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A Vertical Moment

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Be Free

The world spins quickly. That’s not just a scientific statement, it’s a fact of life. A fact about life. Yet as Christians, we’re promised life and peace in the Holy Spirit regardless of the spinning. “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:6).
And yet, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the things of this world. While we don’t become hermits, we do need to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. We need to focus on what is good, noble, pure, lovely, excellent, praiseworthy (Phil. 4).
 
In The Peace of the Wild Things, poet Wendell Berry says it this way:
When despair grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free. 
 
Because of Jesus Christ, we are recipients of an immense grace. He leads us beside still water (Ps. 23). We can rest in the grace of His world, and be free.

Posted by Joan S. with

Free Indeed

Today is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, by the first Continental Congress. Most of us associate the 4th of July with fireworks, food, family, friends, and sooner or later: freedom.
 
While the dictionary says freedom is “the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint,” I’d have to disagree. That sounds like anarchy, everyone “free” to do whatever they want, anytime. That sounds dangerous. Why? Because our hearts are deceitful (Jer. 17:9). Our tongues are a restless evil, full of deadly poison (James 3:8). Do we really want all of that unleashed without hindrance or restraint?
 
A healthier view of freedom comes from Scripture. “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Cor. 3:17). Freedom to know God’s love and grace in Jesus Christ. Yet this freedom is not a license for lawlessness. Peter encouraged us to “live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God” (1 Peter 2:16). And Paul said, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Gal. 5:1).
 
If the Son sets us free (and He has), we are free indeed (John 8:36). Father, help us to understand the healthy freedom we have in Christ and truly live like we’re free indeed.

Posted by Joan S. with

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