…An Embrace of Freedom

i am free

My prayer, today, is that we embrace the freedom we’ve been given, as a gift, in Christ. May we boldly receive His forgiveness, declare “I am free”, live in it and love one another through it. Press play to hear the song on my heart.

You’re the reason I have hope / You’re everything I need and more / You made me / You made me free 

Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you. Galatians 5:1 (MSG)

…Meditation Moment : Psalm 118:24

I will be grateful for this dayThis is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 (NLT)

…Happy Independence Day

freedom

The United States observes today, July 4th, as our Independence Day. My prayer is that we all reflect on the gift God’s given us to be able to claim our freedom everyday (Galatians 5:1). See how Jesus Be A reflected our freedom in Christ in 2012 here.

…An Outfit

For my 30th birthday, my family and friends lovingly showered me with gift cards to several of my favorite clothing stores (thanks again people!). Then, later in the week, one of my favorite ladies sent me a picture of a picture inside of her 3-year old son’s prayer book, “Dear God, Good Morning”. The graphic displayed a really cute kid praying this really cute prayer:

“I thank you God, for clothes to wear to school and church and play…Dear God, what shall I wear today?”

The text message that accompanied the picture simply said “This made me think of you because I know you pray this prayer”.

My circle knows me well. And, I know that I am not alone in this: Finding and putting together an outfit can sometimes be a lot of work (and cost a chunk of money). But, when you compile that perfect outfit for your look of the day, the ROI (return on investment) is priceless! Whether you’re going to a gala, wedding or park; to church or down the street to the grocery store; to school, work or to the mall to buy that key piece for another outfit, it just feels good to be put together from head to toe. You’re confident. Your smile seems to be a bit brighter. You have a little extra pep in your step!

The amount of time and effort that can be (and has been) spent searching and buying and coordinating that amazing outfit has no boundaries, and is sometimes directly attributable to the reason we wish (or need) to wear the respective outfit. I am a firm believer that if our intent is pure, God is okay with this because He is a lover of fashion too – His magnificient creation, Earth, inspires patterns, color-blocking (maybe that’s a stretch), neutrals, neons and metallics. Yet, He longs to be at the forefront of our styling. He wants to assume the role of our personal stylist, and in Ephesians 6, He shows His desire to style us in a universal, one size fits all outfit – the full armor of God.

A few FAQs answered by His Word:

What is the full armor of God?

The one and only outfit you’ll ever need. It will change your opinion about every other outfit in your closet. The full armor Includes the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, feet fitted with readiness, shield of faith, helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit. See Ephesians 6:10 – 17 .

Why is the full armor the perfect outfit/look for everyday?

You are called to be the light in this world. You also need to be prepared to receive and respond to whatever the day may bring — good or bad weather, God’s grace and mercy, as well as battle against the devil’s schemes. The full armor of God prepares you to stand firmly in your circumstance and allows you to be a difference.

The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Romans 13:12

Prepare your shields…and march out for battle! … Take your positions with helmets on! Polish your spears, put on your armor! Jeremiah 46:3-4

What’s this helmet all about?

The helmet of salvation covers your mind – thinking, discernment, intellect, wisdom and reasoning. You need to…”have the same mindset as Christ Jesus…” (Philippians 2:5) and “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. 1 Peter 3:15

Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin. 1 Peter 4:1 (NKJV)

Do I need the breastplate?

Yes sir/ma’am, you do! A soldier, with their iron breastplate, enters battle boldly. Your breastplate of righteousness allows you to confidentially stand before God, men and spiritual forces of evil.

He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair–every good path. Proverbs 2:7-8

Should I carry this shield daily?

The shield of faith is not a mere, disposable accessory. Faith defends you from the attacks of the enemy, as it can extinguish all of its flaming arrows. Wear the shield every day, as this protection cannot be penetrated (thank God)!

We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. Psalm 33:20

…who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:5

Is a sword really necessary, too?

Yep. This sword is the Holy Spirit and God’s Word. The battle of spiritual warfare of the mind is fought and won with prayer and Spirit-led words. And, the unmatchable power of Christ, is revealed in the Word. Who wouldn’t want to carry this authority with them?

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV)

Is the belt a key piece of the outfit?

Webster defines truth as “sincerity in action, character and utterance”. Thus, it appears that this belt encompasses honesty in your heart and your mind. This honesty is key in your achievement of close and meaningful relationships with Christ and His people.

But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Colossians 3:8-10

Are the shoes comfortable?

Yes, these shoes are perfectly fitted with readiness, directing your movement away from the enemy and leading you to bring good news.

Therefore my people will know my name; therefore in that day they will know that it is I who foretold it. Yes, it is I. How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation [Yeshua, Jesus!] who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’ Isaiah 52:6-7

How much does the full armor of God cost?

It’s free.99! The cost has already been paid…all of it.

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21

We cannot ask for a better deal. Let’s determine, together, that full armor of God is officially going to be our “go to” outfit!

SM.
#longestpostever

P.S. SH and I tend to share our upcoming outfits with each other – sometimes for confirmation that the right choice has been made; sometimes just to get an oooh or an ahhh. Who will you share this “go to” outfit with?

…Freebie

On July 4, 1776, the United States adopted the Declaration of Independence, proclaiming liberation from Great Britain. Today, we observe this as our Independence Day.

The 4th of July is recognized as the US national holiday as a means to commemorate our freedom. Regardless of whether we actually recognize the true meaning of the holiday, most of us enjoy the day off of work relaxing at home, attending parades, cookouts or concerts, going to the beach and/or watching fireworks.

As this holiday approached, I questioned myself on how much I actually knew or remembered about the history of the day (without going to Wikipedia). In recalling its significance, I pondered on whether or not I truly value the freedom that the US declared from Great Britain over 200 years ago. And, in turn, I reveled in the realization that even before 1776, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free…” Galatians 5:1.

Knowing that we could never keep all of the old covenant laws (in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy), Jesus Christ came to fulfill the law for us. In His work on the cross, His death and His resurrection, He liberated us from the law. By doing so, we are enabled to receive His freebies, the gifts that He freely gives — grace, mercy, peace, power, righteousness, etcetera!

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering… Romans 8:1-3

In the book of Romans, the Apostle Paul reminds us that because of Christ, we are no longer slaves to sin, but we are free to live under grace (Romans 8:14). While, John 8:36  simply and boldly declares “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

My prayer, today, is that we each are reminded of the invaluable state of freedom that Christ has given us; that we recognize the true meaning and significance of our freedom in Him. We “…my brothers and sisters, were called to be free…” Galatians 5:13. So, let’s boldly receive forgiveness, accept that freedom, live in it and love one another through it (Galatians 5).

Jesus, thank you for Your freebies.

SM.