Daily Devotional from Jen Auer 04-20-22

When was the last time that you were on the receiving end of someone who sharpened their tongue like a sword and aimed their bitter words, right at you, like arrows?

Or when was the last time that you attacked suddenly and fearlessly and encouraged others to do the same evil?

We need to constantly remember that apart from Christ, our human hearts and minds can be very cunning. The enemy is prepared to use our words and actions all of the time, and when we open the door of our hearts and allow him a simple foothold in, he then has a secure position from which he intends to make further progress towards wreaking havoc within our lives and within the lives of those who have contact with us.

In today’s Psalm, we see that people were saying bad things about King David. These things hurt him on the inside just like arrows and swords would have hurt the exterior of his body. Remember, arrows and swords were used at that time to physically kill one’s enemies; and the tongue, when manipulated by the enemy, seeks to kill, and destroy the Spirit of Christ within us. Proverbs 18:21 reminds us that death and life lie in the power of the tongue. Life is associated with Christ and our eternal existence, and death is associated with the devil and our temporal existence. Let’s face it, as Christ followers, we know what is right and what is wrong, just as David knew. We also know that only God is righteous, that only He can truly make right what is wrong, and that it is always within His time.

Friends, let’s trust that the Lord, Himself, will right what is wrong, and in our waiting let’s find shelter in Him and praise Him for the amazing things He does within our lives. No matter what we are facing, no matter how hard our circumstances are in the moment, we must rejoice in the Lord.

Psalm 64 NLT
For the choir director: A psalm of David.

1 O God, listen to my complaint.
Protect my life from my enemies’ threats.
2 Hide me from the plots of this evil mob,
from this gang of wrongdoers.
3 They sharpen their tongues like swords
and aim their bitter words like arrows.
4 They shoot from ambush at the innocent,
attacking suddenly and fearlessly.
5 They encourage each other to do evil
and plan how to set their traps in secret.
“Who will ever notice?” they ask.
6 As they plot their crimes, they say,
“We have devised the perfect plan!”
Yes, the human heart and mind are cunning.

7 But God himself will shoot them with his arrows,
suddenly striking them down.
8 Their own tongues will ruin them,
and all who see them will shake their heads in scorn.
9 Then everyone will be afraid;
they will proclaim the mighty acts of God
and realize all the amazing things he does.
10 The godly will rejoice in the Lord
and find shelter in him.
And those who do what is right
will praise him.

Prayer: Jesus, thank You for being our shelter. We desperately need You. So many circumstances are hard right now, Lord, and only You can make things right. We are choosing to trust You and we are praising Your Holy Name today. For in You, all is right and whole, and nothing is wrong or broken. So, we lay down our brokenness, we lay down our sin, we lay down anything within and around us that is not of You, Lord Jesus. We ask all of this in Your Name, Jesus. Amen.

Daily Devotional from Jen Auer 06-08-22

The nativity story of Jesus’ birth in the Gospel of Luke is one of the most beautiful expressions of God’s love and faithful promise to Israel and to all of His creation (and that includes you and me). It’s the most extraordinary story to recall during the Christmas season, but we cannot forget that it is a story we need to cling to as a daily reminder of Who ties our faith to the work of the Holy Spirit within our lives.

In today’s passage we see that Elizabeth is six months pregnant when God sends the angel Gabriel to talk to her cousin, Mary. What Mary was about to hear would change the course of history forever: “Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.” (v.30-31) Most likely, Mary knew that the name Jesus in Hebrew meant savior, and in that transcendent moment she must have felt such honor, disbelief, and fear all at once.

Then Mary asked the obvious question, “’But how can this happen? I am a virgin.’ The angel replied, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.’” (v. 34-35)

The angel went on to tell Mary that her cousin, Elizabeth, who was older and had been barren, was also with child. Later, in verses 39-45, Mary goes to visit her cousin and “At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. (v. 41)

There is such a divine connection here that is almost humanly unexplainable. When the Holy Spirit fills Elizabeth, who we know was with child (John the Baptist), hears had just heard her cousin Mary’s voice, who we know was also with child (Jesus the Messiah). These two unborn babies would experience another miraculous moment in the Spirit together later on as men when John the Baptist would baptize Jesus. “After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.’” (Matt 3:16-17) The Spirit within John while in utero leaped when he heard Mary’s voice because that same Spirit knew it would one day baptize the Savior of the world…and that my friends, is beyond remarkable! We house that same Spirit of Christ within us…and that too is beyond remarkable!

Luke 1:26-38 NLT
The Birth of Jesus Foretold

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, 27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. 28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!”

29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. 30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”

34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”

35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. 36 What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. 37 For the word of God will never fail.”

38 Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.

Prayer: Jesus, we cannot thank You enough for the work of the Holy Spirit. Please continue to fill us each day and quicken the Spirit within us. May the Spirit help to soften our hearts, direct our vision, quiet our own thoughts, open our ears, and allow us to be moved in ways that bring glory to the Father. We ask this in Jesus’s Name. Amen.

Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 05-31-22

Intro: In our passage for today, I have put into brackets some excerpts from the Greek Lexicon—a resource designed to help readers understand the original biblical text of the New Testament. Keep in mind Scripture is more than knowledge about God, it is to be applied and practiced with our lives. This letter from Paul is written to Christians in Rome and believers everywhere. In fact, the Apostle Paul wants us to know God gave us these guidelines for living, so we would submit to the Word and use our faith properly while we live in this fallen world.

Scripture has changed how I view myself as a child of God, worship the Father, Son, and Spirit, and treat other brothers and sisters in the faith. Scripture motivates me to practice my faith in fellowship with our holy God as he redeems the world. “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.  God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work (2 Tim 3:16-17).
What comes to your mind when you hear the word “pretend?” According to Scripture, to pretend is to engage in hypocrisy—to wear a mask like an actor to portray what one is not. Let’s get real for a minute. Professing Christians can speak kindly to others, as well as avoid hurting their feelings, but not really deeply love or care about them enough to share life. Just because we have some self-control and skill that helps us speak in a way that sounds compassionate or kind, does not mean we are willing to take an interest and sacrificially invest our efforts in another person’s well-being. Professing Christians can be satisfied with a form of godliness, without the “heart” or love of God being engaged. This is an example of a religious spirit. It is living in the shallow waters of Christ’s love.

Actors with lip service are everywhere in this fallen world. How can you tell the difference between believers who actually love you and the actors who pretend to love you? The answer is found in: 1) the honor revealed and extended, because human beings have been made in God’s image; 2) the generous sharing of time and resources to help with the pressing needs of others; 3) a devoted effort toward personal involvement and duty to God’s genuine love that helps all of us live according to the Word. The Apostle Paul calls this the believer’s personal responsibility. We are to be living sacrifices in Christ. So, may this Scripture bring change to our understanding, renew our minds, and refresh our practice to love because it is our responsibility as disciples of Christ.

Romans 12:9-16 NLT
9 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them [without hypocrisy]. Hate [abhor] what is wrong [evil]. Hold tightly [cling/connect] to what is good. 10 Love [be devoted] each other with genuine affection [tender love], and take delight [take the lead] in honoring [and valuing] each other. 11 Never be lazy [idle], but work hard [be diligent] and serve the Lord enthusiastically [boiling hot with passion]. 12 Rejoice in our confident hope [expectation]. Be patient [endure] in trouble [tribulation], and keep on [be devoted in] praying. 13 When God’s people [saints] are in need, be ready to help them [share]. Always be eager to practice [to pursue] hospitality [love of strangers].
14 Bless [speak well of] those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy [rejoice] with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony [have an understanding mind] with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy [associate with] the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all [don’t disdain advice]!

Prayer: Lord, may I not only speak kindly to my fellow believers, but speak well of them to others. Help me to cling and bind myself to your ways, so I can express the tender love you express to me. Fan the passion of my love for the salvation of others and help me to remain diligent in practice as I endure the pressures of this sinful world. Cause me to be a living sacrifice for you. I need your power, Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 05-13-22

Intro: Our daily Scripture reading takes us further in the Book of Revelation. To keep us moving forward with a proper context, let’s review a bit to ensure we are heading in the right direction. Yesterday, the Apostle John tells us an angel comes to make an announcement that God is bringing his final judgment against evil to earth. John is instructed to eat the scroll the angel of the Lord carries in his hand. That Word/scroll is a mystery, because its content is never revealed in our passage. However, we are about to gain a bit more understanding about the message on the scroll, today. It must be a final Word of warning!

The seventh trumpet ushers in the bowl judgements which bring the complete wrath of God against sin/evil. Please keep in mind God loves his human creation; that is why he came to die for us. The purpose of Christ is salvation from sin and death (Mat 1:21). God does not want any human being to perish in these judgements that are meant to destroy evil. However, when people knowingly choose and practice what God calls evil in his sight, they become targets for God’s righteous action against evil. That is why we need the blood of Jesus to cover us and protect us from the wrath of God (like God’s protection of the Israelites during the plagues against Egypt—symbolic for the land of bondage). God knows his plan to destroy all sin and rebellion against the Truth of how we were created to live. Therefore, anyone willing to receive Christ’s righteousness for salvation faces no condemnation and no judgment. During this end judgment time, for those who have pridefully refused God’s command for Christ’s righteousness, it appears it is too late.

In our passage today, heaven and the Kingdom realm and rule of righteous Justice, Truth, and Love—found in the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit—is coming to govern earth. Humanity has made a mess of God’s perfect creation; we did not take dominion in the Spirit of holiness as the Word commanded. Therefore, all sin and evil that inhabits the world must be destroyed forever. Throughout the seal and trumpet judgments, there has been silence in the heavens. Perhaps the hosts of heaven are holding their breath praying for humanity to receive the love of God found in Christ. Yet, now, John tells us the voices of the saints and angelic beings are shouting in heaven, because the rule of evil against God’s righteous rule is being completely destroyed—destruction not by human hands but by the all-powerful and righteous command or Word of God. Sidenote: the shouting in heaven reminds me of the shouting of Israel when the unrighteous walls of Jericho—evil keeping the rule of God and his people out—are totally destroyed.

Allow your focus today to be upon this Truth: Scripture teaches one day every knee will bow before the Living Word of God—Jesus the Christ. So, be wise and know it is much easier for people to receive the love of God and humbly bow now to the Word, rather than endure the wrath that leads one to eventually bow through the revelation of his power that causes unbelievers to respond in terror. We can have fellowship with God and know his loving protective care through humble obedience. The Book of Wisdom reminds us, “Pride goes before destruction” (Pro 16:18). Be wise and choose salvation in Christ! Let your life be led by the Holy One!

Revelation 11:15 The Seventh Trumpet Brings the Third Terror
15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices shouting in heaven:
“The world has now become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ,    and he will reign forever and ever.”

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the wisdom your Word brings to all life. Humanity does not have to suffer, we can all be saved and you, Lord, want that more than anything. Thank you for dying for my sin, so I may wear your righteousness and be secure in your love no matter what happens in this world. Thank you for covering my life and the lives of all those who honor your Word. I pray for the world to wise up in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 04-28-22

Intro: In our lesson today, the resurrected Jesus initiates the third encounter with his disciples; this group has gone back to fishing for fish. Jesus calls out to several of his disciples, but only one makes the connection between the voice speaking to them from the shore and the abundance before them. John connects faith with past experience and proclaims, “It’s the Lord!” On the other hand, Peter may still have some inner turmoil going on, because he isn’t as quick to recognize the voice of the Savior. There is the lesson.
When you and I have inner turmoil, we cannot hear the voice of the Lord well, either. Jesus is going to speak into our lives and if we are expectantly waiting for him and willing to obey his word, then he will bring good out of what may even seem impossible. We serve the God—the Creator—of heaven and earth and he has promised to provide for us. Don’t be surprised by his love; be overwhelmed with gratitude as he begins to bring beauty from ashes in your life.

John 21:1-14 (TPT) Jesus Appears at Lake Galilee
1 Later, Jesus appeared once again to a group of his disciples by Lake Galilee. 2 It happened one day while Peter, Thomas (the Twin), Nathanael (from Cana in Galilee), Jacob, John, and two other disciples were all together. 3 Peter told them, “I’m going fishing.” And they all replied, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and fished through the night, but caught nothing.

4 Then at dawn, Jesus was standing there on the shore, but the disciples didn’t realize that it was him! 5 He called out to them, saying, “Hey guys! Did you catch any fish?”
“Not a thing,” they replied.

6 Jesus shouted to them, “Throw your net over the starboard side, and you’ll catch some!” And so they did as he said, and they caught so many fish they couldn’t even pull in the net!

7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” When Peter heard him say that, he quickly wrapped his outer garment around him, and because he was athletic, he dove right into the lake to go to Jesus!

Prayer: Lord, for as long as I can remember, you have brought good things out of even the discouraging and difficult places in my life. You are always faithful and true to your love for me. I know your voice speaks into my spirit to give guidance and bring abundance. I want to be quick in my spirit to make the connection. So it is my responsibility to keep my soul in peace as I trust in your love. Like John, may I be quick to proclaim, “It’s the Lord!” In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 11-30-21

Intro: In our passage today, Jesus tells his followers (through the Apostle John) he will be returning to judge their deeds. What deeds will be judged? Will Jesus be looking at the number of times his followers attended church? Or, will Jesus be most interested in how involved each follower has been in ministry or outreach? No, this is about the deeds of a person’s heart to deal with the human sin within. Christ’s followers are to wash their robes—in other words they are to allow the Word/commandments to cleanse them from evil thinking and living by bringing themselves into the power of Christ’s righteousness to overcome sin. Our cleansing is what will enable us one day to eat from the Tree of Life; otherwise, we are simply pretending to follow Christ while hiding our sin. “Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it (James 4:17).

Revelation 22:12-15 (AMP)
12 “Behold, I (Jesus) am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to each one [judgment] according to the merit of his deeds (earthly works, faithfulness). 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End [the Eternal One].”

14 Blessed (happy, prosperous, to be admired) are those who wash their robes [in the blood of Christ by believing and trusting in Him—the righteous who do His commandments], so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs [the godless, the impure, those of low moral character] and the sorcerers [with their intoxicating drugs, and magic arts], and the immoral persons [the perverted, the molesters, and the adulterers], and the murderers, and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying (deception, cheating).

he Final Invitation
16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you and to give you assurance of these things for the churches. I am the Root (the Source, the Life) and the Offspring of David, the radiant and bright Morning Star.”

Prayer: Lord, I pray for your Holy Spirit to search my heart—the core of my being—and rid me of any hidden sin. I pray for all of your followers to gain an understanding of how essential it is that we deal with sin by clinging to your righteous ways of living. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 6-1-21

1 Corinthians 2:6-10 Wisdom from God
6 However, there is a wisdom that we continually speak of when we are among the spiritually mature [those who have been initiated into the mysteries of God]. It’s wisdom that didn’t originate in this present age, nor did it come from the rulers of this age who are in the process of being dethroned [human governments and rulers of darkness]. 7 Instead, we [church apostles] continually speak of this wonderful wisdom that comes from God, hidden before now in a mystery [beyond the scope of human reasoning]. It is his secret plan, destined [decreed] before the ages, to bring us into glory [so glory may be ours]. 8 None of the rulers of this present world order understood it, [powers of darkness] for if they had, they never would have crucified the Lord of shining glory [all glory belongs to him]. 9 This is why the Scriptures say:

Things never discovered or heard of before,
things beyond our ability to imagine [entered the heart]—
these are the many things God has in store
for all his lovers [those who wait and long for the Lord].

10 But God now unveils these profound realities to us by the Spirit [through revelation]. Yes, he has revealed to us his inmost heart and deepest mysteries through the Holy Spirit, who constantly explores all things.

In our passage today, we reflect upon some very fundamental truths about God’s plan for his human creation. The Apostle Paul speaks of human wisdom, as well as the work of evil to thwart God’s plan from the very beginning. The enemy of God—the evil Accuser—thought he had the upper hand when Christ died on the cross. The principalities and powers of darkness had no ability to comprehend the efficacy [effectiveness] of Christ’s crucifixion to realign the universe and initiate a new kingdom under our Lord Jesus Christ. God used that prideful ignorance of darkness to usher in salvation and eternal life.

So many times things just do not make sense to the human mind, but God is in the process of making all things new and he begins with human hearts that will become devoted to his authority—something Satan knows nothing about. Paul teaches the Corinthians, as well as you and me today, about the power of God that cannot be grasped by our eight pound brain. We must humbly approach God as our Maker and stop trying to explain what cannot be reasoned. Our duty to God is all based on awe, love, and trust. Those who live in this way become mature and lacking nothing, because God’s Spirit continues to flow divine revelation into the willing and seeking soul [mind, will, emotions]. That’s how believers learn the mysteries of God which escape human comprehension. For this reason, Satan pours deception into the world to accuse God’s children who are governed by the law of grace.

Prayer: Lord, I stand in awe of you. Truly, your ways are not my ways and your thoughts are not my thoughts, but I do not feel the need to wrestle down all that I do not understand about you, myself, others, evil, and this world. Instead, I simply trust you have a divine plan that you will reveal to me as I live surrounded by your divine mysteries. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 5-31-21

Psalm 20:7-9

Some find their strength in their weapons and wisdom,
    but my miracle-deliverance can never be won by men.
    Our boast is in Yahweh our God,
    who makes us strong and gives us victory!

Our enemies will not prevail; they will only collapse and
    perish in defeat while we will rise up, full of courage.

Give victory to our king, O Yahweh!
    The day we call on you, give us your answer!
Today, we remember and honor the men and women who have died while serving our country in the U.S. Armed Forces. This is a time to respect the sacrifice they made and to remember those who gave everything to ensure our nation’s freedom. They went to war and served to ensure hope for the future of this country. Today, we may watch parades, raise flags, or maybe visit a Veteran’s Cemetery. Just don’t forget the sacrifice that was paid, so you and I can live and worship in freedom. Remember!

In our passage today, David proclaims that his trust in not in horses, chariots, weapons, or human wisdom; rather, his trust is in the name of the Lord Yahweh. So, let’s add to our Memorial Day of remembrance by also thanking God for his faithfulness to take us through the physical and spiritual wars humanity faces because of sin. Like David, may we put our confidence in Christ the Savior who died to overcome sin, death, and evil; he has done for us what we could not do for ourselves. “For the greatest love of all is a love that sacrifices all. And this great love is demonstrated when a person sacrifices his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Remember!

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the sacrifice my fellow Americans made to secure my ongoing freedom. I pray blessings over those who lost their lives protecting mine; I pray a blessing over their families for generations to come. Thank you, Jesus, for saving my soul and protecting my life and my freedom to worship you as you so greatly deserve. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 5-28-21

Romans 8:9-11 (TPT)
9 But when the Spirit of Christ empowers your life, [makes his home in you] you are not dominated by the flesh but by the Spirit. And if you are not joined to the Spirit of the Anointed One, you are not of him [you are not your true self].

10 Now Christ lives his life in you! And even though your body may be dead because of the effects of sin, his life-giving Spirit imparts life to you because you are fully accepted by God [and ready for his cause of righteousness]. 11 Yes, God raised Jesus to life! And since God’s Spirit of Resurrection lives in you, he will also raise your dying body to life by the same Spirit that breathes life into you!

I love being home; it is my joyful place. Certainly, it is not about the stuff that surrounds me; I simply relax and breathe differently within the atmosphere of our home. Can’t describe it but, for me, home is so much more than a place to eat and sleep. Home is where I reflect upon what is most important to me, where I take the time to process and sift through the issues of life which encircle me, and where I rest in the security of knowing I will be valued here as I live the Truth of who I am. I realize this is not everyone’s experience, but it is mine.

In our passage today, the Apostle Paul reminds us, as believers, that Christ makes his “home” in our hearts—the core of our being. He brings rest, peace, and hope to our weary souls, because he is always “home.” We can enjoy the atmosphere his presence provides, because Jesus’ breath fills his “home.” The competition of ongoing spiritual warfare does not have to control us, because he is always “home.” Satan has no power to rob us, because Jesus never leaves his “home” unprotected. We are always valued, accepted, and offered the power outflowing Christ’s resurrection as we make Jesus the Lord of his “home!” I imagine I love being home, because Jesus loves his “home,” too!

Prayer: Lord, thank you for making your home in my heart and bringing the beauty and tranquility of heaven to my soul. I continue to make this journey with you each day with the goal of making you the King of all I encounter. Thank you for always being “home” with me. I am never home, alone! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 5-27-21

Romans 8:1-8 (TPT) Living by the Power of the Holy Spirit
8 So now the case is closed. There remains no accusing voice of condemnation against those who are joined in life-union with Jesus, the Anointed One [we cannot be condemned]. 2 For the “law” of the Spirit of life flowing through the anointing of Jesus has liberated us [set us free] from the “law” of sin and death. 3 For God achieved what the law was unable to accomplish, because the law was limited by the weakness of human nature [weakness of our flesh]

Yet God sent us his Son in human form to identify with human weakness. Clothed with humanity, God’s Son gave his body to be the sin-offering so that God could once and for all condemn the guilt and power of sin. 4 So now every righteous requirement of the law can be fulfilled through the Anointed One living his life in us. And we are free to live, not according to our flesh, but by the dynamic power of the Holy Spirit! [released in and through us]

5 Those who are motivated by the flesh only pursue what benefits themselves. But those who live by the impulses of the Holy Spirit are motivated to pursue spiritual realities [what pleases God]. 6 For the sense and reason of the flesh is death, but the mind-set controlled by the Spirit finds life and peace.
7 In fact, the mind-set focused on the flesh fights God’s plan and refuses to submit to his direction, [refuses to submit to his law] because it cannot! 8 For no matter how hard they try, God finds no pleasure with those who are controlled by the flesh.

Peter Marshall—preacher of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington DC and chaplain of the United States Senate [1946]—once said, “May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.” Over the years, many of our military servants have died to protect this gift of freedom which first came from our Creator God. This freedom has been translated into the preamble for the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Spiritual freedom from the law of sin and death is a “priceless” Gift from Creator God. Our country maintains our earthly national freedom, so we can live out our spiritual freedom. In Christ, we can live by the impulses and dynamic power of the Holy Spirit. Never take your freedom as citizens of heaven and citizens of the United States for granted. There has never been nor will there ever be a greater Gift or a greater nation under God! Live your freedom out each day as an opportunity to do what is right before God.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for providing for my spiritual freedom and thank you for leading so many men and women to secure our national freedom. Help us value both of these priceless gifts. We will remember all these benefits as coming from your righteous Hand. In Jesus’ name. Amen.