Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 05-24-24

Memorial Day is a day to remember those who died in service to the United States of America. The sacrifices that have been made for our national freedoms are priceless; with sincere gratitude may we remember the men and women who paid the cost for these freedoms with their very lives. On Monday, may we cooperate in a National Moment of Remembrance and at 3 PM pause to honor these precious lives.  “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).

Scripture brings a great spotlight to freedom, because it is dear to God’s heart. The biblical definition of freedom is the capacity to obey God—the ability to freely choose to walk in the Spirit every day. Jesus, our Liberating King, served to bring the world this freedom; he laid down his life for those who would love, serve, and follow him (John 15:13). In Christ, we can know true freedom from sin and death, because the grace we gain through faith in Christ, leads us toward victory. Although many people may not understand or even really appreciate the unfathomable gifts we enjoy in this country of both national and spiritual freedoms, for many of us, we know these two provisions of God’s ordained work orchestrates the ability for human lives to enjoy peace and security. With Jesus we can have love, liberty and a life of purpose!

Without Jesus, human beings are spiritually dead and will work to destroy one another for power; we are shackled to our flesh with no hope to connect in the holy life of God—we remain enslaved to our self-centered and ungodly ways. Because of sin, this selfish and ungodly condition disrupted God’s holy plan for his world. But, God so loved the world he gave his Son and we can enjoy the Christ-life—a life of freedom and love—in exchange for dead and ungodly living. Oh, that the world would choose Jesus! “For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Cor 3:17). Remember, whether we are talking about national freedom or spiritual freedom, we need to treasure and protect our liberty; otherwise, it will either be stolen or simply one day gone.

Romans 8:9-11 NLT
9 But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) 10 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

Prayer: Father, we thank you for our spiritual freedom in Christ. May we remember the cost of his sacrifice and choose to live in the liberty and love he died to provide humanity. May the world wake up to Jesus and call upon the name of the Liberating King. This weekend, may we remember the sacrifices made by our military who chose to serve this country to ensure our freedoms, but never made it home to be celebrated and appreciated. You know who they are, Lord, and we thank you for their lives and their sacrifice. Help us to treasure and protect their gift to us. Holy Spirit, help us to have the right attitude and respect for these heroes as we head into our weekend. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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