that is within me;” and from the dedication of our lives.

“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” – Col. 1:12-13.


Gordon Crook, Pastor
Grace Assembly, Wichita, Kansas

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14

Immanuel means “God with us.”

I have been thinking about who God is, and contemplating His greatness. I enjoy checking out the pictures that come from the Hubble telescope, and now, from the Webb telescope. There are some amazing pictures of our galaxy and the universe. 

One in particular that grabbed my attention is one called “Pillars of creation.” This formation is some 30 quintillion miles (30 with 15 zeros) from us, and is just a small part of the known universe, and yet it overwhelms the mind to consider the immensity and the glory of it.

As I look at that, I realize that my God inhabits this incredible universe, and is the creator of it all. The fact that mankind is so full of themselves and so defiant before God, is hard to understand when they have this evidence before them. “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” Psalms 19:1. “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” Psalms 8:3-4.

What is man that Thou visitest him? And yet, He did visit us. God had promised from the beginning to take care of the problem created by man’s sin. In Genesis 3:15, God promised one who would bruise the head of the serpent,  and this is exactly what Jesus came to do. 

Take some time to just consider that Jesus would leave His glory to come down to earth. That is hard to comprehend. Paul tells us about that in Philippians. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:5-8. Sometimes we get a little full of ourselves, but consider the condescension of Jesus. He has a right to be high minded because He is God, and yet He condescended to our level for our benefit.

As we come into the Christmas season, we might tend to forget the real reason for celebrating this time. The world will seduce us with the trappings and the festivities and the gifts that we think we deserve, but the real purpose of this season should be to consider Immanuel. Consider the only gift that really matters to any of us. “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” 2 Corinthians 9:15. 

Again, considering who God is, and thinking about the glory that is His, we must then be in complete amazement at the reason for Immanuel. Jesus didn’t come to live among us just for His own entertainment, nor to mock or condemn us. He had a special purpose in mind that goes even further to blow our minds. “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” John 17:24. This one always amazes and humbles me. Jesus wants us to be with Him where He is. John 14:1-3.

And even now, He is with us. We are clearly instructed that we have the Life of Christ in us. He lives in us and is by our side all of the time.  “. . .for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5c. While we do not have to wait to be with Him, we are certainly looking and longing for the day when we will be physically in His presence.

When you see the pictures that are taken by the Webb telescope, and all of the discoveries of our scientists, may it remind you of the Creator that loves you more than any other part of His creation. Consider that the creator of all of that would be willing to come down to be Immanuel, so that we can go up to spend eternity with Him.


Anita Clark – Pastor
Grace Chapel, Carbondale, Kansas

“Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of His understanding. He giveth power to the faint; to them that have no might He increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31. 

What a precious passage! The eagle is spoken of 35 times in Scripture. God really wants to impress us with this creature used as an example of victory and strength. We must learn to wait in fellowship with the Lord, and for the fruit of the Spirit to be manifested in our lives. Then we become mature in Christ and able to mount up on wings of faith, as eagles wings, and experience the strength of the Lord. Remember - the current of the wind  holds the eagle suspended in the air, as is the hand of our God that sustains us. In Exodus 19:3-4, we see Moses going up to Mt. Sinai and the Lord called to him, “Thus shall thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles wings, and brought you unto myself.” In V. 5, God says, “” shall be a peculiar treasure unto me.” The Lord God is so faithful to His people. He carries us when we are weak and needy. 

In Psalms 91 we see a description of “the Most High,” (God) as a great bird. V.3 “surely He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler (Satan), and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” The rest of this chapter is so wonderful. It thrills our hearts and lifts us up above the shadows of our trials to know that our God loves us and is watching over us constantly as a great bird of prey. Psalms 17:8 says, “Keep me as the apple (pupil) of the eye, hide me under the shadow of Thy wings.” He is faithfully watching over us, until we learn to fly above the trials of life.

In Proverbs 30:18-19 Solomon wrote about the eagle. “There be three things which are too wonderful for me.” “The way of an eagle in the air...” was the first example. How wondrous is the eagle riding upon the air currents, almost immobile, hardly any effort at all, marvelous and stupendous, gliding along. This speaks of our victory over trials and tests that almost would defeat us, but through the Lord’s strength, we “FLY” in victory. In Jeremiah 49:16 God speaks against Edom, using an example of the eagle, “that dwellest in the cleft of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill: that makes a nest as an eagle.” 

Some facts about the eagle represent how we as Eagles saints are triumphant:

1. The eagles nest is not in a low place, but high up on a Mt. Peak. Job 39:27, “Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high? She dwelleth and abideth on the rock, upon the crag of the rock and the strong place. From thence she seeketh the prey, and her eyes behold afar off..” This speaks of dwelling in victory in the heavenly places.

2. This place is unapproachable to man. Only God can hold us in the heights, with His arms of love surrounding us and holding us tight.

3. The eagles nest is built out of twigs- a strong framework and covered with moss and lamb’s wool and etc. The eagle puts thorns in the nest in upright position before they put the lamb’s wool to cover the roughness. The eagle gathers moss and plasters the inside till the thorns are covered so the eaglets are protected. Our safe place - how precious.

4. Feeding the young. Job 9:26 says, “as the eagle hasteth to the prey.”An eagle does not eat just any kind of old spoiled meat, as a vulture, but what she herself kills. She feeds her young bite size pieces just big enough. She instinctively knows how much and how often to feed the young. This is such a sweet picture of the Lord Jesus feeding His flock. He always knows exactly what we need. If we are very young in the Lord, He provides spiritual food to cause us to grow. However, as we begin to mature in Christ, He blesses us with depths of the Word of God. Praise the Lord our GREAT EAGLE! The Eagle also drinks fresh water and pours it in the baby’s mouths. Every believer in Christ can experience this wonderful happening. God wants us to grow up into Christ.

5. The Training of the Young - Deut.32:11-12, “As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings, So the Lord alone did lead him.” God knows exactly when the time has come to ‘stir up our nest.” The mother eagle scatters the moss and lamb skin, so the thorns stick up so baby birds won’t go back to the nest. When the eaglets are large enough, the mother pushes them off the cliff, compelling them to fly. If they begin to cry out, she swoops underneath them and gathers them up on her wide wings, then she drops them again - over and over. They finally get the idea or they die. If they achieve this - she takes them up very high, and they follow her. Isa. 58:14, “Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD: and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth.”

6. Sometimes we become so taken up with life that we don’t put God first. So, He allows trials to work  dependence upon Him. God may stir up our “nest.” When He does He always gives us power to overcome the circumstances. We learn that He is with us and letting us fly on His wings (His strength.) He wants us to grow out of babyhood spiritually, and become grown-up sons of God. He is very patient with us, although often times He allows trials and tests to get us to take that step of growth He wants us to have.

At their first attempts at flying, she supports them on the tip of her wing, encouraging, directing and aiding their feeble effort to longer and sublimer flights. So God takes the most tender and powerful care of His chosen people.”


Earlene Davis

Looking Into Heaven – Rev. 4 & 5

John by vision is taken into the throne room of heaven. Ch. 4:1, “After this” after John viewed the Church Age, he is still at the Lord’s Day and his view is now upward. He sees a door opened in heaven and hears the same voice, “as it were a trumpet,” it is the voice of the Lord (1:10-11). A trumpet has a clear, commanding sound. Only the full overcomers will hear that first trumpet sound, For they will be looking for the Lord’s coming, loving His appearing – II Tim. 4:7-8. Not all believers will be ready, they will not be listening for His voice. But they will get stirred up when they realize many saints are gone. They will be listening for His voice when He calls up the innumerable company of Rev. 7.

“I will show thee things which must be hereafter,” Yet future after the Church Age. The first thing we look forward to happening is the Rapture “Come up hither,” and they will ascend up to be with the Lord. “Immediately John was taken up into heaven at the trumpet voice. 

John represents the full overcomers (Smyrna & Philadelphia) taken up at the first trumpet sound. Those in graves resurrected and those alive will be translated – I Thess. 4:13-15. Believers will then be “changed in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye” – I Cor. 15:51-53.

“Behold a throne was set” and One sat on the throne” Christ takes His own throne. It is His day to reign – I Cor. 15:25. The nations no longer have any right to rule, Gentile times are over. The nations will refuse to relinquish their authority (Ps. 2) and Christ will have to take it from them, thus bringing on tribulation days.

The Ruler Described

In chapter 1, we saw Him as Judge, here we see Him as God Almighty. He is worshiped as the Creator (4:11). 4:3 – The Jasper stone is like our diamond and means, “He will be made prominent.” It figures His deity, He will reign as God. The sardine stone is reddish or flesh colored and means ‘ruddy’ or ‘ruddiness.’ It represents His humanity, He will have a human body and rule the universe. He is the GOD-MAN, glorified. 

Christ will be exalted to a greater height than a man has ever been exalted. He will reign a thousand years – Rev. 20:4. He will always be King, but after the thousand years, He will reign in subjection to His Father – I Cor. 15:24-28. He will reign forever and ever – Rev. 11:15.

Later in Revelation we will read a description of the heavenly Jerusalem as a Jasper stone representing the Church as possessing the qualities we see in Christ. “There was a rainbow round about the throne, like unto an emerald.” A rainbow is a token of God’s promised mercy, a sign He would never destroy the world by a flood again – Gen. 9. It will be fire next time – II Pet. 3:10-11. 

An emerald is greenish in color and figures eternal life, life out of death. Christ will take authority and judge until He has put all enemies under His feet, but over His throne is this rainbow, the promise of hope. This is a beautiful scene, we have been in the throne room of heaven – Hallelujah!

Next time, we will read, what Christ will do when He sits upon His throne.

To be continued


Debra Isenbletter, Pastor
Christian Assembly
Springfield, Missouri

Jonah 3:10 “And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.”

In this final verse of chapter 3 we see three things concerning God’s response to Nineveh and the mercy He showed to them.  It is striking that each of the chapters has ended with a visible sign of God’s mercy.  

1. At the end of chapter 1 - Jonah was spared when the Lord prepared the great fish to swallow him.  

2. At the end of chapter 2 – Jonah was spared when the Lord delivered him from the great fish.  

3. At the end of chapter 3 Nineveh was spared when God did not destroy them. It is interesting that with Nineveh it is God that is emphasized not the Lord.

His Scrutiny: “And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way;” The first thing that God saw was their actions: “their works”, the second thing that God saw was their attitude: “they turned from their evil way.” Both were essential, both needed to be in harmony with what God expected. God “saw” everything, He “looked” at everything, that He “inspected” everything carefully, and what He saw, He “approved” of. What I find interesting is that in the previous chapters, it is the Lord that sees what Jonah does and responds to Jonah, but in this chapter, it is God that sees what Nineveh does and responds.  Both are the same but the Lord is seen in connection with His people and His covenant with them and God is seen in His connection with the Gentiles. Israel had a closer more personal relationship. The Gentiles knew very little of God and when He revealed Himself it was as the God of Creation and the God greater than all their gods. 

Their Actions: “And God saw their works.” The first thing God saw was their works. The word “works” speaks of “any action, good or bad.” Here the works are good in contrast to their past works which were bad.  The word “works” also speaks of an “activity that produces a result.” They did not start and then stop, what they began to do they did, and they did not stop until they saw a result.  Their “works” were “deeds” that would be talked about long after judgment had passed and Jonah had left. What they did must have left a lasting impression on those in the city and people that heard stories about what happened. The works have already been mentioned, they include their fasting, their mourning, their praying. They are works of repentance that were clearly seen. The entire city participated, from the least to the greatest, from the king to the lowest servant.

In Jonah’s account of what happened, and he gives an honest account, there is the visible truth that God sees everything, nothing is hidden.  His eyes “run to and fro through the whole earth” (2Chr.16:9). Job says, “Doth not he see my ways and count all my steps?” Job also reveals that not just his life was examined but the lives of all men: “For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings” (Job 34:31). We find that throughout the Old Testament and Paul reminds us in the New Testament that nothing can be hidden form God (Heb.4:13).  This is what the people of Nineveh realized when Jonah preached to them the message of judgment.  Either Jonah listed their sins or the Spirit of God brought to each heart their deeds and actions and they were convicted. 

Their Attitude: “that they turned from their evil way.”  When they “turned” this shows a change of heart.  When they turned “from their evil ways” this shows a change of direction. They turned away from those evil things that they had been doing. Jonah only summarizes their evil as “wickedness” (1:2) and “the violence of their hands” (3:8), but historians record horrific atrocities they committed. God sums everything up under the word “evil.” Whatever each individual’s evil was, God accepted their repentance, He accepted their works, He accepted their intentions.  History shows that this did not last but God looked at that moment and accepted what they did.  I thought about Ahab, who was such an evil king, one of many is Israel.  When he repented and fasted and put on sackcloth the Lord saw that he humbled himself and said that the judgment would not occur in his days but in his sons. (2Ki.21:27-29).  Nineveh is similar in their attitude, it was temporary and judgment was stopped, set aside and would occur much later.  Even though we may not understand why God did this, and Jonah certainly did not, God gives these people a glimpse of His grace and His mercy.  What they do with that revelation after that is up to them. It could be that there were some who went on and turned to the Lord.  What we do know is God was satisfied with their response.

His Satisfaction: “and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them;” Here we see God’s grace but also His justice because He was justified by their actions and attitude. God “repented,” one translation is “relented” (NAS) and another is “revoked His sentence” (Amplified). He could change His mind because the city had repented and when they repented the reason for judgment was no longer justified. God does not change but He can change His mind. He is always righteous.  He judges because He is righteous and He holds back judgment because He is righteous. This is what Jonah could not see or understand. It does not matter who the wicked are or what the wicked have done, if the wicked will repent God will also (Jer.18:7-8).

His Sovereignty: “and he did it not.”— Finally we come to a crucial point.  It is that God can change His mind and he did. He can do this because He is God, because He is sovereign.  He “did it not”.  That is what Jonah could not understand. God did not do it, did not pour out judgment, did not do what He said He would do.  What Jonah failed to see is that He is still Just, He is still Righteous, even when He is Merciful. What Jonah failed to see is that He is Sovereign.  Sometimes we lose sight of that aspect of God, we take Him for granted and forget that He is God, that He has a right to do what He wants, when He wants and we may not understand the reason why.  Jonah still has a lesson to learn and in his lesson we see again the grace and patience of the God that Jonah serves.

 God’s Timing and Purposes –Ecc. 3:1-8

Part 11

Pastor Vicky Moots
Kingman, Kansas

Ecc. 3:6a: “A time to get, and a time to lose…”  We spend our entire life accumulating things and never seem to be satisfied that we have enough.  Of course, there are certain things that we have to buy when we are starting out on our own or when we get married, so that is “a time to get.  However, no matter how much we “get” in life, we lose it all when we die.  What about in between these times? Is there “a time to lose” before we die?

In Mark 8:34-36 Jesus told the people, “…Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

Some people say that we need to just “get a life,” but the only way to “get a life” is to lose the one we have now, the one that is only temporary, and exchange it for one that is eternal.

In Matt. 19:16-22 we read the story of a rich, young ruler who came to Jesus to ask what he must do to have (or “to get”) eternal life.  Because he was rich, he was used to being able “to get” anything he wanted.  However, he was greatly disappointed when Jesus told him in v. 21 that he would need to sell everything he had (because he was trusting in it) and give it to the poor.  Verse 22 tells us, “But when the young man heard that saying, he went away very sorrowful: for he had great possessions.”  He was not willing “to lose” everything that he had been able “to get” in this life in order “to get” eternal life.  Sadly, at that point, his earthly riches seemed more important to him than his soul.

In contrast, we read in Matt. 4:18-20 where Jesus called Peter and Andrew to be fishers of men, “And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.”  Then in v. 21 He called James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were in a ship with their father.  Verse 22 tells us, “And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.”  So, we see that these men, unlike the rich, young ruler, were willing to lose their life (to leave their livelihood and their family behind) in order to find it in Jesus and become His disciples.

The apostle Paul described his own “time to lose” in Phil. 3:7-8.  However, in the previous three verses he listed the things of which he had been boasting in the natural and that he had considered gain prior to his conversion.  But one day on the road to Damascus, to persecute Christians, he came face to face with Jesus in a vision.  The light of it was so bright that he fell to the ground and lost his eyesight for three days, until God restored it.  That was the first thing recorded that Paul lost, but it would not be the last.  God opened his blinded eyes, both physically and spiritually, so that he could see clearly who Jesus was.  As a result, Saul the persecutor, became Paul the apostle, for he chose to deny himself, take up the cross, and follow Jesus.

In Phil. 3:7-8 Paul states, “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.”

Are we willing to lose all that we hold dear to us in order to win Christ? We may not actually have to lose everything we have, as Paul did, but we need to not hold on to the things we possess and the people we love in this world more tightly than we do to Jesus.  Jesus must take first place in our lives.  He must become our first love.

Jesus, Himself, willingly experienced “a time to lose,” and because of that, we can have the gift of salvation.  In Phil. 2:5-8 Paul describes how that Jesus suffered the loss of all things, including His life, in order that we might have life.  He left the riches and glory of heaven, and as we read in vs. 7-8, “took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

He did this for us, so that it would be our “time to get,” as Paul tells us in II Cor. 8:9: “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”

Our “time to get,” as far as spiritual riches and gain are concerned, is now; but first comes our “time to lose.” our time to follow the example of Paul and of Jesus, and to humble ourselves.  It is “a time to lose” our old life, to forget those things which are behind, and to “…press toward the mark for the prize of the high [upward] calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14), for Jesus is coming soon.


Pastor Gary Giddings, Sand Lake, MI

“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

What is “the curse of the Law”? It is God’s judgment upon us for failing to live up to His standard of what is right. As humans, we tend to justify ourselves and minimize any wrong we have done. We like to think that we are “good.” We can readily see the need for others to be punished when they do wrong, but we easily gloss over our own wrongs. We tend to think that we are “good” or at least “mostly good.” But what does the Law say? “Honor thy father and thy mother … Thou shalt not kill … Thou shalt not commit adultery … Thou shalt not steal … Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor … Thou shalt not covet” (Ex. 20:12-17).  

These are things that concern our relationships with other people. But more importantly, what about our relationship with God, the One who created us? “Thou shalt have no other gods before me … Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God … Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain” (Ex. 20:1-7).

We, as a people, are cursed for failing to live up to God’s standard. This failure to “hit the mark” is called SIN. It is a problem for ALL of humanity. “There is none righteous, no, not one.” But Jesus is the answer for this! The word REDEEMED in Galatians 3:13 means “to buy up, to ransom, to rescue from loss” (Strong). It also means, “to buy out,” especially of purchasing a slave with a view to his freedom” (Vine). What does this mean for us? When Jesus RESCUED us from sin and its destructive ways, we were given FREEDOM. When we were born-again, we didn’t just transfer from one slave-master to another, but we were MADE FREE. What good is it to leave one slave-master for another? Maybe another master would treat us better, but we would still be slaves and not free. God doesn’t ENSLAVE us. He doesn’t force His will upon us. God doesn’t treat us like property because He created us in His own image and He loves us. 

Jesus stands at the door of our heart and knocks. He ASKS us to open the door. He doesn’t use trickery or force to gain entrance. No, He patiently waits for us. God sees YOU, the person. He wants to have a personal relationship with you through Jesus the Son. This is where FREEDOM begins. Knowing what this means to have FREEDOM in Christ helps us to understand why we see all kinds of behaviors, good and bad, in Christians. Some may question their own salvation or the salvation of others because “Christians don’t do that” (whatever is questionable or obviously wrong). Just because you said a prayer and let Jesus into your heart is NO guarantee that you won’t ever do wrong again. You were SET FREE to make your own choices.

God has given you the wonderful GIFT of SALVATION: What will you do with this gift? Only when you GIVE YOURSELF to the Lord will this relationship with Jesus really begin to make sense. Only then will we continue to experience the life that God has for us. When we let Jesus take over the throne of our heart, this is how we continue to find joy and satisfaction! Rom. 5:1-2, Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. We can’t put a price on this PEACE that we have in Jesus. We can rest knowing that we belong to Him and that He will take care of us. We are His children and we are in His FOREVER FAMILY. We are not God’s SLAVES, we are God’s CHILDREN. We have been REDEEMED, we have been SET FREE. What are you going to do with this FREEDOM? Are you going to use it to worship and serve the Lord or are you going to use it for other things? 

You are FREE to please God or to please yourself. You are FREE to do what is right or what is wrong. God isn’t going to take away your FREEDOM TO CHOOSE, but He will let you know the results of your choices: there is CAUSE AND EFFECT in the spiritual realm also. When we sow to the flesh, we will reap corruption. Sin in our life will hinder us and wear us down.

Paul enjoyed his freedom because in Christ he was a New Creation. He lived that way. He didn’t let his Old Creation live long enough to spoil his freedom. Rom. 6:16  “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? First we listen, and then we yield and obey. Will we obey the Spirit or the flesh? The one we listen to will be the one we will serve. That is why it is important to fill our mind with the Word of God and to pray. When we listen to the Spirit, we will not want any of the destructive ways of the flesh.

I Cor. 6:12,  “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power [control] of any.” I Cor. 10:23,  “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify [build] not.” Paul saw that he was FREE to do anything. But he learned to say “No” to that which would control him and keep him from enjoying HIS FREEDOM in Christ. He also stayed away from that which wouldn’t BUILD HIM UP in the Lord.

Titus 1:1a  “Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ …” Why did Paul call himself a SERVANT to Jesus? He knew his Old Nature very well and he wanted nothing to do with it. Only when he COMMITTED himself fully to Jesus could he know and experience LIFE, LOVE, and LIBERTY. SALVATION is free to “whosoever will.” It doesn’t cost us anything because Jesus paid the price for our sins. He said, “It is finished” (Paid in full). But to become a DISCIPLE (follower) of Jesus will cost us something. To follow Jesus on a continual basis involves a COMMITMENT on our part. You may be a BELIEVER in Jesus, but will you dedicate yourself to Him? Don’t just be a BELIEVER but be a FOLLOWER of Jesus. Give yourself totally and completely to Him and He will never disappoint you. As born-again Christians, we are REDEEMED. We were taken out of the slave market and MADE FREE. When you use your FREEDOM to worship and serve God, you will find your greatest fulfillment and contentment. But if you use this FREEDOM to live according to the world, the flesh, and the Devil, you will be ensnared and brought under its control for a time. Let us use our FREEDOM to serve and to worship our Creator and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is worthy!